Finding Passion and Joy!

One day while I was having coffee and doughnuts I looked out into the back yard and saw my grand children’s toys left behind from a recent visit. I began to realize how fortunate my grandchildren were…they have books, electronic gadgets, games, etc., enough to have some at my house and some at their home. They have so much, I thought, I think that it is time to teach them how to get out and help others.

I talked with my daughter and she agreed that when they reach the age of 15, they should

Dog walking a pug

Someone wants to get out of the house…

begin to give back to the community and volunteer to help others. Because at that age they need an adult with them, I gave my granddaughter a list of volunteer opportunities that I (the designated responsible adult) would also like to volunteer at.  She picked Wayside Waifs and our adventures began!

  • We carried dogs for walks, because they were puppy mill rescues and were afraid of grass,
  • We sat in kennels and read books out loud to dogs who were too shy around people,
  • We snuggled 8 week old puppies (I had forgotten how sharp puppy teeth are!)
  • And, for two hours, we took dogs on 20 minute walks giving them treats and hugs and lots of exercise.

It’s been three years since we began volunteering and my grandson now joins us walking the bigger dogs and finding a favorite each time. And in addition, I run the Wayside store “Whiskers and Wags” one night a week. I’m HOOKED! And I hope that others have or can find a volunteer opportunity that fills them with satisfaction and joy.

P.S. I adopted two kitties that are my sweethearts

Lily Anne and Emma Louise

Tuxedo cat named Emma

Emma hiding under a foot stool.

Calico Cat

My extremely curious best buddy.

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Time goes by on jet-powered roller blades!

I keep promising to keep the blog active by adding entries on Tuesdays and Fridays…you can see how well this worked…NOT.  There always seems to be 28 other things that have a higher priority.  I’m sure everyone of you goes through the same agony of scheduling an overactive life.  Speaking of life (and its absence), my neighbor of 30+ years died two weeks ago…it has hit me so hard. We all expect parents to leave us after a long life and mine did just that, but a neighbor younger than I am…it’s just so sad.

Her passing increased my family by one.  She had three cats and the family took two of them, but did not want Harley who is 81/2 years old.  In fact, one daughter thought he should be cremated with my friend! No way! He has some mild health issues, but he’s young for a cat and is the sweetest gentleman ever. He has no front claws and reaches up to pat your face and hug you around the neck, bumping his head against your chin. Who could resist this…well, not me so I now have three cats. I, who never had a cat in my whole long life until three years ago, is now approaching being a “cat lady.” How many cats does it take to labeled a cat lady? Is there an official designation?  Oh well, life is full of adventures and I have just started a new one.

Later, Judi

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Wasn’t it just Halloween! Seriously…

PhotoWorkshopPhotography Books, both Artistic and Educational sounds lofty, but it means that here is a link to the newest books on photography that have arrived at your college library. They cover topics such as historical photographers, how to do, create, etc., and what have they done!? Remember that you can let me know at any time if there is something that you think the Billington Library should purchase for its photography collection. Just email me at jvaughn@jccc.edu.

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Happy Halloween to all!

My son once told me when he was little that his favorite holidays were Christmas and Halloween. He said it was because you got lots of stuff! I still have the picture in my mind of him teaching his little sister how to knock on doors (down our hallway) and say “Trick or Treat!” I love handing out the candy and talking to all the children. I’m hoping to counter-act some of the fear that children have because of today’s “crazies” that appear to be everywhere…plus it gives me a chance to wear a costume! I get lots of compliments on my orange and black big striped hose! May All Hallows Eve be good to you and all the little ones in our country.

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A book can show the way to being a better person…

Sometimes as a reader, I chose books that have been recommended to me. Sometimes I happen upon a book on display at this library and the cover grabs my interest. Such was the case with A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriverby Mark K. Shriver.  The cover photograph reminds me of the delight that I found in my children and how precious each one is to my world.  Many people know Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger and her marriage to and divorce from Arnold…who could have missed the sensational news stories! But not everyone knows her wonderful father Sargent Shriver.

A Good Man

One joyful moment out of many

Sarge was always described as a “good man.” His son tells us about his life as founder of the Peace Corps, architect of President Johnson’s War on Poverty, and strong supporter of the Special Olympics, but more importantly, he tells us about the daily  activities that made him a “good man” and an example to all of us on how to live a joyful, meaningful life. It is an upbeat and delightful story.

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Words from a “hot” librarian…

After a hectic Spring, I return to my blog during a heat wave blanketing Kansas & Missouri. Today is one of those days where you debate with yourself as to whether you really can fry an egg on the pavement.  With tomorrow sharing its forecast with today I just might try it…Spring semester was crazy busy, which is a great thing! The library is undergoing more renovations…the rumor is that we are clearing space to place more computer workstations. These are earmarked, I think, for students to engage in collaborative efforts on projects for their classes.

We also now have a software product called Summon.  In my unofficial words…it is a discovery layer that sits atop all of our library resources, i.e. books and DVDs in the catalog, articles in our academic databases, etc., so that when a library patron initiates a search for a subject, they will retrieve relevant information from all our resources at once.  It still has a few bugs, but it will be a great addition to the library’s mission of helping students research effectively.

Stay cool and curl up with a great book…I just finished one called Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst. Wow, what an adventure…loved it and now have Mission to Paris by him as well.  If you read either of them, let me know how you liked it.

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A Librarian says…

 Frantic and Hectic Times

As usual, the first two weeks of any semester resemble chaos.  New students who are lost on campus seem to find the library without fail.  Most of the statistics that we rack up are questions of direction.  I don’t mind helping them at all, but I do love it when it’s time to write papers.  My Bachelors degree was in English Secondary Education, so I am right in my element both in the library research and in writing the paper. We have a great Writing Center, but at night and on weekends, the library is the place to get help.  Actually during the day we do help with papers…I think it’s because we smile a lot and really enjoy people in all varieties!

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A Librarian says…

Feeling very developed!

This week has been set aside for faculty and staff development.  It’s been a great time to learn all sorts of information about the services the college provides for its staff, faculty and students. Even after 15 years as a librarian here, there are so many innovations to learn about. One nice thing that I learned is that our KOPS group (Keeping our people safe) has a behavioral intervention team that is organized to help at risk students. Here is how it works: people around campus report strange or angry behavior displayed by a student. This information is collected and when it shows the beginning of a possible pattern, the student is invited to chat with a counselor about what acceptable behavior is and is not. The presenters said that this dialog often eases the stressful situation and makes the student feel less isolated. Sounds like a great service.

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A Librarian says…

Start of New Semester

The beginning of the spring semester is fast upon us.  I love the first days of school when everything is new again: new classmates, new courses, new instructors and most of all, new adventures.  I sound like a student, which I will be this semester, but what most people don’t realize is that librarians and instructors also enjoy all of the above as well. For everyone it is a clean slate…a new chance to try to do things differently and who doesn’t want a chance to do that!

A slate (chalkboard) with "start anew" written on it.

Everyone loves the chance to "start anew."

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Memories of Confusion…

As Friday draws to a close, I find myself wondering where the basket of yellow of ear plugs has disappeared to…For many years we put out candy for our students–candy of all types. When we put out the ear plugs, students came up and took one and then got this funny look on their face…they were so disappointed :-( I was too when they first appeared. When the noise began however, we were all grateful for them.

A picture showing someone bothered by noise

Get you ear plugs here

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