Monday, September 24, 2007

One busy week

It's been another whirlwind week here in Missoula and school sure does make the time go by fast. I'm afraid my updates might become a little less frequent but I will try to keep them on schedule.

Last Tuesday, Theresa and I went to the University Theater to catch Ladysmith Black Mambazzo in concert. They are from South Africa and have an amazing acapella sound. Not only are they multi Grammy award winners but they were prominently featured on Paul Simon's 1986 visonary album Graceland. Ladysmith has sung with recording luminaries such as Stevie Wonder, Natalie Merchant, Sarah McLachlan, Melissa Etheridge and Josh Groban. Their captivating music is very powerful and I thought I'd put a clip on this week's post.

School has been going well but this is the biggest week so far. I have my first big tests in anthropology and mass media along with turning in my first big English Comp assignment. Will be nice to get these out of the way and get a feel for how things will be for the remainder of the semester.

This week is when the Montana Senior and Long Term Care have their annual conference. Missoula is hosting the conference this year and it should be a very good time. I was asked to be on the consumer panel and talk about my experiences with leaving the nursing home. It's always great to have a chance to share my story and tell people how escaping an institution changed my life.

It's homecoming week at the University of Montana and it looks to be a wild couple of days. The rocket man Sir Elton John will be in concert on Friday night playing to a sold out Adams Center. Then on Saturday the Griz take on Weber State in their first Big Sky conference game. The sea of maroon will be in full force I'm sure. Thankfully the game will be televised as tickets are almost impossible to get.

On Friday my parents are coming into town for a few days. It will be so good to see them and spend some time together. I'm looking forward to showing them around campus and just having a good time.

I will post a few pictures from the upcoming week in my next time. Catch you then!



Monday, September 17, 2007

A naughty Pug

A funny thing happened on the way to the lab on Friday. Theresa and I stopped by the post office on the way, to pick up a package. I stayed out in the van with Kari while Theresa went inside.

She may be our littlest Pug but boy does she have quite the independent, curious and stubborn personality. Right after Theresa went inside; Kari excitedly stood up on the driver’s seat doing her where’s momma routine. While she was looking out the window, I heard a very distinct click. Yep the little stinker bumped the lock and entrapped us both in the van.

Theresa came back to the vehicle and tried opening the door. I just smiled as she gave me her you have to be kidding look. She was in total disbelief that this innocent little canine was capable of such a feat.

Luckily there was a security guard outside the Federal building doing his rounds. He came over to see what he could do and it was decided that a locksmith would be to be called. In less than 10 minutes he came to our rescue.

It turns out that dogs do this quite often and this particular locksmith has gotten several calls exactly like ours. He was a great guy and he helped us get back on our way. The good news was that my blood work at the lab turned out excellent. No more pokes until next month!

School continues to go very well and it sure does make the weeks fly by. Mass media is my favorite class and I find the lectures to be quite interesting. The media in this country has a detailed history and I enjoy learning about it. I’m definitely convinced that I picked the right major in Journalism.

English composition has turned out to be the hardest class but I’m managing just fine with all the writing so far. We’ve had our first big assignment and it’s writing a 1000 word personal essay. It shouldn’t be too hard but starting is always my biggest hurdle.

My parents will be visiting me during homecoming weekend and I can’t wait. It will be great to show them around the university during this festive weekend. We always have a great time with Theresa and Dustin.

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon with yet another update. Take care until then.



Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, September 10, 2007

A year of freedom

It's been already one year since I packed up and came to Missoula. This past year has been so life changing and since words can't describe my happiness, I'll let these pictures speak for themselves.


"If you are tired, keep going; if you are scared, keep going; if you are hungry; keep going; if you want to taste freedom, keep going."
— Harriet Tubman

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A few pictures

I thought I'd post some pictures from the game yesterday and of my new chair. The game was an absolute blast and we won over Southern Utah 37 - 17! I'm really starting to get used to my new chair and the lateral tilt is awesome. The one picture shows my chair in lateral mode. Take care, happy Labor day and have a great week!


PS You can get a bigger view of each picture by clicking on it.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Historic week

I’ve survived my first week in the world of academia and my sanity is still intact. Things got underway early Tuesday morning as I arrived on campus at the Gallagher business building. It was an extremely good feeling as I joined the mass of humanity inside. As I made my way to the lecture hall, I was filled with the anxiety and excitement that every freshmen experiences. Everything quickly went to a sense of normalcy as my Intro to Mass Media class started.

All in all, the first two days couldn’t have gone any better. My professors have been amazing and so accommodating to whatever I need for my classes. I really feel positive about the road in front of me, even though I know there will be challenges along the way.

My new routine hasn’t been too bad and it’s definitely different being somewhere by 9:30 AM. It’s nice to have a strong motivation that gets me going and out into the real world. Sure is a far cry of what my life was like in the nursing home.

I really like my Intro to Mass Media class. There’s lots of stuff I knew already but there’s also a lot of new things to be learned. What a great way to start my immersion in the field of journalism. The professor is great and he really finds ways to get us engaged in discussing the role of the media in our society.

Now English Comp is a little bit of a different story. It definitely seems to me that this class will be the most intensive of the semester. The work will be worth it and I’m sure hoping that it will make a difference in me becoming the kind of writer that I want to be.

While I suppose it’s time to reveal the surprise that I mentioned last week. Today my new wheelchair was delivered and it is quite the chair. It not only tilts backwards but it also tilts from side to side. I’ll be much more comfortable in this chair and this should make the longer days easier to handle. The new vent setup is incredible and I love the fact that my new chair is about 1 foot shorter. My old chair has been with me for nine years and it has served me well. A special thanks goes out to Mary (my PT) and Kurt at Norco for all their hard work on my new chair. You guys are awesome!

Here ends a very historic week for me and I’m grateful to have shared it with many of you. Tomorrow I’ll be attending my first Griz football game. It should be quite an experience for this university freshman!



“Despite fakery, plagiarism, distortion, lies, government secrecy and media stupidity, there is an ongoing communal drive in the American media—print press and broadcast—to ferret out the truth. This is the single most valuable thing we can do to preserve a free society—protect the right to know what's going on in world.” —William Kennedy