Category Archives: School

A Crazy Seven Days

It’s been a hectic week this past week for us.  This was the last week of school and then we had a busy Memorial Day Weekend.

Kaleya at school luau
Kaleya w/ 1st grade teacher

On Saturday, I took a quick trip up north of Nashville to visit a genealogy friend. On Sunday, I met up with a group visiting the states from Spain to help one member of the group search for her family. On Monday I rested most of the day, but did various household tasks. We did however, take a quick trip out to Radnor Lake. I’d not been there before, so it was nice to just walk around some.

whoa! a deer!
beautiful Lake Radnor

Busy, busy, busy!

Museum Night

Kaleya’s school hosts a “museum night” four times a year and they are cool events. Last week, they held their third one of the year. The themes vary by grades and on Kaleya’s floor the theme was “Rainforests.”  Here are some pictures of the evening.

The Lorax - preserving trees is what it's all about
the water cycle
the kids and family friend in the Rainforest hall
love this pic! show me your leopard face Kaleya!
three well-placed eggs balance these textbooks

Vanderbilt College Tour

I’ve gotten just a little behind in my family blog posting, but today we took the kids on a college tour of Vanderbilt! Much fun! Kamau and Miles need to start thinking about college and they’ve been getting their fill these past couple of weeks.  🙂

Last week, Kalonji took them to TSU’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science for a tour. Miles is expressing an interest in engineering, so they were able to get a tour and understanding of the field.  Kamau is involved in ROTC at school so Kalonji took him to speak with a Vanderbilt ROTC program.  They gave Kamau a VU ROTC t-shirt.

the VU ROTC shirt

Then today we participated in the Vanderbilt College Tour. Even though I’ve worked at the Eskind Biomedical Library for 12 years now, I had never spent much time on the undergraduate side so it was quite educational.   The Admissions staff gave an overview of the university, the opportunities available, and the applications process. Following the inside orientation, we took an extensive campus tour.

listening to the guide in the Heard library

We also went over to the Commons, ten houses of residential housing specifically for the Freshmen class and that was nice. I’d not been to that part of campus at all.  I like the idea of the Commons and think it would have been cool if I’d had that in college 🙂

VU class of 2012 form their graduation year in the Commons. Photo from Vanderbilt Magazine.

As we were walking around, Jihad kept saying “This is heaven!” Yeah, at 13 years old years old you’d think he was ready to go to Vanderbilt tomorrow.  In any case, it doesn’t hurt to be thinking about colleges now.  Ah well, we’ll see what the cards may hold for all of them 🙂


Ready 4 School

It’s August and the start of a new school year!  Today was the first day of school for the Kaleya & Jihad.  Of course, Jihad’s well experienced in this, but this is Kaleya’s first year as she is entering kindergarten.  How quickly they grow up.  Of course I had to take a few pictures this morning 🙂

showing off the Disney Princesses backpack
who has school spirit? (more like school rocker spirit?)
Kaleya in the classroom

Major Milestone – My 3rd Degree!

Today I reached a major milestone, I graduated from Vanderbilt University receiving my Masters of Public Health degree.

The MPH degree program at Vanderbilt is fairly unique as it caters more to current Vanderbilt physicians — enrollment does not generally include outsiders.   I, as an information professional at the Vanderbilt Eskind Biomedical Library, was the only member of my class that does not hold an MD degree.  I was fortunate enough to be able to have this opportunity due to my supervisor at work, who also served as my research mentor through the degree program.   As a student,  I am sponsored by the Department of Biomedical Informatics via the National Library of Medicine (this is the 2nd time I have been an NLM fellow).

Today, I participated in the Vanderbilt Commencement; my degree was conferred as part of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  The graduation ceremony was a two-part affair; the main commencement occurred on Alumni Lawn for all degree candidates.  Then, before they began announcing the undergraduates,  the graduate schools all recessed for separate ceremonies.

9am:  As I mentioned,  I was part of the School of Medicine, so we lined up to prepare for procession behind the Sarrat Center.  Here is a photo as two members of the MD class stood next to the banner to lead us on the lawn.

The view from our seats in the lawn was absolutely gorgeous! We were fortunate to be able to be outside as later in the afternoon we had thunderstorms.   On the stage, you see the banners for all the schools of the university and each color represents a discipline.  As you see, Medicine is green.

I was tweeting & posting updates to Facebook throughout the event and got a bit too quick on the keyboard during the official conferring of degrees.  The Chancellor acknowledged each class separately so I thought that was the official moment of conferment after he addressed the School of Medicine group,  but then after going through each school, he asked us all to stand for the words that specifically confer the degree.

10:30am:  After the main ceremony, the graduate schools recessed and went to our separate ceremonies.  Off to Langford Auditorium I went to get ready.  But, I stopped at the library and had a few pictures taken 🙂  I don’t know what was up with the face Kaleya was making!

11:15 am: The School of Medicine ceremony began at about 11:15 am.  I did not take any pictures of the ceremony proper, just a few of students as we waited around for the processional into the auditorium.   During the ceremony,  81 degrees were conferred to non-MD students (this included Doctor of Audiology,  Master of Education for the Deaf, Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Clinical Investigation,  Master of Laboratory Investigation, and Master of Medical Physics).   There were 160 graduates receiving their Doctor of Medicine degrees; the largest class in the history of the School of Medicine.  The ceremony was lovely and it was especially endearing to see family members of graduates present the degrees to their graduating student.

I was quite happy to receive my diploma in hand!

2:30pm:  Following the ceremonies, the School of Medicine provided a nice lunch to graduates, family & friends, and after that I attended the MPH graduates reception.   There were 15 members in my class that graduated.   At the reception,  the MPH program gave us all Vanderbilt MPH clocks and the book, The Ghost Map, which recounts the tale of the 1854 London cholera epidemic as figured out by John Snow, one of the founders of epidemiology.  This was great b/c from Day 1 of the program we discuss John Snow’s work! I’d wanted to read the book since I began the program in August 2008, but I sure did not have time.  I guess they figure now that we’re done, we have time :-).  I plan on reading it this summer.

At the end of the day I was utterly exhausted!  It’s been a great day though.   As far as what’ s next, I’ll be re-entering my library again as a full-time staff member July 1 as part of our Knowledge Management group and will be tasked with assisting in our research and ongoing knowledge management efforts.  I will definitely have opportunities to use the information I’ve learned during the program and of course, continue to expand upon them.

Ta ta for now!  To see all my photos, please visit my Photo Album.

Update:  to see pictures from my past graduations, see my genealogy blog.