Tuesday's faculty awards ceremony and reception was just one of several interesting events that I attended this week--although it's the only one that gave me money (remember?). From the others, my reward was edification and entertainment.
Thursday: Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Conference -- This is an annual event for which students from several departments present the results of research that they have conducted throughout the year. Last year our daughters attended with me (remember?), but this year they were all busy with weekly piano and trombone lessons, so I attended by myself. First I listened to a keynote speaker address the entire crowd for a presentation on her nursing research.
Then I joined others in the adjoining ballroom to hear from individuals and small groups who stood beside posters representing their work and explained it to anyone who stopped by to listen. I myself had been interviewed by some students as part of their research project (on the electronic portfolios that are required of education majors), so I was particularly curious to hear about their results.
Friday: English Conference -- Seniors graduating with an English-related major must carry out a capstone project and present on it at the annual English Conference. One of today's presenters, an English education major, has been a student of mine a couple times: once when I taught a course for writing tutors (when she served as a tutor while I was running the university's Writing Center) and once in a course on curriculum and instruction (which I teach now as an education professor), so I wanted to be there to support her.
Her presentation was on teaching Charlotte Brontë's novel Jane Eyre. Three others presented in the session that I attended: one read aloud a nonfiction selection about his childhood in southwest ND; one shared her ideas for teaching world literature and world history in one "world studies" course for high school sophomores; and one read aloud her short story in the style of Edgar Allan Poe.
Friday: Senior Banquet -- I accompanied Susan to her high school's annual banquet for seniors, their parents, and school faculty. I know most of the faculty both by virtue of being a high school faculty member's spouse and because I work with many of the teachers when they host education majors from the university for field experiences in their high school classrooms. I don't, however, know many of the students, so I was there mostly to enjoy the tasty buffet and to serve as arm candy for Susan.
An entertaining speaker addressed the group: Terry Fleck, "The Attitude Doctor," whom I had heard speak at an event a couple years ago (remember?). There were also several students who danced or sang at various points during the program, and the last group to present was quite talented: one young man played the guitar while another young man and a young woman sang a duet version of John Mayer's "No Such Thing." Afterward Susan and I went out for beverages with our friends Dave and Leslie (who teaches with Susan and who brought Dave to the banquet as her own arm candy). We were celebrating Dave's recent promotion at work and my recent award at work . . . and just enjoying some time with fun adults outside of the workplace.