Starting all over again

It’s been ages since I’ve published a blog, but I promised my students I would write one to help get the process started, so here goes…

I’m in my 10th year at WKU, which is hard to believe. I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun!

Doing marketing for the University is a privilege, and every single day I enjoy what I do – yep, even on the not-so-fun days when challenging issues arise. I work with a great team of marketing and graphic design folks who are incredibly talented. My job entails overseeing marketing and communications to internal and external campus audiences, the WKU website, and WKU social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. (there is a LOT that goes into that last three letters – “etc.” I could bore you with all the details, but I’ll spare you for now).

My husband works in WKU Athletics, my oldest son is in his senior year here, and my youngest is a senior at South Warren High School. The hubby and I are both WKU grads (a couple of times over), and soon the oldest will be as well. Mason, the youngest, has already decided to be a Hilltopper, too. And in case you were wondering – the answer is yes – they really did get to make that choice on their own. I would have been OK if they had chosen to go elsewhere (even if it was that blue school in the state – what’s it called again?), but I’m glad they picked WKU!

I’m really happy to be teaching a class this semester, although, to be perfectly honest, it does become a little stressful, especially when things with my “real job” get incredibly busy throughout the year. I do almost all of my class prep work in the evenings and on the weekends, so I don’t have a ton of free time left over for other things. It’s a rewarding experience, though, so it’s worth the time and effort.

A new semester is always exciting, and this fall is no exception. I look forward to getting to know my students a little bit better as we go along. The semester will fly by as they always do, and it’ll be Christmas break before you know it!

Heads up…the first home football game is in just a few days!  We renew an old in-state rivalry with EKU on Saturday, September 2 at 6pm at The Houch. Show up and wear RED!

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

The holiday season has come and gone, so you may be thinking that the timing of that title is a little off. While it may seem strange to those who don’t know me well, the reason for my excitement is because the looming spring season means that baseball is back!

I loved watching my sons play Little League, and I still get to enjoy my youngest playing for South Warren Baseball. I get to cheer on the Toppers at the college level, and the major leaguers are getting back into the swing of things (see what I did there?) in the Cactus League and the Grapefruit League.

The whole family loves the sport, and our summer vacations typically revolve around major league baseball parks. Last season we saw the Cubs, Braves, Blue Jays, and Indians play at their home fields. This summer we’re debating between heading to Boston, Houston or Seattle. We try to visit at least one park each year that we haven’t been to before, and we have an MLB map of all the parks that gets flagged once we’ve been there to see a game.

wrigley   toronto   cleveland

This week I asked my Social Media Marketing students to blog about the best video they ever saw and why it’s the best. There have been some great responses so far. It only seems fair that I should post one of my favorites as well. While this may not be the best video ever made from a production standpoint, I enjoy it because it’s cute, and it’s catchy, and it celebrates my favorite team. Good luck getting this song out of your head the rest of the day! #GoCubsGo

College Sweethearts

hearts  #HeartsOnTheHill hearts

We’re in the midst of the #HeartsOnTheHill social media campaign, and I enjoy reading everyone else’s stories, so seems like an appropriate time to get a little “mushy.”

Craig and I were college sweethearts at WKU, but we had actually started dating even before we were students on The Hill. I’ve known him since elementary school (although I always thought he was quite the snob, which I still love to tease him about). He was a year ahead of me in school, and his senior year he was actually dating one of my very best friends, while I, too, had a steady boyfriend. Once we were both out of those respective relationships, we became very good friends, and eventually started dating. He went to Lindsey Wilson College right after high school, and I finished my senior year. Of course, when I decided to go to WKU, he transferred, because he just had to follow me (I love to tease him about that, too).

We got engaged in the spring of my sophomore year at WKU and married a few months later at the ripe ol’ ages of 20 and 21. I still wonder what our parents were thinking letting us get married when we were practically babies! And, in case you were wondering, the friend he had dated in high school was one of my bridesmaids.

We both graduated and landed jobs here in Bowling Green. A few years later, “Biggs, party of two” became a party of three when Alex came along. And four years after that, we became “Biggs, party of four” when Mason made his grand entrance into the world.

Now…24+ years after we married, we both work at WKU, our boys are Hilltoppers right alongside us, and I guess you could say that we’ve “matured” from college sweethearts to middle-age sweethearts. And that’s just fine with me.

Happy Anniversary to my parents. Here’s to 50 more!

On Saturday we celebrated my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends.  What a milestone!  I’m thankful to have wonderful parents who set a good example for my brother and sister and me, and for our kids, too!

So thinking back to 1962, the year they got married (yay for Google!)…

  • John F. Kennedy was the President
  • The first Wal-Mart store opened
  • The Rolling Stones made their debut
  • Lawrence of Arabia was the top grossing film
  • The Beverly Hillbillies struck black gold, Texas Tea

and…

  • Gas was $.28/gallon

Obviously a lot has changed in the half century since my mom and dad got married. Along came a son and two daughters, four grandchildren, and even a great-granddaughter on Friday (thanks Ashley for showing us all up with that gift!!).  But at least one thing is the same – they are still making googly eyes at each other!

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From something bad comes something good.

On Sunday, July 1 there was a pretty major fire in the Morgantown Road area in Bowling Green. Luckily no one was hurt and the only home that was destroyed was vacant.  Considering it was 104 degrees outside and they were out there for several hours, I can only imagine how difficult a task the 100+ firefighters had that day. How many of us would volunteer for that job?  Right…I didn’t think so, so the next time you see a firefighter, tell them “thanks!” for their service.

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I swiped this picture from my friend Anna Clardy’s Facebook wall. Not sure who to give photo credit to, so if anyone knows who took the original, let me know and I’ll update it!

While onlookers weren’t able to help fight the fire, they were able to help in another important way by donating bottles of water and bags of ice to keep the crews hydrated while they worked. These donations came from the Wal-Mart store and from many shoppers as well. Apparently they brought these items by the cartload. I just think this is an awesome gesture, and it shows a great deal of respect for the emergency responders.  I know it was much appreciated and it probably made the day a lot more bearable for those folks.

It’s heartwarming to hear of things like this happening, and it makes me proud of our emergency responders and the people of BG. What a great place to be!

Survival of the fittest

Campus will be buzzing Monday as another new semester begins at WKU. Based on the chatter I’m seeing on Facebook and Twitter, some students are ready to come back and some are perfectly content to enjoy the extended break.

The transition to college life is tough. It’s one of those major and memorable events that changes a person forever. It’s a time of life that is fun, scary, exciting and sometimes even a little sad (I remember the day I got my acceptance letter, because my mom locked herself in the bathroom and cried). These transitioning students are young adults, but at the same time, they are also big kids. The transition to adulthood isn’t yet complete.

Unfortunately many kids come to college who are unprepared for both the sudden new-found freedom and the rigors of college coursework. Even though I don’t typically work directly with students, I still see it all the time. They get downright giddy when they realize no one is hovering over them or telling them when to come home. They can hang out with whomever they want, whenever they want…and they do. They can choose not to go to class, and while it might affect their grade, no one is going to call their parents to see why they are absent. They are not only allowed to think for themselves, but they are encouraged to do so.

The popular kids and the smart kids who were once the top dogs in their high schools are suddenly small fish in a big pond, and not being in the spotlight can be a big adjustment. Students are suddenly surrounded by an increasingly diverse group of classmates after possibly having spent the previous 13 years surrounded by basically the same group of kids. Hopefully they’ll figure out quickly that just because everyone doesn’t look or sound or think like them, that that makes them even more interesting!

<Soapbox Alert!>

As parents we have to begin prepping our kids to survive this major life change early on. We can’t wait until their senior year of high school to decide that they need to know how to make good decisions. And they need to know how to solve problems without having to rely on mom and dad for things they could easily handle on their own.

Frequently I see students who have an issue with a class or financial aid or housing or any number of other things. Typically they know WHO they should talk to, but they often don’t know HOW to approach the situation diplomatically. In many cases momma has always taken care of everything for them – they’ve never had to work something out on their own, and therefore they don’t know what to do. College students are young adults – they are old enough to try to find solutions to their problems (without having to get momma involved), but they need to be allowed to practice problem solving before they leave home. It’s all part of spreading their wings and becoming independent and self-sufficient adults.

My hope is that my boys have enough confidence and discipline to be successful when they get to college. I want them to be able to make good decisions and to solve inevitable problems that will arise. Of course I’ll help them when they need it – I’m not going to just throw them into the world and wish them good luck. But at the same time, I’m not always going to taking care of my baby birds. I want them to be prepared to survive and thrive when they leave the nest!

There’s no place like home, but…

I might regret admitting this to the world, and I’ll probably get blasted for saying it, but here goes…I don’t think I could be a stay at home mom. Not because I don’t love my home. Not because I don’t love my kids. Neither of those could be further from the truth. The past two weeks I have been at home much more than usual, and while I’ve loved spending extra time with my youngest son, I have discovered what I long suspected: I’m a lazy sloth. Seriously, if I stayed home every day I would probably sleep until 10 am, stay in my pajamas all day and go up a few dress sizes, because I’d eat everything in sight.

I admire parents who stay at home and make it work, and sometimes I downright envy them. For some people it is the perfect life, and for some it’s not. I know myself well enough to know that it’s not for me. The lure of HGTV and Food Network (which always results in a trip to the kitchen), not to mention my comfy sofa are just too strong. Instead of coming home to a clean house and home cooked meal, Craig would most likely come home to a disheveled wife, piles of laundry and a DiGiorno in the oven. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I know what his expectations would be, and I know that I wouldn’t meet them. Not a good combination.

I’m a more productive person when I’ve got a set schedule and places that I have to be at certain times every single day. I guess I’m a lot like a kid…I thrive on structure. So even though there’s no place like home, and I know it sounds counterproductive, I’ve realized that I get a lot more done around home when I’m not here all the time. I’ve been telling Alex ever since baseball season ended that he has way too much free time on his hands and he doesn’t use his time wisely when that happens. I guess now I have to be big enough to admit that I know where he gets it!