My paper focuses on the factors (social, financial, academic, demographic) that influence participation in study abroad among students who formally express intent to study abroad. My graduate assistantship at the International Programs Office enables me to easily collect data. The office just implemented an on-line student management software and I got to create the survey students who wish to study abroad must complete. The survey is providing me with my data! Smart, huh?
On May 19, I had to defend my comps paper. I'd been to a few of these before so I felt that I knew what to expect. I have only ever been to defenses attended by one or two students in addition to the 3 committee members. How many people attended my defense? Seven! 7 people along with my 3 committee members. When I learned that quite a few people were planning to attend, I had to change the location because the room I originally selected would have been way too small. It was great to have the support, especially since the IPO laptop I was using for my PowerPoint presentation was temperamental and kept shutting off. I ended up not being able to do my PowerPoint, but luckily, I had plenty of handouts so people could follow the slides on paper. Not perfect, but it worked. After a 15 minute presentation and many, many questions and suggestions, I passed! Whew! What a relief.
I didn’t have much time to rest after the defense because we had to prepare for my 10 year
After a walk around campus and lunch, Roel and Kiefer headed back home. I stayed at MHC and because I am such a nerd, I attended the English and German Studies departmental open houses, since those were my majors. It was fun to see my professors again. In the middle of the German Studies open house, I got a call from my friend Bonnie who told me that our friend Cindy had rolled her foot and passed out while walking around campus. She had to go the hospital and it turns out that she broke her foot! She’s going to be out of commission for 6 weeks and she has a 16 month old. Not fun! I was sad not only that she broke her foot and couldn’t attend the dinner, but that I no longer had a drinking buddy. Bonnie and Laura are pregnant so Cindy and I were going to drink for them.
Everyone left on Sunday at around noon and Monday afternoon, Oma & Opa (Roel’s parents) arrived from the
Roel’s parents rented a house in
In March and April, Kiefer’s vocabulary was limited to words like, “car,” “house,” “egg,” “ice” for ice cream, “hi” and “Nijn-ah” for “Nijntje.” Over the past couple of weeks, his vocabulary has exploded. He repeats just about everything. He also loves anything having to do with transportation and says, “bulldoze” (without the r), “tractor,” “choo-choo,” “truck,” “bike” and “taxi.” His favorite books are therefore transportation related and he adores Richard Scarry’s “Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.” There is so much to see on every page, including the gold bug hiding on every page. Kiefer calls the gold bug “bee bug” and that’s what he calls the book.
In March, I went to
At the end of March, on a sunny Saturday Roel and I put started to put together our raised bed garden. We went to the Home Depot and got the lumber, posts and deck screws we needed and assembled three 4’ X 8’ boxes. Kiefer was outdoors with us and helped by handing us screws and once the boxes were assembled, he climbed in and out of them. While Kiefer was napping, we put down landscaping fabric where we were going to place them to keep the weeds down, pounded the posts into the ground and screwed the boxes to the posts. We were just finished with that when Kiefer woke up from his nap and he was able to help us fill them with Martin’s farm loam/compost mix. Kiefer was very patient because the boxes took quite a while to fill. A few days later, I planted some peas, carrots, lettuce, spinach a radishes… veggies that germinate best in cool weather.
We realized that 4 cubic yards of dirt goes a long way and so a couple of weeks later we built two 4’ x 4’ boxes and put a fence up around the boxes so hungry ground hogs and rabbits would stay out. We STILL had lots of dirt and in early May we built one more 4’ x 4’ box. It is a good thing we built more boxes because I got a little carried away buying tomato plants. I dream about garden-ripened tomatoes, so I ended up with 10 tomato plants, when I probably should have only bought 5. After hardening them off for a week, I planted them on May 16th along with two zucchini plants, 2 yellow summer squash, 2 cucumber and 3 bell peppers. It was a little on the early side, so we did have to cover them up once when there was a frost advisory, but they’ve done well and are quite happy in the ground. When we returned from