"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Early to Rise

I was up very, very early (saw the sunrise) to attend a Legislative Breakfast for my county delegation at NHTI. In addition to a lovely meal--several quiches, delivered whole to the tables, fruit, bread--there was a terrific program. The President and the Chancellor thanked us for funding a budget favourable to the Community Colleges and provided updates on developments and the new Health Sciences building project. Then two academic programs and a certification program were highlighted by instructors and students.

The first was Animation and Graphic Game Programming. After the instructor gave an overview of the computer games market (it's a $13 billion dollar industry) and career opportunities (game companies in Massachusetts are intensively hiring), a student presented her game project via a Power-Point. Hers was based upon trigonomety and the Pythagoreum theorem--incredible work! It looked ready for market to me, not that I know much about computer games.

We then heard about the teacher certification program for persons who have completed advanced degrees and perhaps entered other careers but always dreamed of someday teaching. They come to teaching as a second career, and due to the needs in math, sciences, and special ed., this program is booming.

The last program presented was Art, a relatively new one. It's estimated that about 400 NHTI students have taken an art class, either as an elective or as part of their degree program.

I'm fairly familiar with NHTI but my knowledge is only general. What a wonderful opportunity for my own continuing ed. about this highly respected and vital institution! I didn't even mind that it was only 6 degrees when I left the Lodge.

On my return home I felt like I was swimming upstream--I passed westbound legislators on their way to committee hearings or whatever in Concord. I'm glad to have a free schedule after Tuesday's committee work and yesterday's lengthy Session Day (10 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.)

Returning to yesterday.... The high-profile bills at the start of session took up a lot of time, so ultimately we didn't get as far down the calendar of bills as we should've done. Good (in my humble opinion)legislation was passed but as the afternoon wore on things got bogged down procedurally. And people got cranky. Even unruly--at one point the Sergeant-at-Arms was positioned next to a certain volatile legislator's seat. The unhappy result was that worthy (imho) environmental/agricultural legislation ended up being tabled. That shouldn't have happened. I was terribly frustrated that the extensive committee and subcommittee work, not to mention the informative discussion on the floor, couldn't reach its natural and desirable (imho) conclusion.

In addition to briefly blogging in my lunch break, I was dealing with various staff round the State House--in Technical Services and in Legislative Services/Legislative Ethics. I'm inevitably impressed with the friendliness, helpfulness, and savvy of the staff. We legislators come and go, but those who support our work deserve a great deal of credit for their dedication.

Following the session there was a reception at the Capitol Grille. I didn't stay as long as last time. I was knackered.

Last night we watched American Idol on the telly. Can't say I'm enjoying it one bit, but I was reading Publishers Weekly and New Yorker and email, so the suckiness passed by me in a blur.

After two days of official duties, this is my day for completing the website transfer to its new server. And catching up on my mandolin practice--sadly neglected these 48-hours. The dogs would probably enjoy some play-time, too. (At the moment napping on the sofa--them, not me--takes priority.)

Here's our little lake as it looked when I got home.

The branches of the shrubs are nicely frosted. I chose not to get out of the car for close-up shots, because it was 12 degrees. Plus I was wearing Good Shoes--not the best for tramping around in snow!

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