Archive for the ‘Summers’ Category

Everything’s Coming Up Babies

May 18, 2008

Spring blooms in the upstate–trees sprout new leaves, flowers poke their heads out of the earth, and the bellies of women in/related to the RCID program pop with little ones soon to make their first appearances. We celebrated this abundance on Saturday, May 17, 2008, throwing a four-way baby shower at the Vitanza’s house because, really, friends don’t let friends have babies without parties. In attendance, in full pregnant glory, were

> Xiaoli Li (Alex Kudera) > Wu Dan (Wang Pu) > Nicole Hodgson (Justin)

> Michele Morton was our fourth honoree, though her (and Keith’s) bloom had already come to fruition; Lola arrived on 22 April 2008. Here’s a pic of Michelle with Alayna and the new arrival Lola. Many of us stood in adoration of the adorable new one (and I got to hold her!), a lovely addition to the Morton’s older daughters, Juliana and Alayna. There’s not much room for Keith in this situation. But he’s in there somewhere! He has his hands full in a later picture below.

The new RCID kids will have plenty of young playmates, in addition to Juliana and Alayna–also in attendance at the party were Meredith Hilst, and Garret and Jonas Abboud (and their parents); and our new RCID families bring a few more additions to the kid-parade. There also could be some built-in babysitters in Sarah and Andrew Walwema and Roman Vitanza–but that may be a bit presumptuous.

Here’s some of the relatively new kids:

While the kids frolicked, grown-ups–numerous other RCID students, faculty, and guests–shared stories, food, and drink. In addition to baby-related conversations (from diapers to epidurals), we recounted our end of semester achievements, contemplated summer respites and travels, posited conceptual refigurings of the world, and maintained our witty repartee and quick pop culture references.

The evening ended with the distribution of a wealth of diapers (the gift of choice–though I’ve learned they’ll only cover about a week of baby bottoms–yikes!), and well-wishes for all. As the academic year has come to a close, we look forward to the fall and the continued expansion of RCID with our newbies–in so many ways!

Oh, Here’s a post-carte:

ps: Pix courtesy of Alicyn Butler and Justin Hodgson. The post-carte is of Justin’s making.

~ Amanda Booher ~


It Was so MUSiCal

September 7, 2007

It was great to work on fellowship at the MUSC Writing Center in Summer 2007. The Medical University of South Carolina contains six colleges and offers programs in medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, and the allied health professions, as well as courses toward a Ph.D. degree in the basic sciences.  The Writing Center is part of the medical university’s Center for Academic Excellence.  Faculty in the CAE assist students with writing assignments, test taking skills, study skills, etc.  CAE staff also work with clinical and basic science faculty on manuscripts for publication and with some clinical departments on ways to improve learning outcomes, e.g., through greater student reliance on small group collaborations.  As a temporary instructor in the Writing Center, I had a chance to see, and to some extent, participate in many of those activities.  I especially enjoyed working with students on writing assignments and participating in faculty discussions about research, education and communication in the health professions.

It also was possible to do some preliminary research for a dissertation in medical rhetorics, visual communication, and information design.  I attended anatomy classes, radiology lectures, and radiology reading sessions as possible and talked with MUSC faculty about visualizations in clinical education.  I am interested in learning more about how students in the biomedical sciences learn to think spatially and multi-dimensionally about anatomical and cellular phenomena as a preparation for diagnostic thinking – and how digital media can support such teaching and learning.  I am grateful for the opportunity to work at the MUSC Writing Center in Summer 2007 and to reside in Charleston, a very special city, with its wonderful art galleries and museums, architecture, music, places to dine, bridges, coastline views, and above all, hospitality and friendship.

picture of John Dinolfo

~ John Dinolfo