||Centres coolest holiday memories
RELEASED: Dec. 9, 2004
DANVILLE, KYWe asked faculty and staff to share their coolest holiday memories. We opened it up to any and all nice holiday thingsgifts, surprise visitors, dreams come true. From an engagement ring to an immersion blender, from a surprise reunion with family to a decision to forego gifts in favor of charity, from artificial intelligence robots to the birth of a baby girl, we think you will enjoy the wide variety of answers.
Jennifer Sebert, Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer: Well, as cool as I thought the electric toothpick I gave my dad was, I must say the coolest Christmas present, not to mention my favorite and most exciting, would have to be the engagement ring I received from my boyfriendoops! make that my fiance!
Rhonee Rodgers, Director of Lab Resources and Safety: I received a very cute stocking stuffer for Christmas
my nephew, Brayden Vincent Clark (pictured), was born on Christmas Day at 3:09 p.m. He weighed 8 lbs. and 10 oz. Can you tell I am a very proud aunt?
John Roush, President: Our best gift arrived late yesterday, December 23rd. That's when our 15 month-old grandson, Sam, arrived from California with his parents - our son, Luke, and his wife, Brooke. With Mark, our younger son, already home from British Columbia, we feel blessed to have our family together for Christmas. Together we will celebrate the holidays and do some major traveling, but the best part of it all for Susie and me is having our gang together. That is cool!
Adam Johnson, Assistant Director of Annual Giving: This Christmas, I got one of the best presents I could possibly hope to get. Now, I'm not talking about family and loved ones around for the holidays, festive parties or carefully hung stockingsI'm talking about a nine-speed, whisper-quiet, easy-to-clean immersion blender. What more could anyone want?
Mindy Wilson, Internship and Outreach Coordinator:
1) After college, I traveled in Europe for three months, and then after that became an au pair (nanny) in Spain for eight months. I hadnt planned on visiting my family during that time because it was so expensive to fly to California (where my family lives). But eventually I was able to set it up with my grandparents to help me with a flight to surprise my parents for Christmas. My grandparents picked me up from the airport, had a great-uncle call my parents to set up a lunch, and then drove me to that lunch. When my dad saw me, he was so shocked, he asked, Whatre you doing here? My mom, who drove separately, yelled in the middle of Olive Garden, "My Baby!" (Keep in mind, I was 22 at the time!) I was able to spend an unexpected Christmas week with my family that year.
2) My grandmother, who passed away this year, loved jewelry and loved to travel. Every Christmas she would give the girls of the family a piece of jewelry from whichever trip she went on that year. I now have interesting jewelry from all over the world and a special memory of my grandmother whenever I wear something she brought home for me.
Christine Shannon, Margaret V. Haggin Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science: For the last four years, I have used Lego robots in my introductory programming class. We don't use the Lego software but write our own programs in a language called NQC to control the actions of small robots that the students build. This past year, I used the Lego robots in Artificial Intelligence. Students programmed in Java and then downloaded programs to robots that they had designed and built. One project required a robot that would clear an area of empty soda cans. For another project, students designed robots that could scan and identify digital letters and numbers. Imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I opened a present from my son (who had been quite a Lego maniac himself). It contained a t-shirt and mouse pad emblazoned with the motto: Warning: I Still Play with Legos!
David Hall, Assistant Professor of Religion: Sarah and I have stopped getting gifts for each other and for family and have started making donations to organizations and to the needy in the name of those we would otherwise get a gift. For each other, we usually adopt an Angel Tree Kid through Salvation Army. This year, we made donations to March of Dimes, CARES (Californian AIDS Research and Education, Sacramento), Habitat for Humanity, and KYCASA (Kentucky Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) in lieu of gifts for family. We request that our families do the same for us.
Bob Nesmith, Associate Director of Admission: The best Christmas gift I've ever gotten was five years ago, when my daughter Elisabeth was born the morning of December 23, 1999. There was a light but beautiful snowfall that night. Lisa and I brought her home on Christmas Eve, snow all around, and we spent a quiet Christmas morning together, adoring our new baby. Needless to say, I have not heard the story of Jesus' birth in the same way since. That familiar and wonderful story now resonates with my own memories of the ordinary magic of a midwinter birth.
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