Jan. 15, 2020
Last June, my sisters and I were at my dad’s house preparing for his funeral when my brother-in-law discovered a loose dog in the yard. Long story short, through a tag, phone number, a drive and Facebook sleuthing, we located the young owners who were on vacation. They had recently moved into the neighborhood and their dog sitter was frantic the pup had escaped. We were able to facilitate getting the sweet dog back where she belonged.
Fast forward to December. My dad’s neighbor called to let us know a package had been left on the porch (they’ve been so kind to watch over things while we sort everything out). My sister went over to pick it up. It was a Christmas card from the dog's family along with a box of homemade cookies. My sister gasped when she opened them — inside were all the kinds of cookies my dad used to make and distribute to family, neighbors, etc. He would bake more than 20 kinds of cookies and generously made up boxes to share. There is no way they could have known since they moved in after he fell ill, and they had never met.
Somehow, even though he’s gone, his spirit of kindness is living on in his community through these new neighbors and the same recipes he used. He would have loved that. His tradition is renewed by the next generation.
That’s the great thing about new generations, new years, new decades and new babies — they restore our hope and visions for tomorrow.
On Christmas Eve, a very special baby was born at Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo. An adorable, rare baby black rhino was delivered after a 15-monthlong pregnancy. A pregnancy that offered MSU veterinarians and medical veterinary students an incredible opportunity to assist in her care. Check out the MSUTODAY FEATURE: Special delivery, to learn more about this incredible birth and how Spartans were involved. You absolutely do not want to miss the video of this sweet little boy and his mama, Doppsee.
The calf was named Jaali, pronounced Jolly, by a public vote that raised money for conservation. Of all the choices, this one seems like it fits him very well.
For Kamryn Romano, a junior in the Honors College studying journalism and global and international studies, her original name didn’t fit her desire to be independent. Because too many other girls shared her name, she asked her parents if she could change it. Read her STUDENT VIEW: Changing for the better, to learn what happened and how that early motivation to change things up has made her who she is today.
I love that Kamryn has support and encouragement to chase her dreams. For some kids, the right kind of support is crucial to their success. Approximately 1 in 59 children in the U.S. is affected by autism spectrum disorder. Matt Brodhead, assistant professor of counseling, educational psychology and special education and the research director of the Early Learning Institute, is determined to give kids with ASD the support they need. Read his FACULTY VOICE: Preparing educators for the real world, to learn how Spartans are being trained to help “make the world a better place for individuals with ASD.”
As we start this new year, and this new decade, I’m trying to put the past in the past and look toward a better future. Reading recent graduate Lamont Davis’s commencement address that he gave last month gives me great hope and inspiration. As he said, “Your journey is specifically tailored to construct you for your tomorrow. No matter where life takes you, commit to your journey and embrace it.” Read his STUDENT VIEW: Enjoying the journey, to learn more about his optimistic vision for the future.
Another thing Lamont said was that “life is a series of beginnings, not just endings.” How very true that is. Every single day Spartans are beginning something incredible. We’re finding ways to embrace challenges with vigor and attack them with brilliant intellect and determination. Because of who we are, we are poised to change the future. Be an active part of what we can do together. Turn visions into reality and get it done. #SpartansWill.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner