July 22, 2015
To anyone who knows me, it’s no secret that I miss my kid on a daily basis. She’s all grown up, a college graduate and living the dream in New York City – or at least working her way toward the dream. No one said a career in musical theatre would be easy. There are days I can’t quite believe this smart, talented, confident, adventurous, amazing young woman is the sweet curly-haired little girl who used to call herself “Heeyah.”
So yeah, I miss her. All. The. Time. In addition to being my kid, she’s just a really cool person. I was thrilled – like dancing-around-the-house thrilled – when we figured out a way for her and her boyfriend (who’s visiting from the United Kingdom) to hop on a plane and spend a few days with us at home. I know she has plenty of trying days surviving in the Big Apple. It’s hot. It’s crowded. She doesn’t have air conditioning and everything is expensive. The subway can be a challenge (though I think it’s giving her great material should she ever want to do comedy) and the audition circuit is brutal. Oh yeah, and her boyfriend lives on another continent.
Once I knew her boyfriend was coming to visit her, I figured that’s all it would take to make her really happy. Imagine my surprise when she was as excited as I was once we arranged a visit for a few days back home. Suddenly her texts and emails all started coming in uppercase: “THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!” and “OMG! I’M SO EXCITED.” Who knew? She misses home as much as home misses her.
That’s her in the picture above five minutes after she walked in the house. She posted it to her Facebook page with more capital letters (maybe her caps lock is stuck?): THERE IS GREEN. AND SPACE. AND NO ONE TRYING TO SELL ME TICKETS TO THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING. #puremichigan #imhome #totowerenotinNYCanymore
There really is just something about being home. Her career and future may be in NYC or London or Glasgow or somewhere else, but home will always be home.
Robert Ray’s home is just down the street from Michigan State in Lansing. He’s a first-year student in the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine who grew up thinking his college home would be down the road in Ann Arbor. Until, that is, MSU stepped in and offered him the opportunity to participate in OsteoCHAMPS, a program designed to broaden the health care interests of high school students. Read his STUDENT VIEW: Redirecting My Life, to learn how one MSU program turned him from a potential Wolverine into a Spartan.
Shannon Schmoll, the director of MSU’s Abrams Planetarium, was one of nine lucky astronomy educators chosen to leave home for a bit and visit Chile through the National Science Foundation-funded Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador Program. The program allowed her to expand her view of the world by visiting four major observatories in Chile. Read her FACULTY VOICE: Keep Looking Up, to learn more about her experience.
Another group of MSU researchers recently traveled far away from home to Ireland. While there, they teamed up with colleagues to explore how new technologies can be used by individuals with autism to navigate virtual social situations. The technology can help them develop life skills that can lead to secure employment and independent living. Check out the short video MSUTODAY FEATURE: New Realities for Autism, to learn more about it.
Back home on campus, Connie Sung, an MSU assistant professor who co-authored two studies on autism, is researching the need for job services for young people with autism. She says, “More focus should be put on the transition population with autism spectrum disorder, in addition to children and the adult population. There’s a huge need for both vocational services and better coordination between the high schools and the vocational rehabilitation system to bridge the gaps.”
Read the MSUToday article, “Job services lacking for young people with autism,” to learn more about her studies.
My daughter is only home for a few days, but we’ll try to cram as much fun into while she’s here. I think she needed this break, this chance to breathe and an opportunity to relax in the comfort of home.
There are more than a half a million Spartans at home all over the globe. They might be looking at stars, addressing major challenges or even learning how to save lives. And while they might call someplace other than East Lansing home, I bet most consider this campus a second home. Spartans are spread far and wide solving the world’s most challenging problems, but they’re always welcome to come back home.
Photo by Kieran Morris