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Jan. 20, 2016

The Path Isn't Always Clear

Jan. 20, 2016

Guatemalan beans, goals from a dean and a three-legged lion showed up in my inbox this week. Nope — this isn’t the start of some joke; it’s just my life. My job, like everyone’s, has its challenges. For me, one can be coming up with a way to tie some very dissimilar things together into something that makes sense. It’s a blessing and a curse, really.

I absolutely love that MSU is filled with so many diverse people, research projects, classes, students and opinions. But coming up with a way to talk about them all in a short note often gives me pause. I can’t decide if this week is harder, or the one that had me writing about math, jellybeans, medicine and a nun. No worries though, I do love a challenge. Doesn’t every Spartan?

It has been a bit of an interesting week all around — and it’s only Wednesday. I started the week embarrassing myself at the gym. I not only fell off the exercise ball and skinned my knee on the carpet; I also ran into one of campuses coolest celebrities while I was at my sweatiest, grossest self. A colleague told me the person would appreciate the hustle — except I was between reps so I couldn’t even pretend to be some kick butt workout queen. I was just the sweaty woman resting in an awkward leg position while he nodded and walked by like a rock star.

I also did my civic duty by reporting for jury duty this week. Nothing like a day at jury duty to convince you that truth honestly is stranger than fiction. Once I finally got to leave the room with the dance party strobe light flickering above my head, I was put on a jury, but eventually dismissed, for a truly bizarre criminal case. I would like to publicly thank my husband for being a lawyer since I’m guessing that might be why I wasn’t wanted.

Speaking of my husband, he has reminded me multiple times recently that I tend to drop my bag by the door when I get home and it’s a tripping hazard for him at night. Well, I guess I truly understand that now. I got up to let the dog out at 3 a.m. and took a header on the hardwood tripping over his shoes. I’m still trying to figure out if it’s karma, revenge or coincidence. Not that it really matters to my bruised knee (yes, the same one I skinned).

Speaking of knees, they’re part of the leg. And speaking of legs — well, an MSU student is in Africa searching for a three-legged lion named Butcherman, who was injured in a snare put out by poachers. Tutilo Mudumba is a graduate student in fisheries and wildlife and part of the RECaP Laboratory — a collection of ecologists devoted to conducting Research on the Ecology of Carnivores and their Prey at a global extent. He and others are currently in Uganda and posting field notes as they study. Read his STUDENT VIEW: A Homecoming, to learn more about his work. 

Mudumba, who is from Uganda, says the Spartan Nation is strong there through the work of the RECaP lab.

Across the world, MSU researcher and Guatemala native Luis Flores, is working hard to use the Spartan Nation to make a difference in young lives. He’s partnering to bring new farming practices, particularly for beans, to his homeland to help reverse the trend of staggering malnutrition. Watch the short video MSUTODAY FEATURE: Better Yields for Better Lives, to learn how he is making an impact.

Another Spartan who is making an impact is Prabu David. He is the dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences who just passed his one-year anniversary in the position. He’s really doing some great things for the college and has lots more up his sleeve. Read his FACULTY VOICE: A Time for Reflection, to learn about the five goals he’s set for the college this year.

When I sit down to write these notes, I honestly don’t always have a clear path set to the end. I meander a lot. Sometimes I start over. Sometimes I just barrel through effortlessly. Sometimes I struggle. The same could be said for life, right? Yet, no matter what crazy path a Spartan is on, he or she never gives up. Who will always find a way to make it work? Spartans Will.


Lisa Mulcrone
Editor, MSUToday
twitter bird@LMulcrone

Photo by Derrick L. Turner


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