Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A show of patriotism

This is the 30th year for the Signature Symphony to present "4th on the 3rd."
July 4 is literally my favorite holiday. It combines my favorite season, summer, with swimming, eating watermelon, drinking lemonade and visiting family and friends. But these activities don't necessarily make me feel patriotic. With a nephew in the Air Force, I wish there were something more I could do to let him know how much I appreciate his sacrifices.

Jeff Smith, a violist with the Signature Symphony at TCC, will show his appreciation to his dad, who is a highly decorated World War II veteran, through a musical tribute. Jeff will play for his dad Sunday, July 3 at the VanTrease PACE in the Signature Symphony's 30th annual "4th on the 3rd" concert.

Jeff wrote the piece, "Thunderbird," specifically for his dad who piloted 96 missions in World War II and The Korean War.

I can't imagine how rewarding it must be for Jeff to have this opportunity. Likewise, I can't begin to know how Jeff's dad will feel hearing his son play in his honor.

This piece, along with music that recognizes the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, is sure to stir patriotic feelings. So if you are looking for a way to say "thank you," treat a veteran or a service man or woman to this moving concert.

4th on the 3rd; 7:30 p.m. Sunday; VanTrease PACE on TCC Southeast Campus

Monday, June 27, 2011

Students build, race solar cars at engineering camp

Danielle Hale won the solar car race this morning.
"Engineering camp" may sound more serious than fun, but the seventh and eighth graders I saw building and racing their own solar cars this morning were anything but solemn. They had until 11:30 a.m. to construct their cars that are powered only from the sun, and then their instructor Tommy Henderson, TCC professor, led them outside for the race.

They excitedly took their places in hopes that their cars would go fast (and straight). After several heats, Danielle Hale's car was declared the winner.

This week-long day camp is presented by the Tulsa Alliance for Engineering, a group of six higher education institutions dedicated to educating more engineers in Tulsa. They are: TCC, Tulsa Tech, TU, OSU-Tulsa, OU-Tulsa and ORU.

Other fun learning activities will be happening all week, including trips to American Airlines, Williams, Tulsa Air and Space Museum and the Alliance institutions.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sticktoitiveness--These kids have it

I visited the TulsaFest kiddos this morning at the TCC Southeast Campus, and it made me miss taking music lessons as a kid. I took piano for a couple of years in elementary school, but I lacked discipline. Not these kids. From elementary school to high school, it was clear from their skills that they are committed. I wish I would have stuck with it. Isn't that what we always say when we get older?

These young musicians were amazing. I wanted to spend the whole day there in hopes that some of their talent would rub off on me. Alas, no. If you want to be great at anything it takes lots of work. Reality rears its ugly head.

I gave conductor Barry Epperley a hug and asked if I could spend the rest of the day. He shook me to awaken me from my daydreaming. I actually made up that last part.

But seriously, don't you wish you could go back in time and stick with the music/dance/tennis/golf lessons?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Calling all thespians: TCC recruits talent for TV spot

Are you a non-traditional student at TCC? Or did you get your associate degree at TCC as a working adult? If so, you could be in the next TCC TV commercial!

TCC is shooting a commercial in July, and I am recruiting talent! The spot will be similar to this one: . If you are a TCC student or graduate who is 35 years old or older and would like to be in the commercial, leave a comment for me with your name and contact info. Or, send a message on the TCC Facebook Fan page with your info.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's 'pretty cool'

Pictured are, from left, Tulsa's American Red Cross CEO Regina Moon; and TCC staff Akiko Simmons, Mina Herren-Smith, Sybil Ogden and Dr. Peggy Dyer.

I've heard some amazing things this week about what TCC employees are doing to help others, not just within Tulsa, but across the state and globe. It makes me feel, in the words of SNL's spoof of Miley Cyrus, that it's "pretty cool."

Akiko Simmons was visiting her family in Japan when a the March 11 tsunami hit. Both Simmons and her family made it safely through the disaster that killed thousands. When she returned to her job at TCC's West Campus, she made it her mission to raise money for the Japan Relief Effort. She and a group of employees raised $1,301.31, and the money is now in the hands of Tulsa's American Red Cross. So, if you are at the TCC West Campus, find her and tell her "thank you!"

Another person who gets snaps this week is Rhonda Wilhite, who works in the Resource Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, received the President's Award at this past weekend's Oklahoma Association of the Deaf conference. She was the driving force in making sure the Miss Deaf Oklahoma pageant and Youth Leadership Day were not canceled this year. If you are at the TCC Northeast Campus, tell her "congrats!"

Friday, June 10, 2011

Experience something new @ Signature Symphony at TCC

If you are looking for a way to broaden your musical horizons, make plans now to attend one of the diverse concerts of the Signature Symphony at TCC. The Symphony performs at the TCC Southeast Campus in the Performing Arts Center for Education, or PACE. The season runs from fall through spring.

Here is a sneak peak at what's coming for 2011-2012:
1. Cirque de la Symphonie Sept. 23 & 24
2. Tchaikovsky Piano Winner Oct. 1
3. Donald & Barron Ryan Oct. 14 & 15
4. Signature Symphony and Chorale Nov. 5
5. Christmas with Sarah Coburn Dec. 9 & 10
6. Tchaikovsky Gold Medal Cellist Feb. 11, 2012
7. Signature Big Band Feb. 24 & 25, 2012
8. Bella Hristova March 10, 2012
9. Signature Symphony Reflections March 16 & 17, 2012
10. Gustav Holst - The Planets April 21, 2012

Monday, June 6, 2011

Incarcerated offenders get second chance via TCC

A TCC graduate and offender holds his daughter at the 2010 TCC commencement at Dick Conner Correctional Facilty.

Incarcerated offenders leave prison with little more than the clothes on their backs, but TCC is giving them opportunities to take something else with them as they walk beyond the prison grounds: a college education. The TCC Corrections Education Program sends college professors into Dick Conner Correctional Facility and Turley Correctional Center so that offenders can earn college credits that lead to certificates of achievement and/or associate degrees.

Since 2007, more than 200 incarcerated students have earned college credits thanks to the TCC Corrections Education Program. This makes TCC No. 1 in the state for offering college classes in prisons. But not every eligible offender can take TCC classes because they can't afford tuition and books. So, TCC has established the Second Chance Scholarship to bridge the gap between available funds and college costs.

To raise more money so that more eligible offenders can take college classes, TCC will host the Second Chance Scholarship Dinner July 27 at the TCC Center for Creativity. Marion Jones, ex-offender and Tulsa Shock player, will be the featured speaker.

Related article from "Tulsa World."

Stats from the Oklahoma Literacy Resource Office

Buy tickets to Second Chance Scholarship Dinner: 918-595-7836.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Who's ready for summer (school)?

To take a summer class or not take a summer class....that is the question. It's something many students struggle with. Do I want to spend time lounging by the pool reading Shakespeare or reading "Glamour"?

When I was working on my undergrad, I chose a mixture of both. I took summer classes some years, and then sat it out other years. It really depends on what you've got going this summer and if you are willing to devote the time and effort to successfully complete a college course.

If you have the time and are committed to taking a summer class, I say go for it. It may allow you to take a lighter load this fall, giving you more time to concentrate on other classes. It will also get you that much closer to the big goal----Graduation!!!!

And who says a little Shakespeare isn't a good poolside read? Certainly not me. :)