Tuesday, December 20, 2011

To gift or not to gift: That is the question

Every year, I struggle with whom to buy for and whom not to buy for. For years, my husband and I didn't buy gifts for each other because we bought for our parents, nieces and nephews. Even though we now have a child of our own, we have continued to buy for everyone but ourselves for years. I say, "No more."

When I was a child, I barely got presents from my grandparents, much less aunts or uncles. My grandparents had so many grandchildren that we usually got something from a garage sale or a pair of socks. Why, then, is our generation expected to give extravagant gifts to nieces and nephews? I can see wanting to buy stuff for them when they are young and you don't have children yourself, but when they get around 10 and you have children of our own, I think we should be done. I'm done.

And, like most of you, I am going to college. Need I say more on that subject?

In lieu of buying for nieces and nephews, of which I have 12, I am spending my hard-earned cash on my parents, my precious daughter and husband. These are the people I should be spending my money on, right?

For this holiday season, I say give to the ones closest to you. If you don't have an extra $600 or so lying around to spend on a dozen nieces and nephews, be comfortable with your decision. So when your sister-in-law asks "Was this present for little Jimmy from you?", you won't feel guilty in replying, "No, we just bought for our immediate family this year." If they are rational, they will understand.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dr. Spencer talks biotechnology with Tulsa World

Have you heard of biotechnology? It sounds complicated, and it is, but TCC Professor Dr. Diana Spencer puts it into layman's terms in a recent article published in the Tulsa World. If you have had a class with Dr. Spencer, you know how completely dedicated she is to her students and her area of expertise. Not only is she brilliant, she's also a genuinely nice person. Snaps for Dr. Spencer!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Free holiday game guarantees fun not faux pas

In my family, there have definitely been some homemade holiday games that we would like to forget. At least, I would like to forget. In hindsight, I shouldn't have asked the couples in my family that personal question when we played a mock "Newlywed Game." It sounded funny when I was writing the question which was based on old episodes I found on YouTube, but when the question came out of my mouth all I wanted to do was hide. I did not need to know that about my parents. Ugh!

Well, my mother-in-law found a non-embarrassing, free "game" to play during the holidays that really isn't a game at all. It's all about getting to know your family better, but not in an over-share kind of way. It's called "50 Thanksgiving Story Starters," but you could use this for any holiday. It asks things like who were you named after, what was your first pet, how do you remember your grandparents, etc. You don't have to do all 50--you can pick and choose which ones to ask.

But if this holiday game seems lame to you, at least promise me that you'll run any and all made-up games by a friend of the opposite gender before presenting them to your family. It could save you from an embarrassing faux pas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Inside Out visits Chelsea at Volunteer Central

Chelsea makes goodie bags for volunteers across Tulsa as part of her volunteer hours for Tulsa Achieves.

Tulsa Achieves is going on its sixth year, and this week I had the opportunity to meet one of our TA students who is putting in her volunteer hours at Volunteer Tulsa. Chelsea took some time away from filing and answering phones to pose in some photos that will be used in an effort to promote the wonderful things TA students are doing throughout Tulsa.

If you are a TA student and would like to be a "volunteer model," let me know. I will make arrangements to meet you at your volunteer organization and take your picture while you are helping others. Let's show Tulsa the value of our great TA students!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Secure your spring enrollment: Don't get dropped!

When you enroll for the spring semester, if you haven't already, don't ignore the red, italicized message that pops up. You have to hit "I agree" just like when installing a software program or adding an app on your phone. But unlike that info, this information is VITAL in ensuring you aren't dropped from your classes.

TCC has a new enrollment process that requires you to either pay in full at the time you enroll, choose a payment plan or have approved financial aid. If you do not select one of these three options, then you will be dropped from all your classes by midnight that same day.

I have heard students say on the campuses that they were unaware of this requirement. I think it may be because they are clicking "I agree" without reading the information when they add classes. I can't blame them because if I were enrolling, I might do the same thing, thinking that the info wasn't important. But it IS actually important. I hope this helps!