What a blur this week has been. I’m starting a “week recap” posting that will take place every Friday. So to christen things, here is a recap of this week’s events:
Monday: To celebrate the October birthdays, we painted pumpkins. Some in the office get REALLY into this event. As stated in my posting Monday afternoon, I am not one of those people. Nevertheless, it was fun activity we could all do together that could take our mind off work for a while.
Tuesday: This day consisted of a flu shot in the morning and then an outing with a colleague to visit AAA in Oklahoma City. We left a little early so we could take an excursion to the outlet shops to purchase a lab coat for one of our Halloween costumes. After that, we made our way toward AAA but stopped at BJ’s for lunch first. So we would have enough energy and not fall asleep, we made a Starbucks run before finally arriving at our meeting. The two representatives were nice enough to give us a tour and then we moved to a conference room to watch some videos and visit about recruiting strategies. As a treat for us, they had brought cupcakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes. Oh my gosh, yummy. Mine was red velvet and was delish!! We really enjoyed not only being able to escape the office for a bit but also get to know the company better and learn of opportunities for our students.
Wednesday: This was a fairly normal day. I had a student appointment in the morning and then taught a Gateway class in afternoon. It’s always nice to get in front of freshmen and get their take on college life. Oh, to be that young again….
Thursday: Ahh, staff meeting days….our office tends to sign every time Thursday rolls around. We never know how long our meetings will last. As usual, this one got off on random tangents and what should take 5 minutes to discuss ends up going way past that time allotment. Thursday evening, I could be found at one of my favorite places on campus: Lloyd Noble Center. Anyone who knows me well knows that basketball is my sport. The women’s basketball team was holding a scrimmage and was free to the public. I sat next to a fellow softball fan so we chatted while cheering on the team. Coach Coale was gracious enough to recognize certain individuals and acknowledge her appreciation of the crowd and fans.
Friday: That would be today…Halloween. So this is the second year that our office has dressed up for Halloween. I’m really not into this sort of thing but thanks to my co-worker/friend Erin, we came up with a crafty idea. Seeing as how we are the Assistant Directors for Arts & Sciences students, we chose to dress up as just that-part Sciences, part Arts. I borrowed a clapboard from a Film & Media professor, brought reading glasses, a credential badge and an old bound textbook to act as my script. Erin dressed up as a mad scientist and looked awesome.
Pseudo Movie Director in Norman
Those who know me well know that basketball is my first love. The roar of the crowd after a fast break or 3-point basket just gives me goosebumps. One of the ways I got to know about the University of Oklahoma was through Coach Sherri Coale when she took the women’s basketball program to their first Final Four in 2002. I have tremendous respect for her. Granted, I love her style of coaching but I also love that she knows how to write in a way that makes you feel like you are right there with her, living in the moment and sharing in the experience. Fortunately for us, Coale’s teaching roots will always be a part of her. Enjoy her latest posting…
Amongst the cheers and yelling last night at Lloyd Noble Center during the game against Stephen F. Austin, the chant of “Let’s go Sooners” followed by clap-clap…clap-clap-clap caught my attention. I began to follow the sounds as they weren’t coming from the cheerleaders or spirit squad. I smiled when I spotted a fan in a Crimson and White polo shirt, standing up, carrying on the chant with his wife by his side. “Good for him” I thought to myself. What true spirit.” Occasionally when he would start again, other people in the crowd would join with him. If his independent cheering bothered anyone, it didn’t faze him. Like myself, he clearly has a passion for the game and our Sooners.
As I have stated before, I enjoy football but I love basketball. It is the sport I played what feels like a zillion years ago. That orange ball with the black stripes (don’t read too much into that, Sooner fans), was what I lived to reach for as soon as my homework was done. I would stay outside until I could not see the goal anymore.
I love (and hate) that the outcome of a game can come down to one point, one free throw such as it did for our guys last night. They fought their way back from a deficit and the game was on the line. Two free throws would tie the game. The first one went in, our shooter pumped his fist. Now time for the second and tying basket….no pressure. The ball bounced off the rim and into the hands of a Stephen F. Austin player. He drove down the lane to waste more of the clock. The game was over.
As I headed to the car, disappointed for the team I thought about the fan I saw tonight. Those are the fans that have our players’s backs…..they don’t give up because we are down by 10, 15 points. They stay until the end and are the ones whose attitude is “we’ll get them next time.”
So to the fan in the red and white polo, you yell all you want…we need more fans like you.
Fellow Basketball Fan in Norman
The game of basketball is like the game of life. Sometimes the choices we make are not the right ones or they simply weren’t thought out as carefully as needed. In life, we call those mistakes, maybe even regrets. In basketball, these are referred to as the dreaded t-word: turnovers. Turnovers make coaches cringe. They signify careless actions, players not being smart. They are mistakes you can’t take back. Actions you wish you could’ve done differently. They are your lost opportunities and gains for the opponent. How one handles those “turnovers” in their daily life is what says the most about a person. Coach Sherri Coale frequently references that when her team takes care of the basketball, they win games. Seems simple but it works. When you take care of the “little things” in life, you make smarter decisions and are more successful.
I just got home from watching the OU women take on UCLA. The Sooners lost by only a couple of baskets. Too many careless possessions caused the game to be out of their reach. Each time I shook my head tonight when there was another turnover, I thought about the decisions I have made this week. How many turnovers have I made? What would or should I have done differently? If only I had been more careful when the basketball was in my hands….
The fortunate thing for me and the OU women is that tomorrow is another day. There are plenty of games left to play. Plenty of time left to make smarter decisions.
What will you do with your tomorrow?
Thinking Carefully in Norman
Facebook can be a blessing and a curse. Most days I glance at it but don’t post very much personally, just occasionally on behalf of the OU Softball Diamond Club. This past Wednesday, however, I was grateful for a posting by a friend and colleague, Debbie Copp. She posted a tribute to someone who meant a lot to the University of Oklahoma, David Maloney. I was so sad to hear of Mr. Maloney’s passing. As Debbie and I both shared via e-mail, he and his wife are such classy people and make an immediate impression on anyone they meet. I have just returned from attending his prayer service. Many of the memories people shared about him were of no surprise to me and only reiterated what I already knew. One particular story shared was by his brother, Tom. He spoke of how Dave taught him to “stand up every time a woman walks into a room.” He didn’t think much of it at the time (he was only 10 years old) but said that to this day, approximately 57 years later, he still stands up when a woman enters the room.
I first met Dave Maloney when I was taking graduate courses at OU. He taught my Sports Marketing course and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing of how he was successful at getting people to donate money to the university. Simply put, he would have a conversation with them, get to know the potential donors and basically invite them to take part in a project with OU. Though I only had him for one course, his methods have stuck with me and think of him every time I meet with a student who wants to go into sales or development.
The past few years, I had the pleasure of seeing Dave and his wife Roberta at almost every home football game. I couldn’t help but smile when I would see them walking, hand-in-hand, into the Santee Lounge. He’d greet me with that sweet, genuine smile and put his arm around me for a hug. When he asked how I was doing, I knew he was sincere. Being an avid basketball fan as well, once football was over, I could count on seeing the Maloneys walk to their seats to attend basketball games at Lloyd Noble Center.
I consider myself blessed for knowing David Maloney. My home football and basketball games will not be the same without him but I know he’s with us in spirit. I was once again reminded this week of how precious life is and how we need to appreciate every day we have.