My Causerie

"All great change in America begins at the dinner table." ~ Ronald Reagan

Retirement: Same Book, Different Chapter! July 19, 2017

Filed under: My Causerie — mycauserie @ 11:59 am

Photo Credit: aronbaker2 Flickr via Compfight cc

What’s a six-letter word that means to withdraw from action; to withdraw from one’s position or occupation? Well, the latter is true, but I certainly won’t be withdrawing from action!

Since my daughter has finally made it Facebook official, I can also make my

Jonah, Jace, Josie and Baby J!

announcement official: I’m retiring from SIUE to accept a new position: full-time Grandma to my four grandchildren! You read that right…four grandchildren! Baby J is due to arrive Dec. 8. So as I said, I am certainly not withdrawing from action. On the contrary, I will be quite busy!

As much as I look forward to spending more time with these four adorable redheads (I’m guessing No. 4 will have red hair too), I will miss the interaction with you, my students, aka my other 2,000+ kids!

Many of you probably heard me say, “I was a mom long before I was ever a teacher!” That was always evident in my teaching philosophy. As a parent, two minutes past curfew suffered the same consequences for my daughters as 30 minutes past curfew. As one of my students, you knew that two minutes past an assignment deadline suffered the same consequences as 30 minutes past that deadline.

I always believed there were lessons to be learned that did not come from a textbook, but they were just as important. I never felt like I was doing you any favors by not teaching those lessons. They weren’t always easy for me to enforce or easy for you to accept, but I was confident that if you did in fact learn them, it would make you more successful in your careers.

But neither parenting nor teaching is just about lessons learned or rule enforcement. My teaching philosophy in and out of the classroom was to nurture your desire to grow as young professionals by modeling the value of commitment, high ethical standards, compassion toward others and a personal desire to always go “above and beyond” in all you were tasked to do. I made an effort to communicate that message at the beginning of every class. The work expected of you was no more than I expected of myself. If you were willing to put in the effort, you knew I would be right there in the trenches with you…and in the trenches we were…especially in those writing classes!

While in those trenches, I had the opportunity to have some powerful conversations with some of you. I laughed with you, cried with you…oh yes, and argued with you! It’s the life of a parent–whether it is with two or 2,000! I likened my role in and outside the classroom as that of the “parent” at the dinner table. I was not there to do all the talking. On the contrary, I was there to facilitate discussion from all members of the “family.”

And family is what many of you have become to me. I am thankful for Facebook as it will allow me to stay connected with you. I can continue to celebrate your successes and offer encouragement if you are facing adversity. So please know, my support does not end with my retirement. Once a parent, always a parent; once a teacher, always a teacher. I just view this as the ultimate “empty nest!”

I’ve enjoyed the past 15 years at SIUE as both a student and faculty member in the Applied Communication Studies Department. The friendships I have formed with colleagues and students have had a tremendous impact on my life, and I hope they will continue to be a part of my life going forward.

Now, as always…pull up a chair and let’s talk!


Only 2 days left in ABAM! June 29, 2017

Filed under: My Causerie — mycauserie @ 7:00 am

This past month I’ve been busy with purple activities in support of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month and The Longest Day. We wore our purple shirts. We passed out END Alzheimer’s stickers, and we sold some yummy pies at our Pies for Pops bake sale on Father’s Day.

As many of you know, I have a personal reason for joining the fight against Alzheimer’s disease: my dad. He lost the fight against Alzheimer’s in 2013, but with more than 5 million Americans living with the disease, many of you probably know someone fighting the fight right now.

What you may not know is that researchers believe the first survivor of Alzheimer’s is out there…somewhere. That person might be 2 or 62, but with every research dollar raised, the cure gets closer. With every research dollar raised, the vision of  living in a world without Alzheimer’s gets closer.

We can’t get there without you. Please consider making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association before the end of June in support of The Longest Day. You may make your donation in honor of someone you know currently living with the disease or maybe you want to honor a caregiver who cares for your loved one living with Alzheimer’s. Because for those living with the disease and for their caregivers, each and every day can seem like the longest day.

Every dollar donated lets them know that we are fighting the fight alongside them. They are worth fighting for. Our memories are worth fighting for. Our hope to END Alzheimer’s is worth fighting for.

We only have two days left in our Go Purple month, and we need a big push to reach our goal. Please share this urgent message with your friends, family and places of business. The generosity of family, friends and corporations across the country will help us reach our goal before the end of June. Will you help us get there?

Please donate today in support of the Alzheimer’s Association: The brains behind saving yours.


PRSSA-SIUE hosts fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Association November 16, 2016

Filed under: My Causerie — mycauserie @ 7:00 am

The SIUE Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America is hosting a night of unlimited bowling and laser tag at Edison’s Entertainment Complex in Edwardsville, Illinois. Pre-purchased tickets are $10 each with $5 of every ticket sale being donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

As we enter into the holiday season, many of us can reflect back on wonderful memories spent with family and friends. These memories are priceless, but even though we all have probably uttered the words, “I will never forget this day” or “I will never forget you,” the truth is, we might. Until a cure is found, Alzheimer’s can steal our memories, our loved ones and our lives away from us.

Memories matter. So let’s make Monday, Dec. 5 a “Memories Matter Monday!” If you would like to purchase tickets to help us in our fight against Alzheimer’s, please contact me. Deadline to purchase tickets is Dec. 4.




Do a little BIG thing September 24, 2016

Filed under: My Causerie — mycauserie @ 3:00 am

donateWe are counting down with only six hours to go before the Walk to END Alzheimer’s. I sincerely need all my Facebook friends and family to take 66 seconds and click this link to make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association. If 525 people would click and donate…66 cents or $6.66 or $66, we could make a big difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Take a few minutes to think of a special occasion in your life: winning a championship game, graduating from college, marrying the love of your life, welcoming a new baby into the world or maybe just going for ice cream with your grandchildren. We all have memories we want to hold onto forever, and even though we have all probably uttered the words, “I will never forget this day,” the reality is we may all forget.

Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. But memories are worth fighting for, and if we all give a little, we will someday find a way to slow, cure and prevent Alzheimer’s disease from stealing our memories…stealing our lives.

So like, react, comment and share, but please don’t forget to donate. If we all give a little, we can make a big difference in this fight. Donate today to the Alzheimer’s Association.



66 hours to go: Make your 66 donation now September 21, 2016

Filed under: My Causerie — mycauserie @ 2:00 pm

We are 66 hours away from the 2016 Walk to END Alzheimer’s; have you taken 66 seconds to click this link and make your donation? If you have, thank you. You are helping to stop the clock on Alzheimer’s disease. If you haven’t, I want to encourage you to do it right now.

Many of us give our time and resources to many worthy causes, but the reality is Alzheimer’s disease takes our time and resources…without asking!



In 2015, 15.9 million family and friends provided 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. That care had an estimated economic value of $221.3 billion.

Unless something is done, in 2050, Alzheimer’s is projected to cost more than $1 trillion (in 2016 dollars). Costs to Medicare will increase 360 percent. This dramatic rise includes a nearly five-fold increase in government spending under Medicare and Medicaid and a nearly five-fold increase in out-of pocket spending.

But something can be done, if we all work together. We can stop Alzheimer’s disease from stealing our time, our resources, our memories…and our loved ones.

Take the next 66 seconds to click this link and make your donation…66 cents, $66, $6,600 or any amount in between. If we all join the fight, we can stop the clock on Alzheimer’s disease.



Wanted: First survivor of Alzheimer’s disease September 17, 2016

Filed under: My Causerie — mycauserie @ 7:00 am

The first survivor of Alzheimer’s is out there, but we won’t get there without you. Click this link to make your donation today.


What can you do in 60 seconds? September 14, 2016

Filed under: My Causerie — mycauserie @ 7:00 am

I still remember my 4th grade teacher, Gloria Troute, reciting this encouraging little mantra: 60 seconds makes one minute, what can I do in it? 60 minutes makes one hour, now I’ll work with all my power!

You may not think you can accomplish much in 60 seconds, but in reality, you could do a lot. In 60 seconds, you could click this link and make a tax-deductible donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.

In 2012, every 68 seconds someone in the United States developed Alzheimer’s disease; in 2014, it was every 67 66seconds. Now in 2016, every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. But your donation could stop the clock on this devastating disease.

I am asking everyone I know to please make a donation. It can be 66 cents, $6.66, $66 or $6,600! Honestly, I will appreciate every single 66-cent donation, so PLEASE consider making a donation! You may not think it will make much of a  difference, but those 66-cent donations could be a game changer in the heartbreaking numbers game that Alzheimer’s disease is playing in our country. Consider the following staggering statistics:

The statistics are frightening, but when you or someone you love become one of the numbers, the fear becomes much more real. I remember, so I fight. I remember, so I walk. I remember, which is why I am asking you to join me.cover-photo

60 seconds makes one minute, what can you do in it? You can click this link and make a small, but significant donation to the Alzheimer’s Association. Together, we can stop the clock on Alzheimer’s…now that’s working with all our power.

Join the fight; pull up a chair and let’s talk.


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