Skip to main content

Doctoral program year one...done!

I really don't get excited about the coming and going of school years. In fact, the end of a spring semester always makes me a bit sad. Teachers and students are working at their peak (or their limit), showing off all that they've learned and accomplished and then it just stops and suddenly it's summer. My transition into summer will be smooth, as I'm still working for my advisor and I'll be taking at least one class in July. But I suppose getting this far is an accomplishment in itself. I don't know how much longer it will take for me to finish my doctoral program, but I know I'm now one year closer.

Now that we first-year students have some breathing room, my friend Jackie and I headed out yesterday for a photography excursion. Our destination was Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater, located west of Denver near Morrison at the edge of the Rocky Mountain foothills. Red Rocks is, by almost all accounts, the best natural amphitheater in the country, if not one of the best in the world.
Being a Sunday morning, there were plenty of tourists around and a lot of people running the stairs for exercise. We spent some time taking pictures, doing some people watching, and checking out the welcome center/museum before finding a trail for a short hike. We opted for a short, 1.4 mile loop that starts and ends at the Trading Post below the theater. The weather was warm and the sun was nearing summer intensity, so we kept it pretty casual as we circled the loop.
There were a lot of families with small children out enjoying the trail. Typically when I consider getting out in Colorado, I usually feel like I have to decide between (a) the natural outdoors or (b) the built environment. Red Rocks is a nice balance of both, and even with the crowds it never felt crowded. It was just a nice day with a lot of nice people out to enjoy Mother's Day.

We left Red Rocks and headed uphill to Evergreen. Even though I've driven up I-70 countless times and up Highway 285 many times more, I'd never been to Evergreen. We stopped for lunch at the Lakeside Cafe and made a fortunate wrong turn out of the parking lot that led us to some nice creekside scenery and some pretty spectacular homes. One would best be described as a castle, and I'm pretty sure it's the first thing Jackie is going to buy when she digs the loose change out from between her couch cushions.

We backtracked and got back on the "Lariat Loop," headed towards I-70 and east towards Denver. We decided to checkout Lookout Mountain, final resting spot of William "Buffalo Bill" Cody. If you're there to see the grave, by all means, go see it first and then take in the other attractions like the museum and gift shop. Jackie and I went to the gift shop first. Jackie described it as "ghetto" and it did seem to be filled with about every piece of plastic crap that could be hawked as a souvenir.
In the wake of the gift shop experience, it's rather hard to decide what to think when you find yourself actually standing next to Buffalo Bill's grave. I'm not sure it's what Bill had in mind when he asked to be buried up there, but it is what it is. Next to the gift shop is a museum. Jackie and I decided to check it out. To celebrate Mother's Day they were letting mothers in for free. I paid my $5, but Jackie LIED and told them she was a mother so she wouldn't have to pay. I feel pretty guilty even now for being a witness to such a lack of moral character, but told her I would pay her back by writing about it on my blog. After a year of classes with Jackie I know she's a good person, but as they say, everybody has their price. And if you're talking about Jackie and a small museum, apparently that price is 5 dollars. (And no, Jackie, claiming you're the mother of your cat still isn't good enough!)

I have no doubts William Cody was a charismatic and loved figure in American history, but both Jackie and I were uncomfortable with the museum's portrayal of Buffalo Bill as a lover and protector of both Native Americans and American Bison. Cody might have spoken out against needless buffalo slaughter in the days after he was a hired buffalo hunter, and he might have included Native Americans in his Wild West show and seen them as friends, but Jackie and I just couldn't reconcile that with the fact that it was the killing of both buffalo and Indians that earned Buffalo Bill his fame.

We ended the day driving into the foothills west of Boulder, up into a burn area and to Gross Reservoir, part of the Denver water system. On the way back we took a few last pictures of Boulder at sundown before going home and calling it a day.
See the entire photo set on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/downclimb/sets/72157626561989153/

Comments

  1. So -- why you gotta throw me under the bus like that! I still maintain that my cat counts as my kid! And - I did get a "Happy Mother's Day Auntie Jackie" post on facebook so my conscience is clear! Besides - the day was fun and I got burnt. I am still hurting! I say I paid my dues!!! :0)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Okay, okay...I'll consider your sunburn as punishment for not paying your way into the museum. Besides, given all the other historical truth-bending we kept seeing in there, your "mommy" stories didn't seem all that out of place!

    ReplyDelete
  3. hahahaha -- nope! I guess it was a story for a story!!! :0)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The 15-Year Blogoversary

15 years and 1,213 posts! My first experience with the World Wide Web came in 1995, and by 1997 I had my own web page. The first web authoring tool I remember using was Composer, an HTML editor built into the Netscape Communicator suite. That helped me learn some HTML, and later I used Microsoft Word 97 and then FrontPage 98 and later Macromedia Dreamweaver to design more elaborate pages. Some of my FrontPage-built sites are still on the web. As I learned more about HTML standards and validation I wrote more HTML by hand, but I still wanted a way to make publishing to the web easier.

By 2001 I understood that (a) sites should be updated regularly and (b) FTP'ing sites and pages from my desktop to a server was a bit of a pain. I had heard about some early blogging platforms and chose one, Blogger, to try out. As you can see, I'm still here.
My first post using Blogger came on December 8, 2001. A few months later I paid for Blogger Pro, which offered additional authoring tools, l…

Last.fm and Ten Years of Web 2.0

Ten years ago yesterday I scrobbled my first tracks to last.fm. What's scrobbling? On last.fm, scrobbling refers to automatic music track logging to the internet. For me, uploading a record of my music listening habits was my first real experience with "Web 2.0." Remember Web 2.0? It referred to websites of user-generated content that enabled virtual communities and interoperability. Now such sites are too ubiquitous on the web to warrant a special designation — they're just the web. But that wasn't true in 2006, and even though I'd been putting content on the internet since 1996, at the time it was enough to make me a little nervous. What did these strangers want with my data, and what was in it for me?

Ten years and 24,941 scrobbles later, I have my answer: I have a really cool record of all the music I've listened to the past 10 years! Well, not "all," technically: I've certainly listened to music in places and on devices that didn't …

Why Eleanor Roosevelt Would Have Liked Google+

And why Google+ won't be replacing Twitter or Facebook for most of us anytime soon
"Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people."
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

I know too much already has been written about Google+ and its place in the world of social networking, but I've recently developed a new perspective which might help some of you who are trying to decide how and when to use Google+ versus Twitter or Facebook.

Eleanor might have said "small minds discuss people," but there's more than one way to discuss people and none of us are consistently small-minded. People are important, and the people who are most important to us are those with which we have mutual friendships or family relationships. This is why Facebook is best at people: it enforces (if we ignore fan pages) a symmetric follower model, ensuring that we are connected to people who want to also be connected to us. Those connections, often with people who we don&…