I AM…PENN STATE

For the glory of old State,

For her founders strong and great,

For the future that we wait,

Raise the song, raise the song.

Sing our love and loyalty,

Sing our hopes that bright and free

Rest, O mother dear, with thee,

All with thee, all with thee.

When we stood at childhood’s gate,

Shapeless in the hands of fate,

Thou didst mold us, dear old State,

Dear old State, dear old State.

May no act of ours bring shame,

To one heart that loves thy name.

May our lives but swell thy fame,

Dear old State, dear old State.
~Penn State University’s Alma Mater

If the allegations are true, and the evidence is certainly pointing in that direction, Jerry Sandusky did not stay true to our beloved Alma Mater and has brought horrible shame to Penn State.  Others involved in this case have also potentially brought shame to what Penn State represents.  The families and victims have suffered greatly and will continue to suffer because of the actions and inactions of many.  I hope they will be able to heal.  I hope they will be able to find peace.

I am sad.  I am hurt.  I am confused.  I am angry.  But I still am Penn State.  Penn State will always be a huge part of who I am.  Being a part of We are Penn State helped shaped me into who I am today and for that I am grateful.  Horrible as these recent allegations are, this is not Penn State.  Penn State is a top public university.  Penn State is a cornerstone of quality education and research.  Penn State makes us better people.  Penn State football is indeed a significant part of Penn State, but it is not all Penn State is or will be.  A handful of individuals who made some very bad decisions are not the full representation of Penn State.  JoePa is indeed an iconic figure of Penn State, but he alone is not Penn State.

Yet it is because Joe Paterno is an iconic figure, not only at Penn State, but nationally, that the media has sensationalized this terrible story.   I am angered and hurt by what Jerry Sandusky has allegedly done to those innocent young boys.  This story does need to be told and justice does need to be served.  However, I grow more and more concerned by how the legal system seems to be bypassed and decisions are made in the Court of Public Opinion.  Let’s keep in mind that it is Jerry Sandusky who allegedly committed these crimes.  Additionally, key personnel at Penn State have also had charges brought against them in their handling of these events.  Yet, the biggest witch trial is for Joe Paterno.  Mind you, Joe Paterno is not completely without fault here.  However, he has already been tried, convicted, and hung based mostly on speculation and what people think may have or should have occurred, but certainly not on facts.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.  Our country has been polarized because of knee jerk reactions and sensationalized journalism.  We are becoming a society that yearns for the downfall of it’s people.  How can we aspire towards greatness when we continuously seek out the negative and look for opportunities to drag people down.

Penn State helped bring out the best in people and believed in what we could offer the future.   That is why We are Penn State.  That is why I will always be Penn State.

About that Box of Chocolates

What is the best way to eat a box of chocolates?  You know there are some in there that you really, really like.  You also know there are some in there that you’re a bit wary of taking a bite into.  Some boxes come with a handy little guide of what’s inside, but I think that takes some of the fun out of it.  My method is to try and eat my least favorite ones first and save the best for last, although it doesn’t always work out that way.  My method works well when it’s a box of chocolates that is all mine and I have no intention of sharing.  Not sharing is not an option, though, in my family.  When there is chocolate involved, it is meant to be shared.  Plus, what kind of mom would I be if I kept them all to myself!

When you have a group sharing a box of chocolates, though, I find that most don’t want to subscribe to the ‘eat yucky first, save yummy for last’ mentality.  Who knows how much chocolate any one person will get?  What if everyone else is eating the good stuff and you’re the only one eating the not so good stuff?  We ate the chocolate over several days and in hindsight, it may have been best to divide everything up from the start rather than over several days.  Fortunately, the box contained mostly chocolate that everyone enjoyed, so we didn’t really have too much of a problem.  There were a few that I bit into and wished I could have saved for later because it was one of my favorites.  But, had I tried to save it for later, I may not have been the one who was able to enjoy it!

In the end, we all enjoyed the chocolates we shared.  There were a few wrinkled noses when someone bit into a less than desirable filling, but all-in-all, we were happy.  It was chocolate afterall!   So, how do you go about eating a box of chocolates?

Blogs are like a Box of Chocolate

I was trying to think about what to write for my first blog post when I received a box of chocolates from my parents for Valentine’s Day.  The chocolate provided me with some inspiration; chocolate often has that effect on me one way or another.

One of my favorite lines from Forest Gump is “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”  That’s sums up blogging, or at least my thoughts on blogging and my blog in particular.  I’ve been encouraged by many to blog but just never started.  What could I blog about that others will want to read?  Do I make it all about libraries?  Do I focus on technology?  Do I try and make people laugh?  In the end I decided it was time for me to start blogging (thanks to all those who encouraged and inspired me!) and that I would give you a bit of me and a bit of serendipity.

So, this blog is like a box of chocolates as you never know what you’re gonna get.  I’ll be nice and categorize things though (I am a librarian, afterall!) to make it easier for people to follow certain topics.  I’ve been thinking of making Tuesdays: Tech Tip Tuesdays since many people seem to be interested in what I know about technology.  Otherwise, don’t expect daily posts.  Expect serendipitous posts :)