The Idiot’s Guide To Everyday Life

Timing is everything
21.Feb.07, 20:30 pm
Filed under: Tidbits About My Life

Today was weird. I woke up at 5:30am because Jaden was couging really bad, and I got up to give him some cough syrup. I tried to go back to sleep, but I knew I only had an hour and a half until I had to get up anyway, so going back to sleep wasn’t really worth it. Finally, I gave up and got up anyway.

I got the kids ready and off to daycare, then made my way over to my school of the day for my teaching assignment, only to find out that they switched me, and instead of being assigned to a morning class I was assigned for afternoon only. Ugh. I could have slept in a little later.

Ok, back home, I wasn’t even going to try to go back to sleep for such a short time, so I picked up my book and curled up, then had a bite for lunch and went back to school.

Finished my teaching for the day at 3, and headed to Jaden’s school for his IEP meeting. I arrived at 3:30 and found Mrs. Acock, only to find out I had the day wrong. Apparently his regular teacher Mrs. Carter had told me that the meeting was scheduled for Friday and they had to move it up a day to Thursday, but I wrote it down as Thurs moved up to today. So back home I went. Ugh….. twice in one day.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day, and I double-checked my assignment for tomorrow, so I know what time I have to be there. Same school, and so far I’ve sub’ed for three teachers in the the past two days, and tomorrow I’ll be covering for two more. Teacher workshops are going on this week, and every teacher is attending for at least half a day it seems like. Oh well, more work for me!!!


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Hello Angela!

I don’t know if you remember him or not. But prof. Larry Magrath from USAO died on Feb. 25 from a long illness. I know its so sad. Here’s what the Trend ran……I know you are in touch with James and Rachael Gutzmer please feel free to pass this along to them. Oh and tell them I said Hi.

All the Best,
Kirsten Hibbard(remember me the artist that lived down the hall in the barn? Made the cappuccino’s)

One of America’s foremost authorities on native orchids and curator of one of the largest plant collections in Oklahoma, biologist and ethicist Dr. Lawrence K. Magrath, died early today (Sat., Feb. 24) after a long illness.

Magrath, a 35-year member of the USAO science faculty, previously served as professor of biology, director of interdisciplinary studies and curator of the USAO Herbarium. He resigned officially from the faculty in March 2005 but continued teaching on a limited schedule.

“We have lost a dear friend and dedicated member of the faculty,” said USAO President John Feaver. “Whether he was teaching biology, cheering for the basketball team, serving as advisor to student government, or frying hamburgers at a student activity, Larry’s commitment to serving the greatest good of the university, and his love for students, was always evident. He will be missed.”

Magrath’s body will be cremated, and a memorial service on campus will be scheduled at a later date. (More…)

The beloved professor spoke highly of his family’s influence, especially his mother’s, when he addressed summer commencement ceremonies in July 2004, but he was heavily invested in his adopted family – the campus community.

Magrath joined the USAO faculty in 1972. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science from Emporia State (Kan.) University, and earned his doctorate in botany at the University of Kansas.

Prior to his arrival in Chickasha, Magrath taught at KU and Oklahoma State University. Throughout his career, he was a ready contributor to books and scientific research, but he also enjoyed the study and discussion of the impact of science on people and cultures.

He earned the USAO Regents Award for Superior Research in 1993, and the Regents Award for Superior Teaching in 1988.

Through the 1990’s he led or supported one campus beautification project after another, adding flowers, trees and shrubbery to create the String of Pearls Garden surrounding Austin Hall, the Water Garden to the north, the Sculpture Garden east of Davis Hall, and more. As a result of his leadership, the college won two Keep Oklahoma Beautiful awards in the 1990s, and the USAO Board of Regents presented a special commendation to him.

As a long-time leader in USAO’s unique Interdisciplinary Studies Program, Magrath was recognized for classroom teaching, his dedication to liberal arts education, mentoring young scientists, and encouraging learning both inside and outside the classroom. He advised several student organizations and academic honor societies at USAO.

In 1994, Magrath was presented a plaque by the Oklahoma Junior Academy of Science for “Outstanding Contributions and Long-time Service.” Magrath welcomed the OJAS conference to the USAO campus on several occasions. Also during 1994, Magrath pub¬lished three poems in the “Journal of Evolutionary Psychology.” As one of Oklahoma’s authorities on Orchids in this region, he at¬tended the American Orchid Society Trustees Meeting in New York City to serve as vice chair for the AOS Conservation Committee.

In 2000, Magrath joined a faculty panel at a USAO symposium addressing international trade in a global economy.

As commencement speaker in summer 2004, he urged students to “grasp the power of encouragement, perseverance, respect and kindness that can change your life and ensure your success.”

He recalled a story from childhood in which he gathered pretty leaves he didn’t know were poison ivy. He fondly remembered his teacher taking the time to teach him and his classmates how to identify common poisonous plants. “The moral of my story is that you sometimes have to improvise on the spot in order to keep a small thing from becoming a major disaster. You simply must be prepared in life to think and to improvise,” he said.

Books had an immeasurable impact on his life, Magrath told the students, including simple books that were read to him as a child. “One of the first books I learned to read was entitled, ‘The Little Engine.’ You may remember it. It pulled a great load, and every time it approached a hill, it said, ‘“I think I can; I think I can.’ And when it succeeded, it reminded itself, ‘I knew I could, I knew I could!’ That simple lesson of perseverance is worth remembering.”

Growing up in meager circumstances on a farm in eastern Kansas, Magrath said he was poor but never knew it.

“My father was a poor share-cropper and my mother a retired elementary school teacher,” Magrath said. “I learned to read by the light of a coal-oil lamp and to help my father with farm chores, especially the care of the horses. Until I was about 7 years old, all of our farm work was done by horse drawn machinery. But I never felt like I was poor or deprived because my mother gave me a very precious gift – literacy – the ability to read and further to enjoy reading. That is a precious legacy.”

Reading changed his life, encouraged him to pursue education and broadened his small world. Magrath further encouraged the graduates to respect the environment, to seek to understand how other cultures work, and to learn from other’s mistakes.

“Don’t just repeat the mistakes you’ve observed,” he said. “Can’t we make some new ones?”

Through every complex scientific or sociopolitical issue life presents, Magrath said he embraces the following statement by Albert Einstein as a guiding principle in life: “The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty, and truth.”

Magrath was born March 28, 1943, in Garnett, Kan. He was salutatorian at Westphaila Rural High School in Coffey County, Kan. At Kansas State Teacher’s College, he earned an undergraduate fellowship to study at Argonne National Laboratory. He was a member of more than a dozen national and international societies in science, wildlife preservation, and teaching. He died Saturday, Feb. 24, 2007, in Oklahoma City.

Comment by kirsten hibbard

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