Thursday, December 17, 2009
(Photos: "A-O-K!" Escaping to the La Quinta Inn with a new camera to capture the transition; The new fire place.)
Well, I didn't mean to take 3 months off. Even with the influence of facebook, I still keep the blog simply for my own records. However, there was some "drama" in my life. The bottom line is today I sent my small claim in for the civil suit against my former landlord (YAWCAM comes highly recommended!). It's a story for the ages that will be probably told for a long time once the settlement comes in. Just when I didn't think the stories from the "Dr. Phil twins and their Muppet vet" could be topped while living in Oxford, they were! (Just a reminder to myself: "Just don't tell Dan about Pete... he's crazy too." ) Yeah... Still have superintendents and newspaper Editors waiting on them as well. You can't make this stuff up! Goodbye, Oxford!
I got tenure tracked in October and the Nichols College Women's Tennis team 15 and 2 losing in the semi-finals. With a strong recruiting class, things are looking up. I had a great time at the NASSS conference in November revisiting Ottawa. Thomas and Samuel still light up my life!
Starbucks and thier famous Caramel Macchiatto are still doing their magic in my grading work. I knocked out 4 sets of exams today. I am not leaving for Christmas this year until Tuesday and with one other big exception... heading to Florida to meet the parents in the warm weather.
Special thanks to Ev for the nice words about my "Last Lecture"... will be in touch more often on here. Happy Holidays. Talk to you all from Florida... more posts and pictures to come.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
From the Nichols College Website...
Headline: "The Last Lecture Series" SRO
It was standing room only (SRO) on Tuesday, September 15th, as Dr. Joel Cormier and Dr. Joanne Newcombe kicked-off the Nichols College Last Lecture Series based on the national bestseller THE LAST LECTURE by Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch.
Pausch’s book details how after his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer, he decided to give a last lecture to his students and colleagues sharing life lessons learned. After reading Pausch's account, Chair of Nichols Reads, Professor Luanne Proko, chose the book as summer reading for members of the Class of 2013 and then, organized The Last Lecture Series to help students reflect on how they can best realize their own dreams. In total, 14 Nichols professors are scheduled to share their life wisdom with students in six sessions ending September 30th.
First up was Dr. Cormier, an assistant professor of sport management in his third year at Nichols College, who gave students what he called his “Whole-Parts-Whole” Method to live by:
The only limitations are your own
Surround yourself with great people
When you lose, don’t lose the lesson
“Love the battle”
Use success as a “stepping stone,” not as a “pinnacle”
Cormier shared family photos to demonstrate how his family’s encouragement helped him pursue his dreams. As he grew up in Canada, he had every kid’s dream of being a hockey star, but his physical size was a hindrance. Instead, he developed a desire to coach with the help of three mentors who were instrumental to his success:
Coach Vernon Frizzell, who taught “Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail”
Coach Terry O’Malley, who taught “Get everybody on the bus”
Coach John Smith, who taught “Don’t be afraid to delegate”
Cormier candidly talked about his career failures, as well as his decision to go for a Ph.D., “the ultimate solo mission.” Today, he has established new goals and dreams as a way to stay focused on "next steps." Cormier ended his presentation by stating that his symbols of hope are his nephews Thomas and Samuel, and that this lecture is for them.
Video is ten minutes long....
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Photo: Nichols College Tennis coming at you!
Not since the UNM Icewolves' championship game in Arizona in February of 2006 has there been something for me to compare to to the excitement one gets as a coach anticipating a big match or game... it's gameday in Dudley.
A "failed search" that involved some unethical questions in June of 2007 with today's opponent does not fuel the fire as much as having watched behind the scenes the amount work the amazing people involved in this program have put in.
Hoping for a double-Long Island fist pump today!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Pictures: First, the self-awarded "Chunky Monkey" Award- a symbolic gesture to tell the world ("Thank you for being you") that I am still at it! Ran a 23:40 5K in Brighton this morning... with 3 minutes being devoted to dodging traffic. The "Canadian Corral"... a new bar in Oxford to take my friend Herb Howell to when he visits next week? No... I basically learned that if you can't move until the end of October, you make the best of your living situation. I have extended my living space until November with my new porch space with help from my parents. A great place for wine, tea, and my journal that was rediscovered.
As the moon lingers a moment over the bitterroots, before its descent into the invisible, my mind is filled with song. I find I am humming softly; not to the music, but something else; some place else; a place remembered; a field of grass where no one seemed to have been; except a deer; and the memory is strengthened by the feeling of you, dancing in my awkward arms. Norman Maclean in "A River Runs Through it."
The summer definitely wasn't what I had originally expected. Cruising along going into Paul's wedding expecting a "summer of fun" after a great NASSM convention and then... the Hawaii wedding invitation went by the wayside (joining the Cape Cod invitation from April- I musta did good work there!), crazy weather, and a trip home to recover. The beach was amazing in the mornings and I have already made plans for Europe next summer (watching the 2010 World Cup in a pub in London just sounds too cool!). At the end of the day, I got back in shape, showed my parents a great time in New York, and I still cried when my mother left me two weeks ago. Gold Cup and Saucer goes tonight and how I wish I was there in the MacDonald Stable. Year Three at Nichols begins tomorrow.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
"Summers close to the beach"... fulfilling a goal in the summer of 2009.
I am in a different frame of mind. Coping strategies, good books, a new fitness regime, and a different outlook on life. Time and space provide detachment... just hope I have done as well as I think I have.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Finishing the race... hopefully the start towards a new horizon.
“Success isn't how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.” -Steve Prefontaine
Two years ago today, my great escape came at New Mexico when I was hired by Nichols College. As many might recall, around that time I decided to play a little indoor soccer before leaving. What was supposed to be a final game of fun, ended a good run of fitness as I partially tore my Achilles tendon. It set me back as in my words at this time, “it is best shape I have been in a long time”.
I came home a month ago to detach. On my first morning back, with the music on my MP3 and reunited with the beach, I began a routine of running on the beach... I ran the first day in 21 minutes; It was a run that began with tears and ended with tears looking at the waves crashing on Brackley Beach. Tears of joy and relief to be home or just away from the mental cues of a “disturbing” situation, I am not sure.
This routine of running on the beach every day continued for the whole past month (except during my tapering stage this week). As the miles began to pile on, and the distance of the runs got longer and the time suddenly much shorter, my ultimate goal reappeared of a sub 20:00 5K re-appeared. Yesterday, entered in a local 5K race here on PEI, it was with much irony that an almost similar situation that motivated me into running 2 years ago has helped me seek detachment from it. Still far from my utlimate goal, the mental and physical benefits of running have been a reward in itself.
A week from my return to the United States, I am looking forward to the Fall semester and my continued efforts of "running for joy".
Sunday, July 12, 2009
"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”- Maya Angelou
Between my readings of The Dalai Lama's book "The Art of Happiness" and seeking detachment, I am finding myself back on track. While the blog has been pretty well replaced by facebook, I have kept the blog up simply to keep checked in. I have jogged on the beach almost everyday... I was golfing in the annual Charlottetown Boys and Girls Club celebrity golf tourney yesterday (it was tough to get a run in with all the golf and drinking going on!).
I'll be ready to thrive when I get back to Massachusetts.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Pictures. Pre-wedding at the driving range. My t-shirt that I wore all around Vegas is still around. And then me wearing a tuxedo... last time?
Sunday, June 21st, 2009... Live from the Logan Airport, it's Joel heading home to PEI. Since I keep personal things off here, I will only say that it was an emotional roller coaster lately and I am ready for home. The law of attraction has been studied and re-studied lately but I am not going to make any comments on here that will get me into (more) trouble. In short, I am "right some ready" for the "Oy-land".
I went to the Sox-Braves last night and ate at Giacomo's Boston North End this afternoon after going to an I-Max movie. Fun to play tourist once in awhile. My plane leaves tomorrow at 8:15 AM. Think I am going to hit the hot tub first. Now...
Monday, June 08, 2009
Having joined facebook recently, I still keep the blog for my own entertainment. Pictures: Post-presentation afternoon talking life with N8 and Mark. A bottle of wine (Napa Valley, 2004) was waiting for me when I arrived home.
NASSM went well as I was quite pleased to see all my UNM connections there. It turns out that "cornhole" is an actual sport. After a quiet stir-crazy week, I have a big week in my world. Sox-Yankees, rehearsal party, and then Paul's wedding. Pictures to come. Then it will be Sox-Braves weekend followed by...
"I can't wait for the beaches, I cannot wait for the lobster, and I cannot wait for the Moosehead... not necessarily in that order." A Notre Dame hockey coach in 1999 as quoted in The Guardian
Ten years later, almost three years since my self-labelled "Lights will guide you home" homecoming in December of 2006, I would say the quote fits more than ever.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Pictures... May 15, 2009: Anniversary of Defense- enjoying J. Lohr (post-celebratory wine one year earlier) pictured with the guy who settled me down on that famous morning, and the person kept in perspective in the afternoon while on the phone with him consuming some of that J. Lohr, Thomas enjoying Nana's cooking, the 3rd Annual Cormier Rib Contest (HGTV's Neely's Cola Rib sauce was my entry), and my second to last morning (penultimate?) with Samuel... I was even more tired than he was.
I didn't take any pictures but had a great time in Montreal for Paul Brower's bachelor party. I would have liked to got a picture from Hurley's from my reunion with John Flood. Beautiful day in a beautiful city with a great guy. We made it back in 6 hours yesterday... motivation to go see the Habs next year... if they ever get out of the bars for me to actually see them at the rink!
Memorial day... Off to the NASSM Conference to present part of my dissertation. Going to have a BBQ this afternoon.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Pictures: End of exams. "Victory" or "That's Two"... Living the dream. On Saturday, Dr. Colleen Colles having been a big part of my new life and supporting me last year trying to finish the dissertation, hooded me. Pictured with Professors Tim Liptrap and Kim Charbonneau after the ceremony. For a video of the procession (I am at the 3 minute and 6 second mark... I say hi to my Mom):
Off to a faculty retreat this morning. Friday, I will be on my way to see the nephews. The anniversary of my dissertation defense will be spent with family with a good Italian amarone I just picked up last weekend. Apparently, I made Fred Macdonald's column back home on the Island on Saturday.
Happy Summer... yes, I said Summer. I am living the dream!
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Six (6) hours of grading later... I was at Bobby Flay's restaurant recently and this picture from 10 days ago seems to be a fitting picture for the end of a long grading day. FYI: The food was so good I cried. I love NY!
Wearing the doctoral robe for the first time on Saturday. More pics to come...
Monday, April 20, 2009
Quite a few years back, fresh from John Kerry's defeat, I hopped in a car and was driven from New Mexico to Tuscon, Arizona for my first conference as a doctoral student. Here I met the famous Drake Group, who, besides leading me to my first professional presentation in St. Louis, changed my life in many ways I probably truly did not know until this week. Along the way, I discovered some great people in the middle of a different struggle.
What a difference 5 years makes. As I waited during my layover in Washington, I saw the shirts on for sale celebrating Obama's inauguration. I then arrived in Chapel Hill and finally got the chance to celebrate with Jason and Amanda the fact that we all not only prevailed in our dissertations but all found jobs along the way despite being involved in this "incorrrrigle" group.
On Thursday, I finally met a person who has been more influential than he will ever know in Jon Ericson, a founding member of the Drake Group. Later on, I was actually in a car with Jon, Andrew Zimbalist (whose book, "Unpaid Professionals" may have been the most influential book in my philosophy on college athletics), and Allen Sack (pictured with Jon) wondering "How did I, a guy born in PEI of all places, get to this point?" Surreal moments... further complimented with meeting Bill Rhoden of the NY Times and getting an autographed copy of his book, 40 Million Dollar Slaves. Rhoden wrote to me in my copy the important reminder, "Stay strong, keep the faith" (perhaps sensing that the Canadiens were down 5-1 to the Bruins?).
Poster presentation went well and as the conference closed, I had some fun with David Ridpath's picture in the USA Today article on "Academic Clustering" from the Fall of 2008. Around this time, I once again realized the importance of authenticity in your relationships. And if I didn't need to get even more reflective as I got on my plane leaving my connection from Washington, who was in front seat but none other than John Kerry.
Two weeks and two days from my final exam completing my second year as a professor. And still keeping the faith... Thank you my fellow Drakies for your assistance in my possibility to live the dream.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
My advanced copy arrived this morning. While I am not a big fan of my picture in the article, it is VERY nice to get a publication of some sort under my belt. AS you can see by the last photo, Mom and Dad were here last week. We went to "A Bronx Tale" at the Colonial Theatre. Finally, on another note, I had a great time at the Kuppenheimer dinner last night. I would provide more details but some things I prefer to keep to myself for privacy. Tennis, CSRI planning, and end of semester rolling along... more to come later!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
After the three years of living in the "Land of Enchantment", I got used to the weather and the good days associated with it. Not since heading to Tampa in 2000 from Wilcox, Saskatchewan, have I been this excited for warm weather. Working holiday it will be, the men's tennis season is starting tomorrow.
The "Season of Champions" is here. Nichols College won the ECAC-Northeast and are off to the NCAA tourney today to take on Hobart in Geneva, NY. Meanwhile back on the Island... a little 5-year reunion happening as my Pownal Red Devils, led by 2004 Captain Shane Kelly behind the bench now as an Assistant, take on the Charlottetown Abbies, (once again led by Vernon Frizzell's 1997 Midget AAA Abbies goalie Jeff "Hollywood" MacDonald, the team in which I was an assistant), in the PEI Midget AAA finals. Watching from afar with many memories... can you say "overtime"? When four games go into overtime in a best-of-5, that type of series lives in your heart forever. When Jeff and I played "war" (card game with some libations involved) later on in the summer of 2004, even our duels kept going on into triple-overtime. Sorry Jeff, my heart is still with the Red Devils... the team that gave me the chance to live and relive the "Pownal Miracle" every day.
News and pics from Florida to come later. Happy Spring!
P.S. Happy Birthday, Susan!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Photos... I made it to Ottawa for the long weekend and found myself in a nice hug with my nephew Samuel. I arrived back for a photoshoot for my Athletic Management article. That was the weather on February 17th... this was to change as we would learn after I took students to Lowell on Wednesday, there would be some bad winter related driving to come.
As usual, a great time in Ottawa meeting up with Mom and Dad for a couple days followed by some more time with Thomas and Samuel. A weekend to a reaffirm my reason for wanting to be in the Northeast so I could take road trips like this one. Plus it helped me appreciate what cold really is!
Happy to say I get to present findings from my dissertation "ONE MORE TIME" getting accepted to present at NASSM in May. From "oh that again?!" to "I can do that again!" in one abstract acceptance.
Winter Travel to Lowell
While it was nice to take my students to see an AHL game and watch it from a box, it was a tough wake up on Thursday to hear that my good friend Mark Flood and the Albany River Rats had a bad accident on their way back. It certainly put things in perspective yesterday. Never been so happy to simply receive a text like the one I received yesterday. A great guy from a great family!
TGIF... it's pay day. Florida in 3 weeks!
Monday, February 09, 2009
"No crab dip but I brought Digorno's!" Celebrating the 23rd Anniversary of Jim McMahon's triumph in Super Bowl XX at Paul Brower's Super Bowl Party.
Flu Recovery Who was that guy in the blue and white face last weekend attacking Scotland? New rule: Watch out for whatever it is you are about to watch on TV before passing out from taking a dosage of Nyquil. On my way to Ottawa this weekend... rumors of my nephew Thomas "counting his sleeps" before his "Nana and Papa" and "Uncle Joel" arrive. Seeing Thomas and Samuel... just what the doctor ordered!
Connecticut Visit I had a great visit to see my ol' CMU buddy Kevin Butler, his wife Mare, and his adorable son, Drew. Our routine on "Goalie coaches" was even better than our routine on the "squeegy ball kid who wore Kodiak boots playing street hockey." Things that don't make the blog...
Publication Big news... I am quite excited and to be honest the real reason for submitting a blog entry today (okay so the Super Bowl picture may not be my best side). Coming on April 2nd in "Athletic Management" magazine. Coach Joel, Uncle Joel, Dr. Joel, adds "Author Joel" to his new title. A couple of more edits... liking the way it reads, already!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Did somewhere in my New Mexico travels did I mention how I missed the change of seasons? Maybe. I will never admit that, though. Where have I been? Besides making snow angels after my day in Boston (see wonderful photo), we have had inauguration day, start of classes, All-Star Weekend, and my first attempt at a publication. The semester is off to a snowy start. 45 days to Florida!
How do we survive the winter? Besides taking lessons on how to lucid dream and escape, I find it's been working on some of them other self-improvement things that help... days like today can wear on you! Perhaps a couple of movie quotes.
Winter, slumbering in the open air, wears on its smiling face a dream... of spring.
When Chekhov saw the long winter... he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney... and basking in the warmth
of their hearths and hearts... I couldn't imagine a better fate... than a long and lustrous winter.
Groundhog day around the corner. Hoping Phil sees his shadow this year!
Monday, January 05, 2009
I read somewhere today that "Monday after the holidays in most countries means going back to work or going back to school. In Canada, it is watching Canada in the Gold Medal game." Eight years in a row in the final but more importantly, 5 wins in a row. I have been posting the Globe and Mail picture every year on my blog (archives on the left clicking on all the Januarys from 2006 to 2009 will prove it) and obviously felt compelled to do it again. I caught the game via an internet site provided to me by my father today. Thanks, Dad! The game itself was nothing like New Year's game against the States or Saturday's game against the Russians. Regardless, Canada 5, Sweden 1. "Oh, Canada" played loud and proud in Oxford, Massachusetts. My holiday report to come later including some pics from the 50 plus inches of snow on New Year's Day. Happy New Year. Oh, Canada!