Walk in the park

I wish puppy-stalking was a daily activity. Meet Edge, a 6-week Portuguese water dog. He's teething. The first time I met him, he latched onto my ankle and wouldn't let go.
It was precious. Really.

Silent disco

The kickoff event to Vandy's two-day outdoor concert was a silent disco party on the lawn to raise money for relief efforts in Haiti. It's a bit surreal. With the headphones on, it makes sense the way everyone is moving. Without the headphones, it's madness. One of my favorite moments - we were walking away from the tent and the entire crowd sang "I don't want to be friends." Thanks, Lady Gaga, for superseding the silence.



I end up in a number of emergency portrait situations when students find stories and sources late in the game. This was one of the most obliging professors I've met yet. Blackboards are also fast becoming my favorite on-the-go backdrops.


Staying in the game

The baseball team's star, a left-handed pitcher, had his kneecap split in two by a line drive during a game two weeks ago. Now stuck bantering from the dugout, the doctors expect him to make him a full recovery in time for fall ball.

The week in pollen

We went out in search of the things making us sneeze and squint this week. Turns out it's the hermaphrodite trees - maples, elms, oaks - releasing their pollen into the air. I never thought I would cry about working in a national arboretum, but they left me no choice!


Mingling in Michigan

Just a couple of frames from a recent trip North.

Speaking engagements

Things I've learned this month - Gen. Petraeus is hysterical in person. Fox's John Stossel smiles a lot. He and Ralph Nadar ruffle each others' feathers. And Mitt Romney's hair doesn't move when he shakes his head.

Second stringers

This group of Bluegrass musicians tear it up together twice a week. We previewed their spring concert, and couldn't stop listening to the audio for two days.

Sugar buzz

I still have not figured out why there are so many cupcakes at Vanderbilt. I think there were three separate events this week with cupcakes covering the tables. This one was a taste-testing venture. Ten local businesses made pint-sized cupcakes and hundreds of students turned out to rank the iced miniatures.

Heat wave

Spring never seems to sneak up in the South. It's suddenly 80 degrees, with tank tops and sunburn covering the streets.


Vanderbilt lost an outstanding senior over spring break to a car accident. Friends and family gathered to tell her story in the campus chapel. The young woman's best friend, a poet, cries as she reads verses composed as an epithet.

Faces in the crowd

The editorial fellow and I have been doing a series of student profiles this semester. The most recent group is a female engineering major (a rarity), the president of the College Dems, a non-traditional student who overcame being homeless in her teens to be a leader on campus and a freshman baseball player shaking up the lineup.
It's great to get out of the office and meet interesting people again.

The future of health care

It is something on the tip of everyone's tongues these days. A group of medical students sat down with us to talk about the implications of the new law. The division quickly arose between who was in medicine for the acclaim and the money and who was in it to save the world one patient at a time. It's easy to see why Congress has had so much trouble sorting through the sentiments.