Today the college gathered to remember Professor Lucia Donre. Every organization has their own ways of honoring a fallen comrade, and today the college engaged in the college’s own rituals for loss. Being there was so very important, being there for each other, being there for her family. We stop for a death, we pause, we commune, we console, and for a moment we hold each other.
We speak centrally of remembering perhaps because faculty are, in part, engaged in remembering the knowledge gained in a field and sharing that knowledge with a new generation of learners. Education is an institution devoted to not reinventing wheels. Although faculty publish, not all of their wisdom resides in publications. A loss of a fellow faculty member is a loss of a beloved colleague and a loss of knowledge. A light that shined brightly is lost.
In the small island world here, faculty and their families are interconnected. We know each other’s children. We socialize together, we meet and eat in the same handful of restaurants. There is only one college on the island. Lucia’s older daughter was student in a class of mine. A younger daughter is a friend of my own daughter. We are perhaps all the more keenly aware that we are mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers. We know and care about those who feel the loss most directly.
We are left with only our cherished memories, the joys and sorrows shared. We gather and reshare those stories, reshare the love Lucia brought into our lives.
Halloween 2017 landed on a Tuesday night. 515 pieces of candy were on hand, including, as done last year, a 330 piece bag of Hershey Kisses for costume-less trick-or-treaters and a 185 bag of a selection of Hershey products for costumed trick-or-treaters. Candy lasted only until 7:54, perhaps our earliest run out. Numbers were up, with 445 recorded visitors. But those counts will have missed some. Unique this year was the mega-groups. One group of 60 costume-free children and another group of 61 costume-free children were the largest groups, eclipsing the previous record of 52 set in 2015. 2016 saw no group larger than 35.
Blurry, but dark and no time to compose, focus, shoot. Perhaps better blurred: these are some of the costume-less trick-or-treaters. One cannot fault these youngsters, their families likely have a budget that is too tight with too many other demands to acquire costumes. And the masks are a step up, many come with only their school backpack and no mask, nothing.
The average group size was 6.10, up from 5.27 in 2016 but down from 6.56 in 2015. The large groups were simply outliers. The median group size returned to 3, down from 4 last year but identical to 2015.
This year the run out was “un-managed.” Usually there is a break where the number of candies left makes clear that the house cannot handle the next group. But a large group at run out caused the candy to run out mid-group.
I often explained that the deal is, “You scare me, I give you candy to appease you and make you go away.” This was, in my opinion, the scariest costume of the night. Harley Quinn with a bright smile and the bat of death.
Raw Halloween data can be found in a Google Spreadsheet.
My statistics class students are accustomed to my having them make measurements of self and then using that data in the class.
In the spirit of a share and share-alike, I share my own numbers when I can. With World Diabetes Day being observed today on campus I had a chance to check my weight, height, blood pressure, and blood sugar. At my present 57 years old, I weighed in at 148 pounds, and remain 67″ tall. Not yet shrinking vertically. I passed my blood pressure and random blood sugar tests with a 111/71 blood pressure and three blood sugar tests one of 81 and two others at 87. This on top of a heavy breakfast of gluten free muesli. I wrapped up with a free flu shot.
If one is left wondering why three blood sugar numbers, the reason is simply statistics. The units that measure blood sugar have their own measurement errors. A check from multiple units provides the ability to calculate an average.
A few days later public health was at a 5k run. I had had some gluten free Muesli for breakfast and done some warming up prior to getting my blood pressure and blood sugar checked.
Blood pressure 144 over 85 with a heart rate up around 74. A resting heart rate check a couple months ago put me down just under 55 BPM for a resting rate. The above is after a joggling warm-up trot. I told the public health officer I would come directly in for an immediate post run check.
I then ran the 5k, finishing at the public health station at a full run. At 57 years old I was the first place master’s finisher. I slammed myself down into a chair, public health indulging me and getting my blood pressure immediately and blood sugar within two minutes of finishing.
Immediately post-run my blood pressure was 152 over 84 with a heart rate of 154. Blood sugar had spiked to 124 as my body dumped glucose into my blood stream to power my running.