Helen and Teacher

Helen and Teacher
The Story of my Life

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dolls of Memory: Halloween and Autumn

I belong to a Facebook Group titled “For the Love of Fall and Halloween.”  That says it all.  We love, love autumn.  We countdown the days to Halloween, and share our collections of Halloween decorations and autumn leaves.  It is inevitable that the dolls and figurines of the season also frequently appear.  I love the season because of the memories it evokes.  When I started school, it always seemed to get cooler much faster than it does now.  Fall meant apples and new school books, new clothes, new friends, and new classes.  My mother would be sewing my Halloween costume, and we would be planting mums in different colors.


Autumn meant caramel apples and The Spoon River Scenic drive.  It meant leaf collecting, and handmade ink blocks to make our own leaf designs and stencils.  Fall fashion meant new sweaters and boots, plans for Thanksgiving, and cool, crisp nights.


We got out the blow mold ghosts and masks we loved to decorate with, and took out my cutouts for our window.  Some were vintage examples, scarred with ancient scotch tape but still beloved.  Others, equally loved were now faded, collage projects of construction paper, poster paint and old magazines.  My favorite decoration along these lines was a Halloween poster the local 7th graders made for Bell’s Auto.  The grim reaper, hooded and draped with real material, reached out a hand made of chicken bones! The effect was truly eerie!  I wish I’d had Instagram in those days!


My collection of witch dolls, some from Salem came out, along with my Crypt Keepers.  Even our doll houses had ghosts. One Tootsie Pop ghost wrapped in Kleenex was a gift in grade school from a little friend named Joanie. It still haunts the doll house.  Others are was novelty candles.  Beanie Baby ghosts and other Halloween plush share room with vintage pumpkin lanterns and hard plastic figurines.


On Halloween night, after we decorated with gourds and as many jack o’ lanterns as we could carve; my dad took me and my friends trick-or-treating.


The next day, sugar skulls and assorted skeletons and Calaveras decorated the house for The Day of the Dead, an important holiday to my mom and me; we both taught Spanish.


By the time “The Nightmare before Christmas” came out, I was in Halloween Heaven! I also recommend Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree and the Bradbury narrated animated film of the same title.


At Thanksgiving, my Pilgrims and Native American dolls decorated our table along with turkey statues and chicken candles.  We hardly had room to eat!


In memory of those wonderful days, and of my family that made them so good, I share with you some of the fall dolls and collectibles from my collection.  Turn out the lights, plug in the blow mold décor, switch on the led candles and turn up the air conditioning so you can cuddle up under your favorite blanket as you enjoy this tour of autumn dolls, toys, and collectibles.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My Speech; It's all Original!!


Along with our Executive Director, and the rest of Quest College, I’d like to welcome you to our school.  Our new name stems from an ancient word that also reflects our mission in Education.
The word quest was first used in 1303, and over the years has been associated with seekers and explorers who had the courage to set goals to follow dreams, even in the face of great obstacles.  For most of us, perhaps, the word is most associated with the knights errant of old, who set out on expeditions to accomplish what was most dear to them.  In an educational setting, we at Quest like to think we prepare our students to be inquiring professional and intellectual knights and dames, Renaissance people capable of excelling in their chosen careers, and able to thrive in the professional world.

 Among other duties, the Academic Dean oversees Academics and serves as am ambassador between the students and faculty of our institution.  Therefore, our curriculum is  important to me, and I am very proud of  our classes, our students, and our faculty.  An integral part of the team that makes up academics at quest is the Distance Learning School.  Our online school  adds strength to our residential program, and removes time and place barriers that many students may otherwise encounter.  We at Quest believe in learning across the curriculum, and our colleagues in distance are part of a team that makes that possible. 

Our academic team is also part of an academic program that rivals that of our sister two and four year institutions through the bistate area.  We are an old and respected member of the Quad Cities community, and we are proud to serve the members of that community, and even more proud that many of them return that debt by staying in their community to further their careers.  We look forward to our new Bachelors programs in Applied Management and Information Technology Applied Management this fall, and to continue serving city, state, and country.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

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