24 April 2009

what a long strange trip it's been

Above is a figure I made for my paper showing the human, natural, and economic resources needed to attain sustainability - if you don't get what I mean you'll have to wait and read the book - it's being bound at the library this moment.

It is done! It is done! It is done! ... and all will be well, and all will be well and all manner of things will be well! (I hope) I have pulled four all-nighters in the last 10 days (plus keeping up with teaching all my classes - planning the year-end bbq - research projects etc.) -- I wasn't sure it was worth it, but there is a slight glimmer of satisfaction starting to fill my heart.

Title: Interior Ecology: Developing a Design Methodology for Space Planning Using Principles of Sustainability and Ecosystem Models

Dedication: To my mother, Saundra Stephens Toole, I am so sorry I lost you before you could witness the final project. Mom Forever.

Acknowledgments: Completing this degree has been part of a demanding but rewarding journey. There are numerous individuals that I am indebted to. From the beginning Steve Mansfield has provided generous encouragement, competent educational and design skills, a listening ear, and an example of brilliant character. Carol Nicholas has continually forged a path through the impossible that I try to remember to follow. Much appreciation goes to a man of incredible integrity, creativity and enthusiasm, Dusty Wickham, my office partner, for tolerating my many distractions and obsessions, to Darrin Brooks whose limitless energy and passion for design are legendary, and to Sandra Turner for her kind compliments and hard-work making this paper look good. To Robert, Carolyn and Sue: thank you. To Jenny and Angus and the promise of meeting in a pub in Sydney when this endeavor was completed -- I'm privileged to have such great friends.

And most importantly to my family... to my father Doug Toole who never doubted that I could do this, and for time that otherwise would have been yours, my deepest gratitude goes to Chase and Land, and to Darren, the person who supported this adventure more than anyone else; it is you that has sustained me.

10 April 2009

time since... eleven months

A familiar view, approaching Henefer; Grandpa's mountain in the background. I remember approaching the town once with my mom. She looking at the mountain and saying, "of all the places in the world, how was I born right here?" And I ask now, "of all the places in the world how did she die right here?" She loved her home. Memories of climbing the hill imprinted thick and solid. Dallen and Kimberly and I rolling boulders off of the train side in the canyon anticipating the split-rock deafening crash. We would also lay under the train bridge as it crossed the slough, tuck up close holding on to each other, wait for the train. As it barrelled over us, the bridge bowing inches away from our faces we would let out this primitive scream still holding tight. For all three of us, even now, lying under the train made us feel most alive. It is Easter this Sunday. We will go visit Grandpa, 91 years old. He hosts an "Easter egg roll" each year, but it is a misnomer as everyone knows in the Stephens clan. We throw the eggs at each other. The oldest cousins decked out in helmets and garbage can lids to defend against the onslaught. Easter was my mother's favorite holiday. Last year was the last family gathering we spent with her. It was a great day. She threw snow at the grandkids while they searched for hidden eggs. I don't know why these festive activities have a hint of aggression, but through it all we learned to hold on tight -- to each other. Oh I miss her. I dream of her helping me with babies. I hear her laugh and her fingernails clicking on the table and running through my hair. I keep repeating a phrase from a Carl Sandburg poem...

heavy heavy is love to carry
and light as one rose petal,
light as a bubble, a blossom,
or a finger or a wisp of hair
never forgotten

Happy Easter Mom - Love Nanner

03 April 2009

Easter is Approaching...

I love the sentiment of this sketch. I have been putting in long hours on campus finishing my paper so I can finally get my degree. The sophomores have finished their museum project and are getting letters today about how their portfolio review went. It is stressful to be their instructor during this time, they all work so hard. So today Dusty and Carol and I sat in her office and talked about the world and listened to music and sang along badly and laughed really hard and had a grand ole time, just like the old days... hmmm.... it wasn't that long ago we would do this all the time but we are all so frenetic this time around.