August 16, 2004

RIP - Linda Williams

Linda Williams, budget clerk for the Resource Management Division of Badlands National Park, died on Saturday at the age of 36. She lost her 18-month battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. She is survived by her husband and two children. Everyone at Badlands will always remember her!

Posted by vanr0033 at 10:10 AM

August 10, 2004

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to my mom! See, you get your own blog entry today!

Love,
your son

Posted by vanr0033 at 4:37 PM

August 3, 2004

South Dakota forum call

I was on the radio today (not that anyone probably heard me)! I was listening to South Dakota Forum on NPR, and the show was addressing South Dakota Governor Rounds' 2010 Initiative. This initiative hopes to increase the amount of federal research dollars obtained by South Dakota universities. It also wants to implement more Ph.D. programs in the state. Daniel Farrington, System Vice President of Research for the Board of Regents and Royce Engstrom, Vice President for Academic Affairs at USD, were the guests.

I called in to express my concerns about this initiative. All they talked about were science and technology projects and the economic development they may provide for South Dakota. Science and tech make up only part of one's education - social science and humanities are also important. Unfortunately, I'm afraid they don't offer much economic development. The guests answered my question with the expected answer - we have to start somewhere and those proposals offered significant economic development. It will be interesting to see where this goes in future years.

Interestingly, another caller echoed my sentiments. He argued that the projects discussed by the guests were glorified job training, and the projects neglected real education, like the liberal arts.

Posted by vanr0033 at 4:34 PM

July 30, 2004

first foray into blogging...

After browsing blogs for a few weeks, I've decided to join the growing masses and carve out a niche for myself. The first post will contain the obligatory (read: humdrum) personal information and thoughts on the future direction of the blog.

I'm a graduate student in geography at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. My research deals with historical Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the United States decennial census of population and housing (exiciting, eh?). In my free time, I love to read, cook, run, and watch TV/movies with my wife.

This blog will focus on my free time activities, especially running. If I'm diligent (for those who know me, that's debatable...), this blog will be a diary of my training and racing, interspersed with comments on books, food, books about food, and television.

Posted by vanr0033 at 10:33 AM