Let Us Be Our Own Resource

encyclopediasThink of the wealth of information, knowledge, advice and experience that we can offer each other. Let’s make the Resources section of this website a place where we can share that often hard-won information with our classmates. Under the Resources section on this website, you’ll find two pages in the drop-down menu that you might not be expecting.

The concept of the Marketplace page should be familiar to anyone whose browsed through the back of the Alumnae Quarterly.  You know that place where various MHC clubs classes advertise their various fundraising products. Well what about a version of that just for resources and products from members of the Class of 1979? It doesn’t have to be college related, but it would be nice to focus largely on products for charitable and non-profit concerns. Are you involved with a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in your area? Point us to it. We can all use another option for fresh, organic vegetables. Are you spearheading a big fundraiser for your city’s schools? Let us know, classmates in your area may want to get involved. Got a timeshare or vacation home and looking for a swap? Running a marathon to raise money for cancer research? Ask for sponsors. Have a book club and looking for members? Find recruits here.

The Miscellaneous Links page has the potential to grow into a very interesting resource. I’m seeing this as a forum for all kinds of knowledge and resources. Have you found certain resources that have been wonderfully helpful for a specific illness or condition? If you’ve done the research and you can vouch for them, let us know. Through the trial and error work of re-entering the workforce or making a career change, have you experienced resources that were particularly helpful? Many of your classmates could benefit from your legwork.

You tell me how to add value to this section. Send your ideas by filling out the Contact Us form accessed through the top menu on this site. You might add the word “Misc. Links” or “Marketplace” to the subject line, so I can quickly identify your submission.

Join the Class Flickr Group

Class of 1979 in 2009 reunion paradeHow many of you are on Flickr? For my money, it’s the best photo display and sharing site out there. Now it’s even better with our very own Class Flickr Group. Our class group page can be a convenient way to share pictures with each other. But let’s not reserve the group just for our reunion pictures. Upload any pictures of you and your activities. Especially if you’ve contributed an article idea or announcement for this website, the Flickr group page will be a convenient way for us to access your pictures so that we can resize them, optimize them for the web and include them in this site. You’ll have to ask permission to join the group, but that can be done with a few clicks. Don’t forget to add tags and a caption to your photos so we know what we are looking at. And if you have a Flickr “handle” as I do (I’m doglington on Flickr) be sure to identify who you are so your classmates recognize you.

Give Back

Mount Holyoke women have a long history of being active and involved. With that in mind, this site will feature a section to list groups you can join — for the benefit of Mount Holyoke College, for Class of 1979 and for your various communities, whether local or global. You’ll find two pages in the dropdown menu below the Giving Back menu: For College and For Community.

The For College page will list volunteer opportunities specifically involved with helping Mount Holyoke College and our class. There are a few links and suggested listed but this page is a work in progress, so be sure to check back frequently to see what has been added.

The For Community page is a place where we can list the various worthy causes and organizations you are involved with that benefit your community or the Global Village. For those of us looking for groups to join or ways to make a difference, it will be wonderful to know which organizations our classmates are already involved with. The suggestions don’t just have to be about volunteering. Many of us are looking for suggestions for our charitable dollars and it helps to know that an organization or group is vetted by one of our classmates.

As you’ll see, both these pages are very sketchy at present. I’m putting out a call for all of you to let us know of the worthy organizations where you are spending your time and charitable dollars. Please send your suggestions by filling out the Contact Us form you’ll access in the main menu. Add a blurb about the program, group or cause including any websites or links. We’ll probably contact you for any further information we need before posting it. Be sure to put the word “Giving Back” in the subject line.

Thanks and let’s make these pages into wonderful resources.

Got Good Reads?

Lucy the Smooth Fox Terrier shows her book club choice.You don’t have to delve very deeply into the listing of upcoming Alumnae events to learn that there are a lot of MHC book clubs. Do you belong to one? Why don’t we share what we are reading through this site. I’m not really talking about a Book Report. I think we finished with those in about the Fourth Grade. But wouldn’t it be interesting to hear what books are planned reading for various book clubs throughout our Class network? Or to find out after the fact that a particular book was chosen and roundly hated by all the members? Are you a member of a book club, whether Alumnae affiliated or other? What’s on your reading list? What sorts of books have sparked the most interesting discussions in your groups?

If you need a good book club to join, here’s a good start: Take a look at the live feed called Alumnae Events in the right hand column of this site. If you want to see the full listing of events (only the first ten or so are streamed to this sidebar), click on the words Alumnae Events. That will take you to the full Calendar at the main Alumnae Association website which you can also access by clicking here. You’ll find plenty of regional and city book clubs and groups to choose from. Or start your own. But please please report back and tell us how it went. As always, you can send a quick report by filling out the form you’ll find under the Contact Us tab at the top menu of this site.

Note: Again, apologies for yet another picture of my dog. Until you start flooding me with your own pictures and posting up to our Flickr class photo page, you’ll keep seeing her. Maybe we should make her an honorary classmate.

Share Your Travel Tales

elephants in africaHave you read President Lynn Pasquerella’s blog account of her recent trip to Kenya? She went as part of her involvement with The Kenya Project. The Kenya Project uses interdisciplinary, inter-institutional research teams, in collaboration with the Africa Center for Social Solutions (ACESS), to provide clean water, sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurship for women in Kenya’s West Lake District. As much good as Pasquerella’s involvement may do for Kenyan women, the experience clearly enriched her as well.

That got me wondering what inspiring travel-related tales my fellow classmates could tell. I’d love for this site to become a resource for us to share details of our various travels. Maybe you, too, have been involved with a volunteer or service-oriented trek. Please share it with us.

But let’s not be limited to only high-minded travel. Do you know the perfect B&B Hide-away on that special Caribbean island? Can you add to the experience by telling us where you found the best secluded beach and the most delicious conch stew? I think we’d all trust your recommendation over Yelp any day.

Have any of you climbed Everest or Kilimanjaro? Stayed at an Indian Ashram? Trekked to Macchu Pichu? Here’s the place to brag, share and inspire.

And why confine yourself to travels outside your own backyard. Are you a Memphis resident who can steer us to the best barbecue in town? A Dakotan who can guide us beyond Mount Rushmore to discover the real North Plains? A Texan who knows the best Blues venues in Austin? Do you have a unique spin on your particular city or area that can help the rest of us find undiscovered gems? For instance, I can outline a great tour of Sonoma’s wineries. But can any of my fellow Northern Californians put together “The Teetotaler’s Guide to Napa Valley”?

To start sharing, leave a comment on this post with a brief blurb about your recent travel. Or, if you are shy, drop your suggestions in the Contact Us form through the main menu above. If you’ve got a good travel yarn, give me a shout and I’ll be in touch.