Football (aka Soccer) IS the World’s Sport

All right, ya’ll I am chuffed (British informal English for delighted or pleased) about the US women winning the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada this weekend.  What an exciting final game with Japan!  The US team won in a decisive 5-2 score.  And Houston Dash’s own Carli Lloyd got the earliest hat trick in Women’s World Cup soccer history. She also won the Golden Ball trophy as the most valuable player.

Embed from Getty Images

I have to tell you that earlier in the tournament, I was also cheering for Japan.  Those women are also an exceptional team.  How could I root for Japan?  Well…you see, football (soccer to Americans) is a truly global sport.  It is estimated that 265 million people on the planet play it.  The World Cup finals are also the most watched sporting event around the globe…bar none.

It is an intercultural phenomenon.  Continue reading

A. Craig Baird Debate Forum: Going Home for the NDT

A. Craig Baird Debate ForumAs a member of the Department of Law and Society here at HBU, I teach a course on “Argumentation and Advocacy”.  I have been putting my students through their paces with weekly assignments and presentations on argumentation strategies this semester.  They will also have to debate each other at the end of the class.  They are a little nervous.  However…there is a select group of university students preparing for the debate of their lifetimes this week.  How do I know?

As an undergraduate student I was a policy debater at Washburn University in Kansas and I competed at the National Debate Tournament (NDT). While a graduate student at the University of Iowa, I was also a member of the A. Craig Baird Debate Forum.  I assisted the Iowa team with coaching and judging.  I also participated in public debates for the on-campus community.

Now I am going home (so to speak)… to the NDT… at Iowa. I am representing HBU as an alumna of the forum.  Yes, just so you know, I will take my stuffed Husky for a “selfie”. Continue reading

Kissed by a Dolphin in a Pirate Paradise

dolphinyawnHappy 2015 folks!  I hope ya’ll have a good one.  I can think of no better way of getting a new year off to a great start by ending the previous year with an adventure in Roatán, Honduras.

Roatán (aka The Big Island) is the largest of Honduras’ Bay Islands which lie off of the coast of the mainland. It is well-known for its flora, fauna, and friendliness.  It is beautiful, with long white sand beaches and tropical plants galore. It also has an interesting history as being the safe harbour for the Dutch, English, and French pirates (or buccaneers) that raided cargo ships on their way to Spain during the European colonial period.  Included among them? Henry Morgan and John Coxen. In fact, pirate caves can still be found on the eastern end of the island.

While the scenery and history were very intriguing, my main focus was the fauna and friendliness nexus. Yes, this was another intercultural/interspecies communication experience. However, it is VERY different from the one in Malaysia that I discussed previouslyContinue reading

Snakes Alive! Me Oh My Oh!

Alright, it is that time of year. Yep. Halloween. A time for creepiness. Except, sometimes creepiness happens when you live near a rainforest in Malaysia…and you have a Hank Williams song in your mind while running. Talk about a weird intercultural/interspecies encounter. Perhaps the weirdest. Ever.

Do remember that I grew up in Kansas and that it is rattlesnake country. I often came across them in my front yard and the pastures when I brought the cattle in for the evening. I even encountered one on a grade school field trip to Coronado Heights in Lindsborg, Kansas, where Francisco Vásquez de Coronado gave up searching for the seven cities of gold and headed back to Mexico.

I now am known to be able to spot snakes in any hiking group before anyone else. Consequently, I have become the lead guide when in the jungle, prairies, or woods.

Continue reading