Friday, March 21, 2014

Still learning.... Two symposiums.

The snow is all gone, but nevertheless,
here are a few random snow photos to go along with this post.

I've attended two daylong conferences this month
 with topics were radically different from each other:  
I don't know if that means I'm scattered or well-rounded!  
The first was a Child Welfare Symposium 
titled "Emerging Issues in Child Welfare" held at W&L's Law School.
The topics covered dovetailed with the CASA training
that I was in the midst of completing.
It was a chance to hear acclaimed speakers from around the country,
with a variety of viewpoints and it gave me much to consider.

Crazy that such an opportunity was free and open to anyone who wanted to attend.
A tremendous wealth of information to be gained just by showing up.
Gotta love it.
On a somewhat more upbeat note and a different campus 
was the horticultural symposium titled "A Celebration of Trees" 
held at VMI's beautiful Marshall Hall.
The day included three speakers each adept and enthusiastic:
Michael Dirr, Sarah Ross Hugo and Vince Dooley.

If you're a football fan then you would know Coach Dooley from GA athletics, 
but he's also an avid plantsman 
who has become a gardening convert late in life following his retirement. 

Sarah Ross Hugo gave an inspiring presentation....
she had a gentle style of speaking 
that encouraged me see plants in new focused way:
Look for beauty in even the tiniest part of a plant!

The title of Dr. Dirr's talk was "In Praise of Noble Trees. 
In a short span of time listening to him,
I learned a lot about tree varieties ... he's a gifted educator.
Unfortunately one thing I came to realize was that our property is pretty much barren of noble trees!  
:(
But that doesn't mean things can't change!

I was able to experience Dr. Dirr's teaching abilities twice:  
the day before he lead an educational tree walk over at W&L.

I came away motivated to work more on our woods (and maybe less on flowers and perennials?)
however, I had lots of bouts of nostalgia as I thought often of my plants left behind in LA.

What I wouldn't give for a camellia right now!

If my magic wand would ever start working, 
I'd wish that I had another 50 years to live 
to see some of my new plantings come to fruition.
However one of the quotes of the day was by Nelson Henderson:

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees,
under whose shade you do not expect to sit."

Perhaps that quote can apply literally to trees and also to volunteer projects like child welfare?

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing, Grace, that there are so many free opportunities around if folks just seek them out. I enjoyed the snow scenes as you got much more than we did on the VA eastern shore this winter.

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