Skating was on the agenda for the first day of Buffalo exploration, but first we made a stop at the University's south campus for a quick visit with my former professor, J. For those who don't know, I'm a Speech Language Pathologist by profession though I'm not working in the field right now, been kinda busy with other stuff :-).
As a graduate student, and then later in the so called 'work force', my focus was on what's called Alternative and Augmentative Communication or, AAC. That means working with people who cannot or do not use their speech mechanism and/or language systems like the norm, for one reason or another, and helping them utilize alternative methods of communication or augmenting the abilities they do have. Boy that's a mouth full.
I spent many many hours in what's called the Communication Assistive Device Laboratory as one of J's research assistants, I took every course he offered and was his TA for an undergrad course. His influence on my academic and professional life was tremendous. He is the one that stands out when I look back at the time I spent in the Communication Disorders and Sciences department.
Well, he hadn't changed a bit! Though the location of the department has changed, the lab looks almost exactly as it was, same furniture and all. The only difference was the new generation of computers, lab assistants and students. Oh, and the three kids that thanks to us were now running around having fun drawing on the whiteboard :-). We caught up on each other's lives and the goings on at the lab. Talked about new research as well as the results and influences of the older research I was involved in. The whole thing kind of made me miss academia......For a while way back then I was torn between graduating to move on professionally and staying on to work towards a doctoral degree. The debate within me didn't really go on very long since I was slightly older than your average student, 27 when I graduated with my master's, and knew I wanted my life to go more in the direction of creating a full time family life rather than academia and full time employment.
The path not chosen and all that.....but I have no regrets at all, it's just fun and interesting to wonder about what would have been and then be so thankful for what HAS been. I think one day it might be fun to go back to school for one thing or another, or maybe just take some courses. Not sure what my brain at this point in time would have to say about that though.....it hurts just thinking about it....
OK, back to reality and our next stop - the ice rink, finally! This rink is located just outside the University of Buffalo (UB) north campus, our third stop that day.
I never would have imagined back when we lived here that I'd be here with my kids, showing them around and taking my eldest figure skating off Maple Rd! The tradition that is Buffalo is instilled in the next generation.....
Goofing around is also an important part of skating practice -
As per usual, the boys, all of them, were occupied with what they love to do best. You can't really tell from this picture but S is reading the newspaper online. These rinks usually come equipped with wireless.
Skating wrapped up, we headed over to explore the campus!
'Our' buildings remained the same, but my oh my have they been building and adding student housing to this place! Wow! They look like regular 3 story apartment buildings, but really nice! Nothing like when we were there.
We parked close to our former dorm, walked over to the engineering buildings, the Student Union -
Popped into some empty lecture halls. Of course they are now equipped with sockets at every seat for your laptop. Does anybody take notes the old fashioned way anymore?? Guess not. We also gave the kids a lecture about the best place to sit in these classrooms, especially the larger ones: Front and center rIght in front of the professor! Both S and I had done this, independently of each other, in our respective courses. Great minds.... :-)
Some pics are taken with the iphone, as you probably can tell.
We continued to walked around, going through and in and out of buildings. All the buildings at UB are connected by above and under ground tunnels. It's a fun, and warm (!), way to get around the campus. The kids definitely got a kick out of it.
In the engineering building we walked down 'professor row'. Some of S's profs were still teaching though only one was in his office. This prof was one in a long list of profs S TA-ed and RA-ed for. S had not been in touch with him since graduation but as soon as we walked in the prof recognized him and addressed him by name! That was pretty cool. S had a nice time catching up with him and sharing what has transpired in his professional and personal life since he left 12 years ago and the kids had a nice time running up and down the long corridors.
Once the visit was over we headed back to the car and just had to snap this picture -
David and Goliath.....hee hee
With that image we ended our trip down memory lane, as it pertains to college anyway. There were still other meaningful areas of Buffalo to be explored. But those we saved for another day.