Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Congratulations Masters Graduate!

I would personally like to congratulate my girlfriend Kelly on completeing her Masters program. She has her final class tonight and in a few weeks she will have her diploma. I'm so jealous! Congratulations on completing your degree!


Monday, June 25, 2007

The Streak is Over!

This morning an era came to an end. For over 33 years, I managed to go through life avoiding something a lot of people fear. This morning, I had a date with dentist's drill! Some how I managed to avoid having a cavity for almost 34 years. Two weeks ago during regular cleaning and x-rays, there "they" were. Two cavities! And one was on the side of my tooth.

I really wish I would have had my camera with me today. They're would have been some funny pictures on the internet. Novocaine is an amazing drug. They number my gums then gave me the needle and I didn't feel a thing. To be honest, it's taken me over 3 hours to feel a thing. Trying to drink something or eat when you can't feel your face is a funny site!

I really had no idea what to expect today. I've heard plenty of horror stories. I really worried when my dentist said, "Frank you're going to feel some bumps". At one point, I felt like a car engine being worked on. There were things being screwed into my mouth, lights, tubes, drills, etc. My mouth looked like a Home Depot or Lowe's Hardware store display. Maybe I can call my mouth the "toolcase" after everything that seemed to be stored in there at one point.

So, two fillings later, I'm typing my story of my first and hopefully my last fillings! So, brush your teeth, floss regularly. If you're ever going to get hit in the face and don't want to feel the pain, get some novocaine, because you definitely won't feel a thing!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Robert

A good friend of mine celebrated his 40th Birthday on Saturday. Robert won't turn 40 until June 27th, but he wanted to celebrate on Saturday.

Happy Birthday!

Robert Vs. the Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

Robert and his girlfriend Debbie

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nelson Ledges Quarry (Click Here)

Vacation - an extended period of recreation, esp. one spent away from home

I'm always telling people to take mini vacations. They always tell me they don't have time for a vacation. I tell them a vacation could be time with frIends or just going somewhere you can relax and recharge their batteries. Life is stressful, so we need time to de-stress ourselves. So I tell people, even if it's just for an hour, go somewhere or do something that will get your mind off of your stresses. My places are time with friends, being somewhere near the water, or close to nature. Here's the story of my latest mini-vacation.

My friends Rachel and Becca had a birthday barbecue on Monday. They are twins so, they had to celebrate together. It was held at the Nelson Ledges Quarry. It was a great time, everyone at the barbecue had a good time just hanging out and swimming. I had a great time just floating on a raft in the middle of the lake. Sitting out on the calm lake in the sun just relaxing was great! Here is the story behind the quarry. Pictures are below.

"The site where the Quarry is located was, in the late 1940's and 50's, an operating quarry. It employed many people in the surrounding area, and mined quartz and sand. As the story goes, one day in the late 1950's, the machinery hit one of the many springs, and the approximate thirty acre area filled within days, leaving peninsulas, rock shelves,
and an island in the middle."

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Leaving Lakeland Community College

I've been working at Lakeland Community College for the last nine years. I gave my letter of resignation in May. A lot of people have told me that they will miss me. The President of the college, sends out a weekly letter to the employees. Over the last month, he's asked college empployees to contribute to, or to write the letter. This week, he asked me to write the letter. Here's the letter I wrote. It will be going out to over 600 college employees on Monday. Wow!


I received a phone call last week from the President's Office "asking" me if I would write the next edition of "Morris' Musings." My options were "yes" or "yes." I decided on option number two. Once I committed myself to be this week's "Special Guest Writer," I needed something to write about. Should I write something serious? Should I be funny? Should I keep it short? Hmmmm? Then it hit me; I'm going to do what I do best, I'm going to be me! First step, name my musing. "Fresh from the Kitchen." Next step, start typing.

"Fresh from the Kitchen" Edition #1

Friday, July 20, 2007 will be my last day of employment at Lakeland Community College. My experiences at Lakeland have been amazing. I often tell people that I might have to write a book or a sitcom about some of the experiences! We often refer to the people who work here as "The Lakeland Family." I would like to thank that family for taking me in. I would especially like to thank Rich Novotny for taking the chance to hire and mentor an inexperienced kid nine years ago.

That leads me to my musing. I would like to thank Morris for inviting me to write to all of you. I would also like to thank Morris in advance for the Clocktower statue prsented to me for all my hard work on this musing (hint hint). I've been reading Morris' Musings since he started writing them. At the end of every musing he thanks everyone for Impacting Lives through Learning. I often think to myself, what does that mean? "Impacting Lives through Learning" is Lakeland's slogan. It's Lakeland core purpose. Do we think about this core purpose every time we come to Lakeland?

In December of 1991, I moved to Mentor, Ohio from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I had the grades, several college acceptance letters, but not enough money to go to the "REAL" colleges. My mom suggested I take classes at Lakeland Community College. I was a little hesitant at first. I didn't want to go to a "COMMUNITY COLLEGE"! I will admit, I was very young and very misinformed about community colleges. In 1992, I started taking classes at Lakeland. I would soon discover how much of an impact Lakeland would have on my life.

Impact is defined as a significant or strong influence. It is also defined as the effect something has on something else. This influence or effect can be positive or negetaive. In my case, the impact was very positive. As a student, Lakeland offered affordable classes taught by top notch instructors. Lakeland also offered a variety of co-curricular opportunities to help me grow personally outside the classroom. That combination turned a shy kid into an outgoing young adult with a two-year Associates Degree in 1995.

I eventually transferred to the University of Akron, then went on to Myers University. Then I got my first job in the REAL WORLD. At school or at work, I was often asked, "Where did you learn that?". I would reply with, "Lakeland Community College". I started to recognize how much of an impact Lakeland had on my life. Lakeland was more personal than the REAL schools. I could talk to someone face to face when I needed help or assistance. I learned skills for the classroom and skills for life from the people at Lakeland.

I eventually came back to Lakeland in 1998 to work in the Student Activities Office. What a great opportunity and experience! I wanted to share the positive experiences I had as a Lakeland student with the current students. Many of the students and their parents tell me about the positive impact I/Lakeland had on their lives. Many of those students don't realize the impact they have on my life/our lives. They help us learn and grow too!

Fifteen years after I first stepped foot on the Lakeland campus, I am preparing to leave again. I'm preparing to take on the new challenge of living in a new state, developing new relationships and pursuing new career opportunities. I start to think what got me to this point and once again, I know it's Lakeland. There is a statement, "You never know what you have, until it's gone." Soon Lakeland will be gone, and I started to reflect on my time here at Lakeland

Being in a learning environment is motivating. Everyone has a dream. Everyone wants to take on the world in some way. Lakeland is a stepping stone for students to achieve their dreams. The people at Lakeland are the ones who have a strong influence on the students achieving their dreams. We are the "something" affecting "something" else.

We are all here because of the students. Without the students we wouldn't have our jobs. Every time a student or prospective student comes in contact with a member of the Lakeland Family, we are impacting their lives. Learning doesn't only happen in the classroom, it happens everywhere on campus. We need to think about how we can impact the lives of the students and our Lakeland Family members in a positive way!

Do you know who's who on campus? Do you know the responsibilities of the different departments? If you see trash around campus do you pick it up? Do you answer your phone or let it go into voicemail? Do you complain about everything or make suggestions for improvement? Do you respond quickly to your e-mails? Do you help mentor new college employees? Do you attend campus events or programs? Do you take advantage of the classes offered? Do you share your Lakeland stories with students and co-workers? The list goes on and on. All are examples of experiences that impact people (students and employees) on campus. We have the choice to make it a positive or negative experience. That choice can impact the lives of many people: prospective students, current students and employees.

Lakeland has used the slogans "Students First," "Opportunity Starts Here," and currently "Impacting Lives through Learning." All of these slogans focus on the number one thing at the Lakeland, the students. Lakeland and its employees have had a positive impact on thousands of students/people. I am one of them. I feel that I've gone on to positively impact the lives of more people. It's easy to focus on the negative, but we should take the time to focus on the positive impact we can make. The next time you read Morris's Musing and you see the term "Impacting Lives through Learning," think about that new student stepping on campus for the first time or that student crossing stage at graduation. Think about what you do here at Lakeland. Ask yourself, does my attitude or work make a negative impact on that life or a positive impact? I hope all of you go for option number two!

Thank you Lakeland,

Frank Kitchen

P.S. – I would also like to thank Martha Uhler and Mary Topolski for their friendship and for proofreading "Fresh from the Kitchen".

Friday, June 15, 2007

International Work Programs (Click Here)

Have you ever wanted to work, volunteer or teach outside of the United States? If you're between 18 and 30 years old, check out the link above. Its for the BUNAC organization. They offer various programs all around the planet. Check it out!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

NBA Finals

The NBA Finals are being played in Cleveland this week. Along with the games comes all of the NBA marketing, hype and celebrities. The Cavaliers haven't played well in the Finals, so Scott and I went downtown to view the festivities before the games are over. It was a great experience. With all of the people in town for the games, Cleveland feels like a different city. People are everywhere downtown. Everyone is wearing team colors and the weather is great! Here are some pictures from our adventures.

Me and ESPN reporter/writer Scoop Jackson

NBA Trophy and the Cleveland Skyline

Scott and his favorite Cavaliers Cheerleader

The Quicken Loans Arena aka "The Q"

Downtown Cleveland outside of the "The Q"

NBA Jam Truck mobile museum

Microphone used my the NBA China reporter. The Cavaliers dance team taught him several line dances for his segment. Pretty funny! Sorry no pictures or video

Kids dunking at the Jam Truck

Cleveland News Channel 5 broadcast

20 ft Cavaliers Jersey. There were thousands of signatures wishing the team good luck in the Finals.

Me and the NBA Championship Banner

Hard Rock Cafe Cleveland

Army of Television trucks covering the games

Me infront of the 40 foot tall NBA Championship Trophy

Gas Prices (Click Here)

I was reading an interesting article in USA Today about gasoline, the additives in gasoline and prices. Interesting stuff. Click on the title above to read the article. Be sure to check out the links on the left hand side of the article.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Day at the Ballpark

Saturday, I went to the ballpark with friends and co-workers. Some of my co-worker's and friend's kids have never been to a minor league baseball game or baseball game. One of the kids caught a foul ball and everyone got a free gift at the gate. The Lake County Captains are the team we went to watch. They are the Single A team for the Cleveland Indians. The Captains lost, but everyone had a really good time. Here are few shots from the day.

Moving to Arizona

I'm moving to Arizona! I'm mvoing out to the Glendale, Arizona to be with my girlfriend Kelly. I can't wait to be around her more and enjoy the great weather. For all of my friends reading this, please come out and visit me or when you come out to Arizona, look me up! I'll be heading out to Arizona August 5th.

Kelly treating me out to dinner in Historic Downtown Glendale, AZ

Overhead views of my new home. Check out the new University of Phoenix Stadium in the one shot. 2008 Super Bowl will be there!

BAD BAD Apples Store

Been working hard on the speaking thing lately. Just got two shows booked for August. One in Columbus, OH and another in Reading, PA. My friend Rodger and I had promotional items we gave away at shows last year. People asked if they could buy our buttons and t-shirts. This weekend we set up our BAD BAD Apples store. Click on the link above to check out some of our items.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Camelback Part 2

Saturday we (Kelly, Kat, Holly and myself) went back to Camelback Mountain to complete the climb we couldn't earlier in the week. The climb/hike to the top is 1200 feet up and over 2.8 miles. We started our climb to late in the day on Tuesday. Saturday we got to the mountain around 5:45 AM to beat the heat and the sun. We got up to the top in about an hour. Coming down took longer because of all the climbing involved. It's a lot more than just a "hike." The climb was definately worth it. When we got to the top you could see the entire valley from every direction. The hike/climb up Camelback will definately be something I do several times. Esepecially when people come out to visit me. Kelly has already suggested climbing to the top and having a picnic.

Here are some great shots from the "top of the world." Ok, the top of Pheonix!