Posted by Joe Quinn on May 17, 2019
     Ever the Creative President, Gayle Selden started off the meeting with an Inspiration (in lieu of Invocation), which turned out to be a poem read by Gordie Quick, originally of Nebraska.  The inimitable Mr. Quick read an inspirational poem he had to memorize in grade school, way back in the dark ages.  The message we took away from it was….Be True to Yourself.  And so poetry became our theme for this Bulletin.
     Wynn Hoffman led us in the Pledge to our flag. 
     Helpers for Gayle today included the usual suspects in the Setup Crew, i.e. Duncan Cook, Rob Erb, Ward Fletcher, Bob Hammar, and a newer setup face—Bob Cammarano.
     Mick Johnson collected $432 at the Paul Harris desk today, while Leanna Christian was selling raffle tickets, putting the arm on people as Sergeant at Arms and introducing visiting Rotarians.
     Walt Richardson served as Photographer and Joe Quinn is our scribe today.
     Guests today included Tom Broxson, the Natural Sciences Chair at Pierce College, and Fran Davis of the Pierce College Foundation Board.
     Gayle also thanked John Magnuson, aka Ole, for serving as President Pro Tem while she was off in Canada having fun.
     John Forkenbrock’s Sunshine report:    John said Sheri Fulton had an aortic valve replaced and is doing better.   Think good thoughts for Sheri and Gary Fulton; prayers are good too.  Or poems if they are hopeful and uplifting. 
     Gayle called on Rick Selden, Mary Horn and Joe Quinn to share one thing they learned or one highlight for each of them at the recent District Training Assembly and District Conference held in Victoria.  Rick said the first thing that came to mind was…don’t go drinking with Bill Potter our incoming President.  Apparently someone could not get up on time the next day after going to the Irish Times Pub with Bill.  Cannot remember who it was right now.  Rick said these gatherings make him realize what a great club Lakewood Rotary is and that next year, when the conference is again held in Victoria, and when Greg Horn will be installed as the next District 5020 Governor for 2020-21, we need to show up en masse.  That means in HUGE NUMBERS to support Greg and Mary Horn.
Mary Horn said she did not go drinking but she sure as heck learned a lot and had a great time.  She was impressed with John Mathews, a Vice President of RI and a featured speaker. The Vision Workshop was really helpful to learn where RI is going in the future. Mary announced that in 2021 the District Assembly/District Conference will be at the Great Wolf Lodge near Centralia so young people, children and grandchildren will be most welcome.  Don’t miss it, as that will be near the end of the Year of the Horns.  (Sounds like a Chinese year, doesn’t it?)
Joe Quinn said something about Bill Potter and a pub, but more importantly, he said the speakers were very inspiring so go to the conference next year!   He could not multi-task so although he said a lot, he took no notes and has already forgotten his immortal words of great significance.
      Gayle Selden, who also attended and in fact taught about developing leaders for the future of Rotary, said a few words too about the conference.  She noted that Lakewood Rotary won the Sustained Membership Growth award, measured over the last five years. Slow steady growth and good membership retention is what this award is all about.  She announced that no Rotary meeting will be held on the Friday of District conference next year so you have no excuse…come see Greg Horn get installed in Victoria in May of 2020.  Gayle also embarrassed one of the attendees at Conference with some praise but poetic license is taken here and those comments have been redacted.   She said XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, so there!  Bulletin writers can ignore the President as they have fine immunity.
      Speaking of poetry, our whole Lakewood Rotary group met over dinner at Bard & Banker, an Irish pub near the hotel.  The Bard & Banker name was a reference to Robert Service, an English poet whose World War I poetry was familiar to me.  But we did not realize he is also known as the “Bard of the North” due to time spent in the Yukon Territory.  And he was a banker for a while.   We will sprinkle in this Bulletin the stanzas from The Three Voices (the waves, the wind and the stars):
                “The waves have a story to tell me,
                   As I lie on the lonely beach;
                Chanting aloft in the pine tops,
                   The wind has a lesson to teach;
                But the stars sing an anthem of glory
                   I cannot put into speech…
ANNOUNCEMENTS:   John Lowney invited us to the 2019 Installation Banquet on June 28th here at Tacoma Country and Golf Club.  Come see Bill Potter and his directors installed!
      Gayle mentioned the Selden Family sojourn to see the rest of Vancouver Island and not just Victoria.  She marveled at the Rotary branding all over the island as it seems every town on the island has a Rotary Club. Gayle then read a thank you letter from a band member who played a gig at the new Pavilion in the Park and saw the plaque; Lakewood Rotary made a difference. 
      Paul Harris Awards:  Mick Johnson then handed out two more Paul Harris awards:  Mark Edgecomb, President-Elect-Elect, got his second Paul Harris and then Steve Mazoff was awarded his fifth Paul Harris. Congrats and loud thank you’s to both members.   We are proud of you two.
      Greg Rediske then mentioned that May 17th – this date—shall live in infamy as Norwegian Independence Day.  (Independence from whom, some wag asked, and the answer we heard was “Sweden.”)  Greg said we all need to eat lefse to celebrate.  Which was too much culture shock for me, so more of the poem:
                “The waves tell of ocean spaces,
           Of hearts that are wild and brave,
                   Of populous city places,
                 Of desolate shores they lave,
        Of men who sally in quest of gold,
                To sink in an ocean grave…
                Gayle did not have a lot of dirt on Rotarians so she begged for confessions.  Michael Lewis noted that his youngest—a daughter—graduates from UW in June after only two years; she did Running Start.
      Someone “ratted” on John Warner who turns 91 years of age very soon.  Eric Quinn confessed that he and wife Johanah revealed that they are going to have a son in September.  He offered an IOU but then some helpful (officious intermeddler) member suggested that the grandfather should be fined so a $20 bill was pried from unwilling fingers.  Joan Strait is finally back from a tough winter skiing at Sun Valley, Idaho, so she ponied up some dollars for missing us for so long.   She is happy to be a part of Rotary, now for 29 years, starting with a club in McMinnville, Oregon.  Mary Horn said she found out while up in Victoria at a dinner meeting that she has a new grandson as of May 9th.   I may butcher his name:  Bowdoin Henry Horn. 
                After that fiscal disaster you need more poetry:
                “The wind is a mighty roamer,
                   He bids me to keep free,
                Clean from the taint of the gold-lust,
                   Hardy and pure as he;
                Cling with my love to nature
                   As a child to the mother knee…
THE PROGRAM:  Mary Horn introduced one of our own members, Deidre Soileau, to speak about why Pierce College is one of the top five community colleges in America.  Deidre is the interim president, having taken over for one of our members,  Denise Yochum, who stepped down for health reasons.  Deidre served for five years at Pierce College as the VP in charge of Strategic Advancement.  A graduate of Virginia Tech, Deidre explained what it means to be a Hokie. I guess she said a hokie is a type of turkey.  No lie, their mascot is a turkey!  
      Deidre’s program theme was simply to explain how Pierce College won the Rising Star Award for being in the top 5 community colleges in the nation.  She said it boiled down to three things:  Quality Educational Opportunities, Diverse Learners, and teaching how to thrive in an evolving world.  She showed photos of a few distinguished alumni of Pierce College including Jim Murphy, a Costco executive who is a member of the country club here, where we meet every Friday. 
     Deidre and Tom reviewed a few national statistics about community college students that painted a rather grim portrait.  Did you know that 20% of community college students drop out after one term?  49% do not make it to the second year. This was true 7-8 years ago for Pierce College but no longer.  Nationally, only 7% of community college students can successfully complete college level math.  How many graduate in the goal of two years?  Only 18.7% nationally.  When Pierce College trustees saw that data a few years ago they were shocked and felt a sense of urgency.  They started more than 40 “initiatives” to change all that and now it is evident they have succeeded.
     Deidre described a few of these ideas and programs but said it would take hours to cover them all.  One interesting metric was their analysis of the varying success rates of their faculty and students, teaching or taking the same subjects, respectively.  Success rates varied from 28% to 96%, a wide divergence to say the least.  So they figured out ways to deal with that.  Her talk demonstrated that data really is king and that having more information about success and failure can lead to helpful analysis.  And more poetry can open your mind as well.
     But before we end with the final stanzas of the The Three Voices by Robert Service, we need to note that Bob Lordahl only won five dollars so the pot is approaching $1000 we think.  Better not miss upcoming meetings.
                “But the stars throng out in their glory,
                   And they sing of the God in man;
                    They sing of the Mighty Master,
                      Of the loom His fingers span.
                Where a star or a soul is a part of the whole,
                   And weft in the wondrous plan.
                Here by the camp-fire’s flicker,
                   Deep in my blanket curled,
                I long for the peace of the pine-gloom,
                When the scroll of the Lord is unfurled,
                And the wind and the wave are silent,
                   And world is singing to world.”
From “The best of Robert Service,” a little book we picked up in Victoria.   It makes me want to get out into nature, where “the stars…sing of the Mighty Master.”
      Finally, read this bulletin and tell Greg Rediske so you can get a make-up for a missed meeting. Furthermore, if you shop online, please do that on Amazon Smile so that a portion of your purchase can be apportioned to Lakewood Rotary.