The LuLac Edition #1190, May 23rd, 2010
PHOTO INDEX: OUR Y DRIVE LOGO, MY FRIEND REGIS RUGEMANSHURO AND ME HARD AT WORK DOING VIDEOS, AND CATHY RAMSAY, JOANNE BURNS AND JACKIE URBANOVICH, MY CLASSMATES AT LCCC.
This week local colleges complete their graduations. I am very fortunate to have had my life touched by a few individuals who are going to be enjoying their big day. One of the true advantages of publishing LuLac is meeting some interesting people who have helped me develop this site. That’s the first story. The second story is about three remarkable women I met when I attended Luzerne County Community College last fall. Here are their stories:
As many of my readers on LuLac know I’ve been dabbling in You Tube videos for the past few years. I wanted to expand my line up and quit bothering my friend Mark Cour who helped me develop two fine efforts. So naturally I contacted WBRE TV’s Cholley Hayes. Hayes recommended to me a young man from College Misrecordia who was a technical whiz and a good teacher. A recommendation from Hayes is not to be taken lightly so I called the young man. When the voice answered on the cell phone, “This is Regis”, I of course said, “Philbin??” and the other voice on the phone said, “I get that a lot”. And thus began the working relationship I had with a young man named Regis Rugemanshuro. When I first met him, he was wearing a White Sox baseball cap. I remarked that the hat was similar to the one then candidate Obama wore and Regis said, “I like the design”. As we made small talk on the way to my house I learned Regis was a native of Rwanda and was just a small boy when the awful events happened there in the 90s. As we became more comfortable with each other he shared with me that some members of his family were killed in those awful events. He also added that an aunt was in Canada. Regis like me is a Coke man so as we set out to work on my You Tube education we downed a few cold ones as he taught me the nuances of making successful and eye catching videos. He seemed surprised when I insisted on giving him credit at the end but was nonetheless pleased with my insistence. Although a little shaky with the technical aspects, Regis marveled at how I knew what I wanted in terms of a video match to music. One of our most enjoyable efforts was when we did my tribute to actress Geena Davis. I mean we howled at that session. Regis’ catch phrase was “it’s all good” so when he wondered if Mrs. LuLac would be upset with my Davis effort, I laughed it off and said, “it’s all good”. Regis graduates from Misericordia University today with a degree in information technology. After that he plans to stick around the Back Mountain and gets his Masters before returning to his homeland to help his country with his knowledge and skill. When Regis walks for that degree on the stage today, there will be many of his native family members not present. But I can’t help but think that there is an Army of friends he’s met along the way who will be cheering him on today in spirit. It would be an honor for him to count me as a part of his family of friends here in our part of the world.
CRACKING THE CODE
Going back to school at my age after getting laid off from Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania was terrifying for me. Here I was in my 50s going back to school for Health Care Management. The books and their content were staggering. I had a passing acquaintance with medical codes when I worked at BC, but this was a full scale introduction to coding, medical office technology, and Medical Terminology. I met the most remarkable people at LCCC and I was comforted by the fact that many of my class members were adults, like me. I first met Cathy Ramsay when she informed me that in one of the textbooks, the answers were actually in the back of the book. Stunned I told her this is not the way the nuns did. She said, “see any nuns here?” Point made. What was the most difficult challenge for me was not learning the assignments but knowing how to study for the work. One afternoon at Grotto Pizza in Edwardsville, Cathy Ramsay just took a step by step, patient approach and showed me the road map to studying for these courses. Cathy and I became fast friends and during the course of the year we became confidants on matters great and small. Cathy graduates on Thursday with a degree related to Health Care. She also received an award for Academic Excellence in Health Information Management at a rewards luncheon. Cathy was also a tutor for many students at the school on a formal basis. In the ICD 9 Coding class Cathy’s classmates Joann Burns and Jackie Urbanovich also looked out for me making certain I knew how to study the complexities of modern day health care. Thursday night these adult women embark on a new chapter in their lives. Unlike some of their fellow younger graduates they are a little nicked and scraped a bit but not worse for wear. They say that good things happen in threes, when I took my Health Care management courses at LCCC, Cathy, Joann and Amy were for me, just what the doctor ordered. I thank them for helping me reintroduce myself to college learning and wish them the very best in the future.