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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​December 7, 2018 Let’s talk about mascots, the ones you see wearing fuzzy outfits with big heads running around at sporting events, whipping up the crowd, urging the team on.
Bear Bryant, Alabama’s legendary football coach once said, “It’s hard to build school spirit around a math class.” That’s where mascots come in. You’ll find mascots for both amateur and professional sports prominently displayed on products and apparel, sports equipment and uniforms, signs, billboards and ads, stationary and supplies. Even on things that fly, float and race around ovals.
Sports fans are proud of their team’s mascot. Ask your tattoo artist.
That brings me to my favorite: Scottsdale Community College’s mascot. Apparently (this is merely a guess) the athletic department, charged with coming up with a school mascot conducted a focus group interview in a grocery store. Shoppers in the produce department were instructed to select the fruit or vegetable of their choice and wave it high in the air, over their heads.
I’m still guessing. That particular day artichoke prices had been slashed, drastically. I own a shirt adorned with Scottsdale Community College’s mascot  Artie the Fighting Artichoke. I wear it to special events. The rest of the time it’s parked at the back of my closet.
You can‘t help but think Artie is a credit to America’s fruit and vegetable growers, can you? I mean how many institutions can you name with mascot from the plant family?
I found a few.
North Carolina School of the Arts, for example, has The Fighting Pickle. Their supporters would say pickles are nothing but shriveled up cucumbers and cucumbers are vegetables so that counts. I doubt it.
UC Santa Cruz has Sammy the Banana Slug. Sorry UC the banana is merely fruit by association–as in Sammy the Slug likes bananas.
Enough stretching.
Brutus The Ohio State Buckeye (buckeyes are nuts that grow on trees) would arguably be the most famous, followed closely by Syracuse’s Otto the Orange.
Delta State has The Fighting Okra (and a “Fear the Okra” video).
Enough research.
Let’s cook an artichoke, buckeye and okra in orange juice and sell it at concession stands (with a banana on the side).
If you wonder whether Scottsdale Community College conducted mascot research at Kroger’s or Safeway, they didn’t. The student body came up with the name because they were mad at the administration. They voted in 1972 to embarrass the administration for what they claimed was an excessive allocation of funds to sports instead of academics. Artichokes beat out Scoundrels and Rutabagas.
Life is short. Smile while you still have teeth.

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Why is That?

Bob Cayne


​​​​​​​​​​​​​December 7, 2018  I hope this topic isn’t frightening. In fact I hope it will create awareness about the void patients feel when they are faced with a life-threatening diagnosis. This is about Identity Transformation. 
When we were born we were given to our parents for training. I call it Somebody Training.
Our parents were Somebody  and by golly, we’d be Somebody, too.
Hey, look at me I'm Somebody.
We strive to live up to our Somebody Training. We get assurance from others: fellow-workers, loved ones, our children––even name cards at reserved dinner tables say we are Somebody.
But being being Somebody  doesn’t last forever. One day a physician may say, “You have a serious illness. You only have a short time left.”
Uh oh, we will no longer be the Somebody  we became at birth.
When we are faced with that diagnosis our rational minds take over. Suddenly we are faced with and forced to talk about the unspeakable.
We assume our doctor will be available to help us, that seems logical, doesn’t it? The problem is the doctor’s job ends at that point. We are faced with what comes next.  
I can explain what comes next with 20-yeas of first-hand knowledge from my professional and personal experiences. For years my specialty was palliative care. I helped life-threatened patients with their doctors and specialists, their various treatment options and the systems that served them.
During that time I was at the bedside of more than a thousand patients. 
There is a void, an empty feeling of abandonment when you are told you have a fatal disease. It’s hard to digest what that means. How do you deal with it? Long days and nights pass without yes or no answers. It’s unlike anything you have ever experienced.
We should be mortally afraid, and yet, there’s nothing to fear. Dying is at its heart a sacred act: a time, a space and a process of surrender and transformation.
The encounter with death is profound. It can loosen our identification with a separate sense of self; encourage wholeness; even open a path to the sacred.
It affects the patient, their family and friends–and the companion healthcare professionals.
As death comes, seek pain management experts and exceptional physicians and nurses.
You need trained people to make you comfortable as you reflect on life––people who can help you recognize that your life had purpose and value. 
Think about longevity. In our 40s people seemed old at 50. Now we hear 70 is the new 60 and 60 is the new 50.
“Knowing what is not for you in this life will bring you peace.”


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Bob Cayne

​​​​Terry Martin Ph.D​

Reflections on Life