A Full Heart

Michigan State Spartan pie created by the Grand Traverse Pie Company

Michigan State Spartan pie created by the Grand Traverse Pie Company

My time at Michigan State University is nearing an end, and nothing made that clearer than the wonderful reception held for Rhonda Coon and me at the MSU Livestock Pavilion yesterday. Our hearts are full of gratitude – for the event and the many people who worked to make it special (see the enormous pies made for the occasion by Grand Traverse Pie Company), for the many messages we’ve received, for the opportunities we have had at MSU over the years, and for the many, many friends we have here. It’s hard to say anything more profound than that our hearts are full.

Oklahoma State Pistol Pete pie created by the Grand Traverse Pie Company

Oklahoma State Pistol Pete pie created by the Grand Traverse Pie Company

As a fisheries scientist, I’ve worked with a lot of different pumps over the years – in the lab, stream-side or lake-side. One of the first things you need to know about getting a pump to work is that you have to prime the pump, which means you have to get liquid into the pump chamber before it can do its job. The human heart is a pump and it needs to be primed as well. In fact, as a pump run by muscle tissues, it not only needs fluid in the chamber to be able to do its job, but it also needs to be filled so full that it stretches in order to trigger the muscle contractions that will cause the chamber to constrict and move the blood forward.

So a full heart is the starting point to getting work done. And with the fullness our hearts have from the life experiences we’ve had at MSU and from the many farewell greetings we’ve been given, there’s a lot of work we can do as we make our move to Oklahoma.

I’m not done here. I’ll be working for MSU through my last day on June 27, before I leave for a week’s vacation. You’ll still hear from me on Thursdays through MSU Extension Spotlight, and you’ll still hear from me on next Monday’s MSU Extension Update Webinar. Steve Lovejoy and I will still represent the MSUE Director’s Office in all official capacities through that date. I appreciate the opportunity to see and hear from so many of my colleagues during these final few weeks of my time at MSU. It fills and stretches my heart. Thank you for that.

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