Tag Archives: Inspiring

Life Lessons Learned From Volunteering At Sloan Kettering

photo (20) A little more than two years ago, I walked into the Volunteer Resources office at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for an interview. The date was March 21, 2012, exactly one year since the death of my grandmother, who had passed away from pancreatic cancer and who was a patient at the hospital.

I had signed up to volunteer as a part of Sloan’s Visible Ink program. After about 10 minutes with the department’s coordinator, it was clear to her that I was better suited to become a visiting volunteer, someone who goes room to room a few hours a week to visit with patients who may be lonely, or without much company. On the surface, the job seems simple: a five minute chat, a check-in. But I can tell you, for me, it’s been life-changing.

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Great Moments in Olympic History: #1 Kerri Strug

Great Moments in Olympic History

Fireworks explode over the Olympic Stadium during a rehearsal for the opening ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 25, 2012, in London.(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! The Olympic Games begin today!!

Coverage of the Opening Ceremonies begin at 7:30pm EST (tape delay), so everyone better be setup in front of their televisions for the big event. Jen Maclellan and I will be in the Springfield Marriott with some serious takeout if anyone wants to join us. We’re fancy.

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Great Moments in Olympic History: #2 Eric Moussambani

Great Moments in Olympic History

Today is my first day post-Pearson, and I spent it fighting with Time Warner over my new (and by new, I mean new today) DVR. The first box they brought me wasn’t working, and when I finally got someone on the phone I told them I was leaving town for a wedding tonight and had to program all the Olympics coverage I wanted to see before I left. I mean, obviously.

Anyway, that’s been fixed. But while I waited, I did watch some USA v. France women’s soccer prelims. When I started watching, the match was tied, but the US women scored two quick goals and pretty much had the rest of the game in the bag. I’m not saying I’m a good luck charm, but I am. Since things are clearly underway now, don’t forget to “like” NBC Olympics on Facebook. You can also sign into their complete Games coverage online so you don’t have to miss any of the action!

To the countdown!

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Great Moments in Olympic History: #3 Derek Redmond

I’m not trying to push the fact that you should be following Olympic athletes on Twitter, but we’ve got some athlete Twit pics today, courtesy of the Telegraph, and I think they’re an interesting, behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on while the athletes prepare for the Games. There’s also a cool, interactive venue map to play with too. But most importantly, let’s get our schedules down pat before Friday, please. If nothing, I want you all prepared. BTW, London is 5 hours ahead of us New Yorkers. Set those DVRs.

And if you’re truly die-hard, there are some preliminary soccer rounds Wednesday and Thursday, as well as archery ranking rounds on Friday prior to the Opening Ceremonies. We can look at these as warm-ups for us. And by warm-ups, I mean practicing how quickly we can uncork some wine or pop open a beer can. Practice? We talking about practice?

Practice, my friends, make perfect.

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Great Moments in Olympic History: #4 Michael Phelps

I’m just reading a weather report here and it says that London is going to be sweltering for the Olympics. Which I guess is a good thing, because from paparazzi pictures I’ve been seeing coming out of the country, it’s done nothing but rain all summer in the UK. Luckily, the Brits know how to wear wellies.

In other news, folding chairs will be banned from the Olympic sailing competition, Pepsi t-shirts have not been banned from any competitions, and the Spice Girls may be reuniting for the Closing Ceremonies. I’ll call this last one a long shot, but it could make for quite a bit of fun!

We’re getting even closer to the big day!

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Great Moments in Olympic History: #5 Muhammed Ali

In an effort to gear up for the Games starting this week, I spent the majority of my morning not showering and not eating breakfast so I could watch YouTube clips of great Olympic moments. This was all well and good until all the triumphs went to my head and I started crying my eyes out. Great way to kick off my last week at my old job – late, hungry, and blotchy-eyed. Totally normal.

This morning, the Telegraph is showcasing the “Top 50 Tweeters to Follow” during the Olympics. So power up those iPhones and get to following, if you aren’t already. A true fan must be on top of the Games at all times. We’ve waited four years for this. I will allow nothing less.

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Great Moments in Olympic History: #6 Jesse Owens

Over the weekend, the Telegraph gave us a small glimpse into Friday’s Opening Ceremonies, when Olympic Stadium will be “turned into the British countryside.” All I can see is giant flowers that are going to come alive and eat people, but the Olympics aren’t going to be hosted in my studio apartment, so I guess my opinion doesn’t matter. Paul McCartney will be there, and Danny Boyle, of Slumdog Millionaire fame, will be at the helm. Supposedly they know how to put on a good show. I don’t think we’ll be disappointed.

After a fabulous weekend attending the wedding of my college roommate, I can safely say I am not in Olympic form, but fortunately for us couch potatoes, other people are. The athletes have all arrived in London, the final touches are being placed about the city, and excitement is reaching a fever pitch. Less than a week to go!

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Great Moments in Olympic History: #7 Mary Lou Retton

Just a week to go until Opening Ceremonies! I wish it would get here faster. I keep listening to the Olympic theme song and giving myself goosebumps. Just this morning, the Olympic torch entered London, and according to ESPN, it will be repelled from a helicopter into the Tower of London tonight, the official welcome of the torch into the Olympic city. This could not be more exciting!!

So, a lot of you don’t know this about me, but I was once a gymnast. It was for a total of two months back in the late 80s, and I eventually got kicked out because the coaches were afraid I would hurt myself. My lack of real speed and the fact that gravity is not my friend are things that I’ve only recently come to terms with, so needless to say, the realization that I would never be Mary Lou Retton was devastating. But it leads me right into today’s Olympic moment!

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Great Moments in Olympic History: #8 USSR v. USA

Eight more days! Eight more days! Did anyone see Kate Middleton visit the National Portrait Gallery this morning? She was wearing a blue Stella McCartney number and a circular necklace mimicking the Olympic rings. Love her. But I digress. We have Olympic history to attend too! Eight. More. Days!

So, America and the former Soviet Union (a.k.a. Russia) have always had a tricky relationship. There was the whole Cold War thing, and the Bay of Pigs, communism, yada yada. But it has made for some intense sporting events! And while today’s great moment isn’t exactly great (it’s actually the opposite of the 1980 USA hockey team win over Russia), it’s definitely a story that has been talked about for ages.

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Great Moments in Olympic History: #9 Abebe Bikila

Nine more days, you guys. And 9 more great moments in Olympic history to go! I was thinking again last night about what makes the Olympic Games so wonderful, and I decided that it’s the promise that something of great magnitude is going to happen. An underdog story. A heroic feat. A historic meeting. The Games certainly fulfill their promise, time and time again. So without further ado…

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