Eyes with Pride

UMass Band Day

There are probably two major influences behind my daughter Iona’s decision to go to Cornell.

First would be the love of engineering inspired by FIRST Robotics.

The next would be the fact that Cornell prides itself in being the only Ivy League university with a real marching band.

While it may have been other kids and the music teachers at Wolcott High School who encouraged her to first pick up a drum, a saxophone and a baton, it was without doubt George N Parks who inspired her to take it to the next level.

Tragically, Mr Parks (Director of the UMASS Band and the Drum […]

By |2016-11-03T04:24:16-05:00September 18th, 2010|Categories: Iona|Tags: |0 Comments

She's Leaving Home, Bye, Bye


Well, today we actually did it, and left Iona at Cornell (she should be home in about 8 weeks – though there do seem to be some other appealing choices for that weeked!)

The morning started with convocation for the 3,000 or freshmen representing 49 states and DC (unfortunately our friends from Montana are not currently represented in the Cornell Class of 2014 – we’ll need to do something about that – maybe Iona can count as an honorary Montanan?)


As always when at Cornell there was a lot of walking involved, but with […]

By |2015-02-22T04:53:37-05:00August 21st, 2010|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |0 Comments

She's leaving home (part 2)

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After spending the night in Ithaca (tremendously friendly Holiday Inn and a great Indian Restaurant), this morning I drove up her up to the Cornell campus.  Every time we go there we are more impressed by how beautiful.  According to Therap policy, we got there way to early so drove around and found where she will be living (a program house called “Just About Music).

Then all of a sudden it was time to meet up with her guides for a week of hiking […]

By |2015-02-22T04:53:37-05:00August 13th, 2010|Categories: Iona, Personal|Tags: , |0 Comments

Iona's Graduation from Wolcott High School

Last night was Iona’s graduation from Wolcott High School.  Having not grown up here this was my first inside experience of an American High School graduation (as far as I can remember, we were just told not to let the door hit us on the way out).

Here’s how our local paper The Waterbury Republican-American described it:

Wolcott graduates told to keep pride in its place



WOLCOTT — Calling it the best class to graduate from Wolcott High School in years, Iona Brockie warned her fellow graduates not to let themselves become vain.

The salutatorian, who will at­tend Cornell University in the fall, congratulated her class­mates on their triumphs and well-earned class pride, with a caveat on the pitfalls of arro­gance.

She […]

By |2016-11-03T04:24:21-05:00June 19th, 2010|Categories: Iona, Personal|Tags: , |0 Comments

Iona's new home

Actually I hear the dairy bar itself is moving, but we did receive the very exciting news today that Iona was accepted into Cornell’s School of Engineering Class of 2014!

Congratulations Iona, very proud of you!

:: Justin ::

By |2015-02-22T04:47:11-05:00December 10th, 2009|Categories: Iona|Tags: , |0 Comments

Yale Physics Olympics

Wolcott High School physics team in Yale Physics Olympics

On Saturday I was lucky enough to be elected designated driver for the Wolcott High School physics team (who knew physics was a competitive sport?).  So I headed down with Iona, her physics teacher, and a bunch of other would be physicists to join in the festivities at Yale (in New Haven, CT)

Yale Physics OlympicsYale Physics OlympicsYale Physics Olympics

By |2016-11-03T04:24:42-05:00October 25th, 2009|Categories: Iona|Tags: , |0 Comments

Late nights, long drives, loud music, and women in engineering!

There has been a lot going on in the wing of the Brockie clan in the last 24 hours.


Calum and I drove down to Allentown, PA last night to go and see a band called Social Distortion.  The gig itself was a lot of fun (though I stayed at the side with the more sedate older folks while Calum joined in the general melee!).

I’m not quite sure though how it was that Calum had the sense to wear ear plugs and I didn’t! (note to self for next time)

ENG_header_graphic_3Engineering logo

By |2016-11-03T04:24:43-05:00October 17th, 2009|Categories: Calum|Tags: , |0 Comments

Sunday in Springfield, MA for the Bear Brawl FIRST Robotics Invitational

Bear Brawl Robotics

After getting back late from UMass last night, Iona and I were up at the crack of dawn and heading back up I-91 into Massachusetts.  This time it was a for a FIRST Robotics competition.

Bear Brawl Robotics

This is a great time to get new team members involved and we have a nice group of freshmen joining the team who were all able to get a chance to operate the robot.

Bear Brawl Robotics

We’re already excited about the new game coming out in January and heading […]

By |2015-02-22T04:45:48-05:00September 27th, 2009|Categories: General|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Saturday at UMass Band Day

On Saturday I headed out with Michele, Iona, Calum and the Wolcott High School and Tyrrell Middle School Marching Bands to Band Day at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  There we joined with 2000 or more other band members from all over New England.

It was really quite a site to watch that many kids be organized into a band ready to put on a Half Time show at the evening’s football game.  The whole thing is directed by George Parks (of Drum Major Academy fame).

UMass Band Day

After  3 hours of practice, we had a fine dinner, dressed up, and headed out to the field.

By |2016-11-03T04:24:43-05:00September 27th, 2009|Categories: Calum, Iona|Tags: , |0 Comments

It's all good, just a little bit nuts!

So, on the day that left last week, Diamond moved in, and Iona got back from her Most Excellent Adventure.

When I finally got back on Friday night after a few of my own adventures and some great training with the folks at ResCare in Fort Wayne, Indiana it was time to get settled in and get to know Diamond and the craziness that is having not only two 2 year olds, but 2 very unique 2 year olds at that!

Diamond just wants to be held all day, and given that Iona had very gallantly been filling that role all week, I spent most of the weekend with a wee girl […]

By |2016-11-03T04:24:46-05:00August 3rd, 2009|Categories: General|Tags: , , |0 Comments