Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?

No matter where you live – you need to create your personal at will, will travel ‘hood’ of neighbors.

Old school…

“Remember that no one succeeds alone. Never walk alone in your future paths.”

Sonia Sotomayor

You need to organize your coop, strategically, Chickens and because I love you (though I’ve left you hanging on the blog string for a good while now) I am going to (as I always do, Boo) give it to you straight.

These are the peeps you need to keep in your crowd. Ya’heard?!?!

  • BFF – Ahhhh…so obvs, right? Someone who’s got your back…front & sides…shared history, similar interests…understanding and acceptance…a total “no-judgement” zone. You decide to take up belly-dancing…full-on…bedlah head-to-toe…she’s by your side shakin’ her tambourine.
  • PUCK – It is important to have a ‘neighbor’ who can “puck you” when you need a good “pucking”…a clever, mischievous sprite whose impish grin and playful spontaneity keep you laughing at the silly absurdities of living…Lord! What fools these mortals be!
  • MASTER PO – Find yourself a mentor…a wise one who sees the world as you hope to see it, whose grace and agility with nunchucks makes you quake with respect and admiration. Someone to train you in the ways of the world, to help you hear the symphony of grasshoppers at your feet. (AKA-YODA)
  • LIFE PARTNER – Whether there’s a ring on it or not…we need more than ❤️ and 💐 … we need trust and intimacy (look it up), Feathered Friends, not to mention someone to wash while we dry…
Image result for you complete me
  • B-BUB – As in Beelzebub. Yep. Believe it or not, it’s good to have a ‘frenemy’ or ‘nemesis.’ A little competition keeps us motivated, pushes us to improve, keeps us focused…remember…the tragedy of life, Fine Fowl, is not in failure, but in complacency.
  • HAL – (before he goes rogue) We need a voice of honesty and objectivity in our lives. Someone who will, without ill will, tell us when a pair of pants makes us look fat or our chicken a la king tastes more like poultry for puppies. We need someone in our lives who doesn’t care about our love or approval…someone who can tell us those things that are hard to hear, someone who doesn’t care about protecting our feelings or about our fits and pouts.

So…did I miss a neighbor we all need? It’s mid-term…a supa-dupa time to take stock.

If there’s someone I missed…add them to the list by contributing in the comment section above.

The New Year Has Passed & Deadlines for Some Awesome Opportunities Approach…

The deadline to apply for the Community Leader Internship Program (CLIP) is February 1! Interested applicants must reside in a county served by CFOV and are encouraged to explore additional program criteria.  


Scholarship season is well underway and applications are already being returned!  There’s still time to apply for our 70+ scholarship opportunities, but don’t wait too long…the deadline is March 1!

Information and applications for CFOV scholarships can be found by visiting our website, www.cfov.org.

Reach out by emailing Jess or calling 304-242-3144


‘Tis the season…

Courtesy of Sarah Boddy

‘Tis a few weeks before Christmas and all across campus
Students are dragging themselves from exam-to-exam with a look
of beleaguered madness,
Their essays are typed in Times New Roman 12-point font with care,
In hopes they will not be caught in a professor’s crosshairs.
Their parking tickets are nestled all snug in the glovebox,
While days of sleeping-in and nights of Netflix-binges seem closer
than the Chapline Street crosswalk;
Faculty “off-contract” for the holiday break and staff in our jeans,
Have not finished our fall assessments, by any means…
When out in the courtyard there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my office to see what was the matter.
Down the old stairs (with a handy new rail) I walked really slow,
But still much faster than the B & O elevator can go.
The tree on the courtyard twinkled because it gets dark at five o’clock
And ‘Happy Hour’ at Starbucks was calling from just across the block,
But before I made it across, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Thundering Chicken (who looked very sincere),
With a pronounced beak so crooked and orange,
I knew right away this Chicken was not foreign.
Very deliberate, not “running around like his head was cut off,”
He strutted, cock-a-doodle-doo’ed and started calling out students by name:
“Now, Bettie! now, Dara! now, Oscar and Cara!
And you, Monica! and Andrew! And Brandon, Vicki, and Sarah!
To the Service Center! To the front of the line!
Now move it! Today! What are you waiting for…Christmas time?!?”

As the silent halls after the students have gone,
Seem so empty and dark and frowned upon,
So thundered the Chicken as night on the courtyard fell,
With his wings full spread, his chest started to swell.
And then in a flap, I heard on the ground
The scratching and spurring of each long claw.
As I drew in my lip and got turned around,
That Chicken started twerking like Nicki & Nas.
His cape was all ruffled from his comb to his shank,
When he tilted his head, I couldn’t help thinking-How Swank!
A bundle of green cards he had strapped to his back-
He looked just like a carrier pigeon delivering a plan of attack.
His eyes–how they glowed with a laser-like focus
And his hackles bloomed like wild snow-crocus.
His long beak pointed up like the needle of a compass
And his wattle was red, as red as a Starbucks Christmas crumpet
The stump of a pencil he held tight in his beak,
And the lead was dull from overuse all week;
He had a determined strut and a powerful thigh
That tightened up-almost like he could fly.
He was chubby and plump, a right tasty lookin’ Chicken
And I reprimanded myself right away for that kind of thinkin’
A blink of his third eyelid and a twist of his head,
Let me know I was forgiven for picturing him with a side of cornbread
He ruffled some feathers by going straight to his work
Handing out green tickets and saying “Don’t be a jerk…”
And flapping a wing at every student he saw,
He reminded them-semester’s end is no time to hem & haw.
The Thundering Chicken commanded the courtyard all night
Until daybreak, with his green cards all gone,
Away he ran like a large, feathered, advising-phenomenon,
But I heard him crow, ere he flapped and waddled out of sight,

Merry Christmas Chickens!!

There is a special place in Hell…

for women who do not help other women.

Says Madeleine Albright and my mother-in-law…from time to time…or, ya’know, all the time.

This quote has been at the front of my mind recently…maybe as a result of #MeToo…or maybe just because as a woman, it should be.

Just yesterday I thought about it as I was leaving our gym…yes, Chickens, we have a gym on campus and if you haven’t checked it out…you are missing out…because it is becoming ‘the’ place to be. Every time I head over for an after-work-workout, we (women) are ‘reppin’ in the gym and it always makes me so satisfied in some way.

Regardless of age, body type or shape, clothes, musical preferences (not-so-subtle hint, you-totally-know-who-you-are Pat Benatar) …it’s just pickin’ up good juju as a place where we Chicks (as in the ‘Chicken’ sense of the word not the MadMen ‘chics’ sense of the word) are heading to feel good and strong and totally supportive and nonjudgemental…and not in a “Heeeey gurrl, let’s get a pedi…” kind of cliche…but in a real I see you kind of way…

I’ve never been one for sentiment, or even girl-friends for that matter, but I am coming to a greater appreciation of what it means to be a woman in a world created by and for men.

What does this have to do w/Northern? Um. Everything. If you’re a woman. And we are the bulk of the WVNCC community…and academic communities nationwide. In this vane, let’s play a game…fact or fiction. Below I’ve listed 10 statements. Your task is to identify which is historical fact and which is fiction. Ready? Yes-you are.

  • Women were not permitted to prosecute husbands for rape.
  • Women couldn’t open bank accounts in their own names until 1975.
  • In the 1970s women could be refused an alcoholic beverage if unaccompanied.
  • Today, women earn 80 cents to every dollar earned by men.
  • School textbooks have instructed girls on “How to Be a Good Wife” by “Hav[ing] dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal — on time. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.*2. Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. His boring day may need a lift.” AND…
    “Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.”
  • Women in labor were expected to serve ‘groaning cakes’ to guests. Let me say that again- Women. In labor. Were expected to serve cake.
  • Roberta Gibb was the 1st woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1966 and because women weren’t “allowed” to enter the race until 1972, she received no official credit for doing so.
  • A 2015 study of advertising found “just 3% of women were portrayed as aspirational or in leadership positions; Only 0.03% of women were portrayed as funny; Only 1% of women were portrayed as heroes or problem solvers”
  • A 2017 study found that girls begin to believe they are intellectually inferior to boys at the age of six. (Interesting to note that being “nice” becomes more important to girls at this age than being “smart.”)
  • A 2016 study found that “when women don’t feel good about the way they look, nine out of 10 women and eight out of 10 girls will opt out of important life activities.

Okay – so it isn’t much of a game – these are all fact.

So to my sisters, though we may have markedly different stories and experiences, our gender is a narrative we share. I recognize, now, that each of us has to be part of shaping the next chapter and the next…adding to the evolutionary work of so many women who came before.

If it is to be a work of significance, it can’t be written by one or two individuals…

So…to my Northern ‘Chicks’ (see above)↑…if you haven’t yet visited the gym for your personal health and wellness, I’ll see you there…where the ceiling is not made of glass.