My time as an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California was an important part of my life.  I was only there for two years–my junior and senior year of college but it left an indelible imprint on my life.

Here is an article published today on the USC Dornsife Website (Liberal Arts) featuring my story and highlighting my years at USC.  #FightOn

The Crosstown Rivalry

Today is THE GAME. The only one that matters.  BCS be damned.  Super Bowl?  Feh!  Today is the USC vs. UCLA crosstown rivalry game.  Trojans against the Bruins.  The Cardinal and Gold Trojans have won 1o times in the last eleven meetings.  And though both teams have had less than stellar seasons this year,  this game is always intense.  Lance Kiffin the newish USC coach has a lot riding on this game for his first season as coach.  This is especially because the team is under NCAA sanctions and can’t go to a bowl. And his team has lost the last three games.  YIKES.  He needs to roll over the Bruins.

On the other hand the Bruins have had a less than inspiring season. They haven’t done well in Pac-10 play.  But there is always an excuse with the Bruins football program.  Bruins like to say “We’re a basketball school.”  

Despite all this the game today matters. It always matters.  That is why the Crosstown Rivalry is still in place after so many years.

It should be fun. It always is fun!  And in the end even as emotions run high, fun is the mantra to remember.

Here is the video of my Invocation at USC for President Obama

For those that didn’t get to be there, here is the video of my invocation for President Obama at University of Southern California on Friday, Oct 22. 2010. It was an honor to do this at my alma mater. I was happy that my son got be there to be part of this! Thanks to my dear friend, Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas of Metropolitan Community Church Los Angeles for shooting this with his Iphone!

My invocation at Obama Rally at USC

My invocation for President Obama

As a proud SC alumna

יי שפתי תפתח ופי יגיד תהלתך

Adonai Sfatai tiftach ufi yagid t’helatecha

O God Open up my lips that my mouth may declare your glory. Let us pray.

מקור החיים

Mekor Hachayim- Source of Life itself, that flows through all existence. We come from many places and backgrounds.  We call you by many different names.

We give thanks for this Cardinal and Gold day.  We are grateful for all of the  blessings that surround us and our Trojan Family.   Bless all who gather here, those who teach and work on this campus, those who study and learn and all the community members who have come to hear the President this day.

In these difficult economic times we especially turn to Your Holy Presence and seek Your abundant love and strength. Shower us with the fortitude to make a difference.  Grant us patience as our President and his advisors, elected officials and business leaders work hand in hand to change the course of this economy.  Lift up those who have fallen and teach us to more and more care for our neighbors.  As You taught us in Scripture: Ahavta Reyacha Kamocha: Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.

In recent weeks there have been so many deaths by suicide of young people who have been bullied because they are gay.  Terrel, Seth, Tyler, Billy, Asher, Raymond and sadly so many more. We grieve and mourn for their deaths.  Help us to create safer schools and campuses free from harassment and bullying because of gender or sexual orientation; abilty; race  or the practice of faith or no faith at all.  Help us teach our young people who even in their darkest and most difficult hour: When they feel they don’t belong because someone taunted them, teased them, or bullied them —be near to them and let them each hear our collective voices ring out—It Gets Better!

We also ask for Your abundance blessings upon our country. May it be a stronghold of peace and an advocate for peace among the nations.  Bless those who serve our nation at home and abroad in the efforts of peace. And bless those who wish to serve but are yet prevented by acts of inequality and fear.  For You Eternal Holy One dower us with the blessings of equality.  We are all made in Your Holy image.

We ask You to Bless the leaders of our country that they may rise to do justice.  Help us remember our responsibilities to vote.   Help us place goodness and mercy and peace and equality above political expediency.  Teach us seek out the gifts our country offers, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all our residents and citizens.

Bless our President and his family with good health, and surround them with love.  Sustain him with courage to face those who would tear our country apart even as we try to build it up.  Bless him with vision to make peace where there is strife.  Enable him to stand for the dignity and equality of all people even when others fear difference.

And let our President come to know the blessing of the Trojan Family—the fortitude and strength of the age-old hope—Fight On!  Fight On to move America forward.

In the many names we pray.  Amen.


Da’ Bruins #Omaha

I thought it would never ever happen but I rooted for da’ Bruins.   As you know I am a Trojan fan. USC. My blood runs cardinal and gold.   Yes even with NCAA sanctions in place my Trojans are part and parcel of who I am.  Even at the gym the other day when I was wearing my 2007 Rose Bowl Championship and the cute guy sharing the lat pull says to me: “Is that the year they have to give back?”  I reply: “Yes, but we don’t have to give the t-shirts back!”  Because I don’t want to be separated from my Trojan wear!

But watching the College World Series of Baseball in Omaha, Nebraska-I will confess I have been rooting for UCLA.  Don’t tell my friend “M”.  She doesn’t read my blog (not a plugged in type) and she would never believe that I rooted for her Bruins.   They played really well so far.  Last night beating TCU 6-3.  Their pitcher Gerrit Cole had 13 strikeouts.   It was art. Even if they were wearing powder blue and gold.  He is a local boy from Newport Beach and in 2008 was a first round draft pick of the Yankees but opted to go to UCLA instead.  And Bruin fans should be glad he did.  He is one of the reasons this team is in the CWS.

My Trojans aren’t in the CWS this time. But the other Pac -10 team I have been rooting for is Arizona State.  I am partial to their baseball team (only) because my son loves them so and dreams of playing for their program. We always go to ASU games when we visit Spring training in March. They lost one game to Clemson and now have to fight back to avoid elimination at the CWS.  But they can do it. They were the number 1 seed.  A very talented team.

So Bravo to ASU and yes, to UCLA on their great baseball teams this years. 

I guess rooting for these other colleges is practice for the spring of 2013 when my son God willing (and he passes summer school) will play for some other school than my Trojans.