UNC-Duke Game with Nick

Posted by Heidi Risser
on February 11, 2020

Sometimes, life provides surprises.  At first, the surprise was a bad one. 

This past week, my son, Nick, was denied the opportunity to go to the UNC-Duke game by UNC.  As a Senior, he should have been given a student ticket.  He has saved his “guaranteed game” for three and a half years, only to be denied. 

His spirit was crushed, and his heart was broken.  There was nothing I could do but console him.  Then, a friend of his offered him two tickets.  Nick knew I had never been to the UNC-Duke game either, and he offered me the other ticket.  Of course I went!

I know what you are thinking, because you know what happened at that game.  Is this a good surprise or a bad surprise?  This was definitely a wonderful surprise! 

My son, Nick, and I got to sit midcourt at the UNC-Duke game in Chapel Hill this weekend.

We had unbelievably good seats on the midcourt line, and lower level.  Thank you to Nick’s guardian angels—Francis, John and Susan—who saved the day by offering him those tickets!  He had a smile on his face. 

We went in knowing Duke was going to splatter the court with us, and then something really surprising happened.  UNC played great!  They were defending and hustling and scoring.  Nick and I cheered the whole time and barely sat the whole game.  We had comrades all around us high-fiving and booing the refs when they deserved it.  I almost lost my voice from cheering.

Except for those last 6.6 seconds, this was the best Tarheel game I have ever watched.  And, regardless of the ending score, it was one of the best days of my life.  It is a memory I will cherish forever.  I got to watch UNC-DUKE in Chapel Hill at midcourt, and the Tarheels led most of that game!  Most of all, I got to spend quality time with my wonderful son.

Nick was ecstatic about the opportunity to the game as a Senior.

Because the Oscars were last night, I just have to add that I feel like a mom that is invited to the Oscars by her child.  Only, the Oscar moms have to sit through 3 ½ hours of speeches, and I got to watch one of the most important and exciting sports events of the calendar year!  Without doubt, this is the best surprise of 2020!

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Mediation Training at UNC Charlotte

Posted by Heidi Risser
on January 23, 2019

On Friday, January 11th, I had the opportunity to conduct a Mediation Training course, with Ketan Soni and Mark Riopel, for the department chairs of UNC Charlotte.  I was a little nervous to lecture in front of professional lecturers, but that nervousness was short lived.  The professors were very receptive to what we had to say.  I had a misconception going into this training that we family law attorneys deal with more serious issues and conflict than the department chairs of a university.  Was I wrong!  Given their reactions, I believe these department chairs deal with a similar level of conflict.  That means that this message about mediating conflict is more universal that I had believed.   

Mark, Ketan and I lectured for the first part of the day and conducted a few mock mediations at the end of the day, to give all the attendees some practice before tossing them back out into the world of conflict.  There are some very talented mediators among these professors.  Some are naturals, and some really incorporated our teaching into how they worked the problem.  As always, I was amazed at the various styles each person brought to mediation.  Some mediators used a bit of small talk to warm up the two sides.  Some used silence and observation to great effect.  I adore the fact that mediation is flexible to accommodate different styles and still be equally effective

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