First class of the semester. For the professor in me, at least. Samford gets the benefit of a later start. Classes began yesterday, mine kicked off this afternoon. I’m teaching editing to a class full of eager young student journalists. I’ve had some of these students in previous classes.
We did the standard fare introductory stuff and then I gave a quiz. Now I’m that professor.
I showed them this video:
The point of the video being to speak and write with conviction and purpose. Seemed appropriate for an editing class. Took them a while, but they got into it by the end.
Should be a good class, if the professor does a good job with his part.
Had a meeting with the boss. Had a meeting with our new sales manager. We brain stormed ideas and then a few more and then one or two more besides. Now she just has to go out and spread the good word. Had a third meeting.
And then I read a lot.
That’s for class on Thursday.
The black and whites will be up shortly, but that’s it for the day. Tomorrow will be more workshop stuff, more studying, more work. More more more. (And another new, September long feature.)
So, then, just briefly. There are three more new photographs in the black and whites section. For the newest installments, go here. Almost all of the photographs in that section are of random people who are strangers, featuring lives I make up on the spot as hasty creative writing, or a little dose of history if there are any context clues.
One of them in this week’s batch is from my family.
And writing the tidbits (all true, for a change) about the picture I realized: there are a lot of cool stories in that family.
Cliff Hare was an Auburn graduate. He was on the first football team, in 1892. He graduated from Auburn, went north for his graduate studies and soon returned to the university where he served out the rest of his career. He eventually dean of the chemistry school and bank president. He was the president of the Southern Athletic Conference, the predecessor of the modern SEC. He was a city council member, a mayor and helped build a city health clinic. He did all of this during a time when it wasn’t inconceivable to be so much to so many.
Here he is, in a picture from my 1931 Glomerata. He’d just been named the dean of the school of chemistry. He’s one of those people who’s quiet, steady influence was felt throughout the region for years, even after his death. The football stadium is co-named in his honor.
George Petrie was the coach of that first football team. He was a professor and spent a lifetime at Auburn. He was a professor of history and Latin, head of the History Department and dean of the Graduate School. Wikipedia says he was the first Alabamian to earn a Ph.D.
The former football field house, long ago converted into offices and classrooms, is named in his honor.
That’s Petrie from the 1925 Glomerata, which is dedicated in his honor. He is perhaps best known for penning the Auburn Creed.
Words to live by, there.
And thus concludes this week’s history lesson. Be sure to visit again next Monday when we’ll learn about … something that comes to mind between now and then.
I’m going to wonder this for years — perhaps long after the chore is no longer mine, perhaps long after I’m in a different place in life entirely — but how does the organizing of a one day workshop take up so much time? My task these last few days, and for the next several days, will be to call teachers.
Do you know when the best time to catch teachers at work is? During the day.
Do you happen to also know what they typical spend their day doing?
Aren’t you surprised some office assistant somewhere in America hasn’t gone crazy and hacked up phone lines? After all, this is only the 6,428th time it has been said this school year, “She’s in class!”
So that was the morning. Emails and phone calls and searching for Email addresses and the proper person for whom to leave a message.
The afternoon I spent putting the final polish on the syllabus I’ll hand out tomorrow. I’m teaching an editing class this term. I’m giving spelling tests, among other things.
I don’t remember how this was received when I was in a similar class way back then, but I’m sure we thought the idea of a spelling test was a novel idea. And then we took those tests, carefully calculated to find the most challenging words in English or other languages that might one day be used by an American journalist. Having come full circle I’ve included some of those words on my list.
Tomorrow, on the first day of the class, I might also give a quiz. Set the tone. Or, as the hip kids say “Be THAT professor.”
I’m going to show a video, though, so I can also be THAT professor. And I’ll talk about typos in banners and semi-permanent paintings and … well, there is always this example if you really need one:
It was supposed to say “hopefuls,” but “when we’re typing and the computers freeze, sometimes it takes so long to unfreeze that we completely forget what we were trying to do when it froze,” explains the editor.
I’ve no doubt that was simply a horrible mistake. The Alligator is a fine paper. And the explanation strikes me as perfectly reasonable. The excuse could use a little more punching up. “We forget” might not satisfy the aggrieved parties.
We grilled out tonight and I reminded myself of a painful less. When lighting fire to the grill, be careful you don’t catch an ember in your eye.
I’d never forgotten that one, actually, it is always good to say out loud, however.
What I did forget was the exact inventory of what was going on the grill. Two pork chops, I thought, I can be economical with the briquettes. But I’d forgotten the corn until The Yankee came home and reminded me that I’d requested roasted corn. So there was an attempt to cook everything over the small mass of charcoal. That proved unsatisfactory. So I spread a few more of the magical black rocks that give fire on the other side of the grill. And now I have a flame discrepancy. So I let it burn and then covered the grill thinking I’d starve the fire. Which I did, right out.
So now nothing was grilling at the proper pace and, really, this is the worst part of my day. Life is so good.
The pork chops were good. The Yankee has this nice seasoning that we must now order online. Stores stopped stocking it, so messengers from Jakarta now deliver it to our door. It goes great with pork and is the sort of thing that makes you think it should stand well on any dish. But, then, if you put it on fish the salmon would stand up and say “Keep it on the swine, friend.”
The corn was a little under-done, but 45 extra seconds on a grill for a fresh ear of corn is not a catastrophe.
Last thing for the night is a fun new iPhone app I discovered. Storyrobe is a free app that let’s you make slideshows (as mp4s) from your photos. You record narration, control when the image flips and can share your project via Email or YouTube.
The finished product is a bit small, but this could be a useful app for a journalist on the go, or to share events with friends and family. Or even storyboarding jokes. We’ve been doing that tonight too. You’d have a hard time finding something free that can make you laugh for as long as this has done.
You have to know all of the ways you can use the tools you download. Knowing the silly ways are important, too.
After you count this post I’ll have added 16 photographs, two videos and seven extra pages to the website this week. Not bad. Here’s what you didn’t see this week. More pictures here. More videos here.
Need a bike? This is a loaner program at Samford. These are just outside of our offices. They are banks that Regions Bank used for a marketing campaign a while back that they later gave to the university. You can rent them for three days. When classes start next week this rack will be empty.
I’m teaching an editing class this term. Maybe I should use this picture.
This is just … odd. From a trip to Pine Hill Cemetery.
I visited Pine Hill to find these people. An out-of-town distant relative of the Wise family here asked for pictures. She ended up telling me all about these people and what she’d learned about them.
These are 19th Century graves with brand new markers. There’s a story here.
This maple is a wimp. The first leaf turn of the year.
We were driving to Pie Day in the rain. Have you ever noticed that you can never catch a red light when you want to? I caught five greens before I could take this picture.
Not Rib Day, Pie Day. I had to explain it to them. We might have to visit again for them to understand.