IU


12
Jul 17

Today we went global

I sat in a chair for about an hour and moved three faders up and down at the appropriate time and listened to three ladies talk about their time in town, in the state, in the country. It was a multinational show, you see. The ladies are from Zimbabwe, Mali and Mozambique. They are here, 25 in all, from 20 African nations, young leaders in a six-week academic and leadership institute called the Mandela Washington Fellowship. It is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative.

They did two shows today and we recorded one last week. They are really passionate, thoughtful people. I’m just moving faders and listening closely. They have a lot to say. I have a lot to learn.

Here they are now, in the production booth:

The composition was a deliberate choice. I didn’t say anything, it seemed right.

I think we’re in week three of their visit. I hope I get to see them a few more times while they are in town.

Meanwhile, on the site we are returning to a dormant section of the site. We’re back to checking out historicals markers. I haven’t uploaded anything there in a little over year. The original premise of that subsection of the site was, and remains, that I would ride my bike to all of the historical markers in the county. Now, of course, I have an entire new county to explore. So here we are. You can find out all about why this building is important right here:

To see the complete list, go here. There will be more as the weeks progressed. Watch, as they say, this space.

Elsewhere, check me out on Twitter and over on Instagram, too.


5
Jul 17

She is the original multitasker

What does this image have to do with anything? I’m so glad you asked, because there is an answer and you will find that answer, and be intrigued by the premise behind it, just below this now ancient comic strip cell:

I’m returning to the dabbles of a long-ignored section of the site, Aubra’s Books. It started with a Bible, and then five other books. And now I have all of my grandfather’s textbooks and magazines and things. So I have a few boxes of great mid-20th century illustrations and advertisements to check out. Some of them I’ll scan and upload, of course. Today I’m sharing a few pages out of a couple of notebooks. And you can find them, including that comic, here. I also have a few images from an old English and science text here.

I haven’t touched this section of the site in years, so now I’m wondering if I should redesign the site. I had to re-work a few things tonight, so I hope not. But, style being such as it is …

To distract us from that, there’s this. On campus right now there is a group called the Mandela Fellows. They are 25 of Africa’s young leaders from about 20 countries, taking on a six-week academic and leadership program. I’d met a few of them last week.

Today, however, I had the chance to sit down with four ladies who are taking part in the fellowship. They are recording a few podcast-ish shows about their experiences and today I did a little board op work for them.

It’s an easy thing, it involves two buttons and a few mixers on a board. You could do it blindfolded, and they made it easy. But the ease of it let me hear some of their stories, and listen to them talk about their work back home, which they are all very passionate about. There’s a dean and a journalist and some activists that you might say are similar to our social workers.

To hear them talk about their work, and what they see here, and what they want for their communities, is moving. I hope they’ll show me where they post the conversation, so I can share it with you here.

Tonight, dinner with an old friend from out of town. He has some family here and he makes a visit every summer and his aunt and uncle are nice enough to share him with us for a few hours. It wasn’t nearly enough time to catch up completely, but plenty of time to consider our next two or three meetings.

Between one of those, and a bicycling trip we recently dreamed up, our next two vacations may be spoken for.


12
May 17

I do not want to hear Tubthumping when I’m 85

Musical encoding is a powerful thing. Researchers are only just beginning to understand its importance, and I imagine it has a lot more value than even the hefty weight of reminiscence.

Now think of it, think of the music someone is going to play for us one day.

Which brings to mind two quick stories.

A colleague here is doing oral histories with alumni who are now in their 90s. She stopped by my office the other day and mentioned some interesting little tidbit in the ongoing process. Two students were in my office at the time and I looked at them and said something like “Just think, someone is going to approach you one day, in 2087 or so, and ask for your recollections about this place.”

And the student goes “2087. That’s not a real year.”

I hear ya, pal.

And, today, we learned that next week my colleague will do an oral history with a woman who is 102 years old. I wondered where that put that woman on the list of oldest living alumni. There’s a story in here somewhere, I figured.

So I called the alumni association and they did a bit of digging and we found out that, last September, the oldest surviving alumnus on record was a 111-year-old alumnus.

Think of it, 111. That’s a life born around 1905 who saw all but the very first planes, and then saw us go to the moon, and then perhaps has learned that we have people living in a tin can circling 250 miles above us. Those and all of the other things that they have seen. All the stories that person must know.


3
May 17

A new thing in the video below

I had a nice meeting today with some thoughtful and talented people and we discussed creating a podcast that highlights some of their interesting work. We’re just getting started with the idea, but it could be a very promising project, based on all of the enthusiasm in the room. This one is not the podcasts about podcasts. Nor is it the one which is just the ranking of things. (I’m going to call that one “We Rank Things.”) No, this one will be full of interesting topics and experts. It should come online in the summer or fall.

On my desk there is actually a notepad full of potential show types. It is a slightly annoying thing, this list.

I also spent time in a production studio today. And I spent time in email today. I spend time in email every day. This long note here, this short note there, a summary that probably has more information than any one reader will need, but all of them might think to consult, and recommendation letters.

There’s a late semester rush for references. I am happy to provide them, especially for some of the more talented people like I discussed today, but it does seem unusual that there are places out there still filling their internships.

Also, right as I was walking out the door to go home for the evening I learned of another graduating student’s big interview come next week. If my math is correct that means fully a half of the seniors I’ve worked with this year have jobs before graduation — not too shabby in the journalism and broadcasting game — and another one interviewing 48 hours after graduation. I believe almost every member of the underclasses will be either in school or interning over the summer. That must say something about the quality of their work and the curriculum they’re in.

Also, today, I picked up this book:

I’ve read pretty much the entire book online. This was the source material for the map that we made to help us understand my great-grandfather’s time in the Army. There are a lot more photographs in the book, of course. Here’s the map I made a few years ago:

I tried to look up the men that compiled that unit history book, but they all have remarkably common names, good, solid, middle America names. People of that sort, from that particular era are sometimes hard to find on simple Internet searches. Now, in the back of the book there is a partial roster of the regiment. Probably recalled from memory and various early rosters and whatever names showed up on subsequent reports, so not hardly complete. My great-grandfather isn’t it. But there is one man who had the same last name, a Texan. He was a lieutenant, got married, shipped out, made it home and lived a long life as a successful rice farmer and rancher. He died in 2003 at 86. My great-grandfather passed away just shy of 82 in 2001. (And think of all that you would see in a lifetime of that span.)

The commander of the 137th was Maj. Gen. Paul Baade. Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana and educated at West Point, Baade was in the 87th Infantry during WWI, fighting in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in the final hours of that war. And then, three decades later, he returned to the region commanding the 35th Division and maneuvered them over 1,600 miles through the end of the war in Europe. Must have seen some familiar territory. He retired in 1946 and died in 1959. And his is a fine obituary. The regimental commander during my great-grandfather’s time in Europe was Col. William S. Murray. He was a highly regarded commander, and after the war Murray taught at the Infantry School, before retiring in 1948 and dying in 1949. We don’t know what battalion my grandfather was in, so everything about his service is at a basic, bird’s eye level.

I like to wonder, then, if my great-grandfather, the medic, knew the medics in those photographs in the video above.

Anyway, my Google searches have now started wandering for the evening, obviously. So let’s wrap this up … rain tomorrow, starting tonight, even. We are wearing jackets again, like you do in May.

Hey, what did you think of the new video bumpers? Didn’t notice? Scroll up and play it again.


3
May 17

I don’t yet know where this is going

I rode my bike to work this morning, thinking I would pedal slow, so I wouldn’t get my heart rate up. Didn’t want to break a sweat before a day in the office. I walked outside with my bike and it was a bit chilly. More than a bit, really. So I figured I would pedal a bit, just to get warm. Then, of course, I was in the breeze and getting chilly.

So I broke a little tiny sweat. And then spent the rest of the morning trying to convince myself I didn’t have a chill. By lunch I was better, but it was lunch time, which of course meant going outside. But the sky! It was blue! Of course it was. We’re into May. It is supposed to be nice weather. It is supposed to be routine and shouldn’t be a novelty. That’s the point. If you are saying “But look! The sky! She’s blue!” That’s pointing out the novelty. In May.

But at lunch someone complained about the pollen. And later, in an evening meeting, someone else complained about the pollen. It has been bad. It has been horrible. I haven’t noticed, thankfully. No big piles of yellow powder, no sinus difficulties. So there are trade offs, I suppose.

My meeting this evening, by the way, was with new student media leaders. Think of that. This is finals week. They’re in a long planning meeting for next year. They could be cramming. They were in a conference room. I love that about people who work in student media. They could be most anywhere, but there they are, giving you good work and devotion to their product.

When I rode my bike home it wasn’t cold. And I could ride my bike home. I think of that a lot on the four miles in. Didn’t notice any pollen, either.

I mentioned yesterday the bull fighting frame I got at the Surplus Store. I got one other thing there, too:

map

This is a giant poster. A re-creation of a 19th century map, complete with period advertisements on the side. Even the water stains are a reproduction.

Now, normally, I don’t go in for reproductions. I’m snobby like that, but this cost me $.50, and it represents the work of an 1856 cartographer:

map

Plus, it’ll be fun figuring out the stories about the advertisers on the borders. Whatever became of them and their businesses and dreams? Do they have descendants still here? Whatever I find will wind up here, too, and that’s worth the half dollar I spent on it. 

Just like a good map, to tell you where you’re going.