IU


12
Feb 19

What are you going to take from today?

In the considerable series of incredible things that happens to each of us, even on a “normal day” something has to stand out. This evening I watched some television being produced, and then watched some other television at home. I saw highlights of two of my students calling a dramatic wrestling meet. I read about some promising medical breakthroughs. In no particular order, I did a little work, had a weird dream, ate lunch with my lovely bride laughed at a joke, made someone else laugh, learned something new, talked to a graduating senior about his upcoming plans, passed along some good news, recommended some people for scholarships and on and on and on.

But even on a normal-ish day, one thing or another is going to be the moment of the day. This, for me, is that moment:


8
Feb 19

To help you ease into your weekend …

Here are three sports programs the sports crew produced in the studio last night. This first one is the weekly talk show, four people sitting around talking about sports:

This is a highlight show, which features various Indiana sports and the crew is showing you the highlights and telling what’s been going on with each program:

And this is a condensed highlight show, for those people who are interested in IU sports, but can’t watch a full-length program:

You are too busy and you should watch more programming, really. They are having a lot of fun making it:

I was back in the studio this morning for a take on the old Dating Game show. That should be out early next week.

A game I’ve been running on Twitter has concluded:

What do you think? Did the voters get it right? What should have made the final round? Even if you have an entirely different set of songs, at least one of these is now stuck in your head. You are, of course, welcome for that.


7
Feb 19

Today I learned what my office floor used to be

I won’t tell you what my floor was — this is a family site — but I will tell you this. Our building is currently in its third life. What now houses much of The Media School used to be an administration building and, before that, it was the university’s library. Our offices are in the stacks, which all have a different personality owing to the lower ceilings and many columns. Books are heavy and there were a lot of books, of course.

We had dinner this evening with our friend who is one of the university’s archivists. The oral history program of the university’s bicentennial program is one of the many things she helps look after. And apparently one theme that has come up a few times in some of the older stories is what each floor of the library was. Each floor had its own personality, it seems. And mine was no different.

It was an important meeting place and I’m thinking we should put up a commemorative plaque.

I visited the store. Almost hit this guy:

Look, if you study the left margin, you can see the nearest cart corral. It was four parking spots away. Four spots from where someone just left their cart. Bloomington people, man.

Today we are starting a new book in my grandfather’s book section. We’ve now glanced through two Reader’s Digest, and we’re staying with that celebrated publication today. We have two more Reader’s Digest issues to see, so let us start our inspection of the October 1966 issue. I suspect we’ll get about three weeks out of this one, starting with these five images.

Click the book cover below to jump right in to today’s additions.

If you’d like to check out all of the stuff I’ve posted from my grandfather’s books so far, start here.


6
Feb 19

Video things

Time in the studio last night. We’ve started experimenting with a one-anchor desk. It could become a great thing. Allison Zeithammer is holding things down this week:

Also, National Weather Person Day is apparently a thing. I know a lot of meteorologists and weather people, and we had two of them hanging out in the studio last night. So they did a little thing with them:

This is my favorite thing of the day:


1
Feb 19

One of these stories is bigger than the other

I go to this particular grocery store for a particular thing every eight days or so. It’s across town, in the next town, really. It is 10 miles away and takes 20 minutes, if you’re lucky. You navigate the pot-holed parking lot, park, go inside and back to the front left corner to the refrigerated section. It is a small store and I’ve never seen more than two of the registers open. There’s never been a line of more than two people waiting to checkout.

The Salvation Army sets up during the holidays outside, of course. And the girl scouts are there every now and then. Once I visited while the local food bank was taking donations. I bought some things and gave them to the people manning the food bank table and you’d have thought I gave them the winning lottery ticket. It’s a little country town, really, just stuck on the northside of this other little town, a town which happens to have a world-class university at its center. You wouldn’t know it to be in this next town, or in this tired little grocery store. It’s perfectly fine, but it needs an update. It is always clean, but the white floors and the fixtures have an age to them to make it feel a little scuzzy, somehow.

Or maybe it’s some of the shoppers:

This is the fourth time I’ve moved someone’s cart out of the handicapped spot. I’m only there once every so often for four or five minutes, but I’ve done this four times. It is a little thing that, one supposes, happens all the time, which makes it a big thing, which makes it something more than inconsiderate.

This afternoon I produced another oral history. This one featured Dean Gerardo Gonzalez. He’s a dapper fellow, exceedingly and unfailingly considerate and polite. And he looks good in a bow tie:

He’s semi-retired, and is now technically a dean emeritus, but he’s still teaching. And these days taking students on trips to his native Cuba.

Gonzalez has had a full career, as you might expect of a man who has reached such a standing. He’s an expert on alcohol and drug education. He’s worked at Miami and at Florida and has supervised different programs at all six of the IU campuses. But his full story is a fascinating one. I wish you could hear it. You can read about it. His memoir came out late last year, and has been well received.

Today he told the story about how his parents brought he and his sister to the U.S. from Cuba in 1962. It was three years into Castro’s revolution. Those were the last days when you could still come directly here. The process was this: You applied for an exit visa, if it was approved, the state would come and inventory everything you owned. You could use it, but it all now belonged to the state. Then, at some point after that you’d receive a telegram telling you your visas had been approved. You had 48 hours to leave.

Gonzalez was 11 years old, and said he remembers a great deal of commotion. They swapped out his parents’ good mattress for his grandparents’ bad one. The state owned a mattress, but a mattress is a mattress to the state. He said his father had $40, but got scared of trying to carry that much. They bought two bottles of Bacardi rum.

It was the four of them, a man, his wife and two kids. They had the clothes on their back, five bucks, two bottles of rum and virtually no English. That’s how they came to America.

That’s the story that sent me into the weekend.