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The Weekly Blab 5.20

The Weekly Blab

Volume 5, Issue 20—January 26, 2011


Starting at Last

The roads were finally plowed and SPSU finally opened last week.  Yes, I know we were open for part of the day the previous Friday, but since my class didn’t meet (it’s at 9 AM, and we didn’t open until 10), it doesn’t really count!  Naturally, everyone was trying to make up for lost time, scheduling meetings back to back until I didn’t know if I was coming or going.  To add to the crunch, I was also the presenter of the International Film Series movie on Tuesday, and also working with Jeff Orr preparing for this week’s presentation at UGA on “The Rest of the Story”—the desegregation of everyone except UGA!  Several people have expressed interest in seeing the presentation, so Jeff and I have decided to present it at SPSU as well.  Stay tuned for details of when and where.


In this week’s soccer update, beloved Chelsea didn’t play this weekend (though they won last week 2-0 and also won their first FA cup game, so perhaps the dark clouds have lifted), so I was stuck watching teams of lesser interest.  One of the games was an FA cup replay (since the first time ended in a tie) between Arsenal (in the premiere league) and Leeds (championship league—that’s one click down from the premiere league).  Aresenal took the game 3-1, but it was a heck of a game that Leeds has nothing to be embarrassed about, including a 30-yard stunning goal by Bradley Johnson, which will probably go into the goal of year competition. 


Just to show you where my money goes, on Sunday I was decked out in sartorial splendor as I went on my usual round of CD shopping, wearing an Ivory Coast national team jersey from the 2010 World Cup that I bought on eBay that arrived in the mail on Friday.  Which player’s jersey?  Number 11 of course—Chelsea’s leading striker, Didier Drogba.


Classes Begin

My Advanced Inorganic Chemistry—Main Group Chemistry class began on Wednesday, and has seven students in it.  All have successfully completed Organic Chemistry and most have taken Physical Chemistry as well.  They’re a good group, and quickly got into the mode of answering the dozens of questions I pose in each class.  We’re currently reviewing some things from previous courses that will be important here, and will be getting into new stuff next Monday.  The classroom has a whiteboard and smart board in it, but I’m old fashioned enough to still miss having a chalkboard…


This Past Week’s Events

Monday was Martin Luther King’s Birthday, and I spend a day on, not a day off, doing research for the UGA talk.  One of the things we now know is that there were three black students in the first integrated class at SPSU, and thanks to the Georgia Tech archives, we now know their names via a letter from Hoyt McClure to L.V. Johnson (both of whom were campus directors for SPSU back in the days when we were part of Georgia Tech): Ahmed DuBois Adams, Willie James Hope, Harold R. Adams, and William M. Dodd.  Up until now, we only knew about Willie Hope (who, when we found out about him, was quickly featured in an issue of the SPSU Alumni Magazine last year).  In writing up another topic for the talk involving the Rosenwald fund (a charitable fund mostly focused on building schools for rural black children starting between 1912 and 1937), I happened to mention the name to our own Joyce Mills, who promptly told me that she attended a Rosenwald school in Panama City, Florida when she was a girl.  Some of these schools, including the one Joyce attended, are now being designated as Historic Landmarks.


Tuesday night was the movie, “Rabbit-Proof Fence”, which came off well to a small audience.  We did have a good discussion afterward.


Thursday was the first open forum on the proposed Academic Integrity Policy.  Some suggestions that were made included trimming the proposal down (it was viewed as being too detailed), adding a general definition of academic integrity, and giving faculty leeway as to whether they have to use the policy if they’re going to impose a sanction due to cheating/plagiarism.


Friday and Saturday brought the Future Cities competition to SPSU.  Ably stewarded by Dawn Ramsey, the number of schools participating went up another 25% giving us a very full house.  For the first time, an orthodox Jewish school participated, which required an extra judging session to be held on Friday, before the Sabbath began at sundown.  Thanks to the more than 120 people who volunteered as judges, timers, greeters, etc.  The students were imaginative in their designs (not to mention being cute as a bug’s ear), and the judges had a hard time picking the winners.  Ultimately, last year’s winner, Queen of Angels Catholic School came in second, and the first prize (which includes a trip to Washington DC to compete in the nationals) went to Brooks County Middle School (Jakarta).


Job Prospects

Bob Thacker forwarded me an article about job prospects in 2011, as indicated by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).  Their job survey indicates that SPSU is well situated in offering what employers will be looking for—the strongest hiring areas will be Accounting, Finance, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Business Administration.  A summary of the report can be found online.


Last Week’s Trivia Challenge

Last week’s topic was desegregation in Georgia.  No one entered, so everyone is assigned to attend our talk when we give it at SPSU!


  1. What was the name of the landmark Supreme Court case that called for desegregation of schools?  Brown vs. Board of Education
  2. Who were the first two black students to attend UGA? Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes
  3. In what year did SPSU desegregate? 1964
  4. In what year did SPSU pass the 1000 black student enrollment milestone?  It was the same year we passed the 1000 female student milestone. 2008
  5. What was the first university in Georgia to desegregate?  (Hint—it wasn’t UGA)  Atlanta University (now part of Clark Atlanta)


This Week’s Trivia Challenge

Today, we focus on nicknames.  As usual, the first with the most takes the prize.


1.  What state is “The Empire State”?

2.  Who was “The Little Tramp”?

3.  What was Denton True Young’s nickname?

4.  Who was “The Angel of the Battlefield”?

5.  What was William Henry Harrison’s nickname?