December 12, 2014

FROM THE POUCH

Volume 1, Issue 11 – December 12, 2014

 It’s Been a Long Time…

I’m sorry that it’s been a while since the last issue of FROM THE POUCH. I’ve been on the road a lot, at alumni events, getting my family moved up from Georgia, at a meeting of our regional accreditation body (Middle States Association, the meeting was in Washington DC) and at a SUNY presidents meeting (in New York City).   When I’ve been on campus, I’ve been in back-to-back meetings, which pile up whenever I’m on the road. Something had to give, and for the past few weeks, what gave was this blog. Anyway, I’ll get it out as often as I can.

Student Issues

I’ve gotten a few emails lately from students asking why the college is charging them for printing, especially since various people in the library and in other places have told them we don’t charge. So, do we charge or don’t we? I checked into this, and the answer is that we don’t charge. There’s a certain allowance of printing that each student is given. For most students, that allowance is more than sufficient for their printing needs. There are a few students, however, who overdo it and print a lot more than that. In those cases, a “charge” appears on their account, but that’s only an indication that they’re printing more than they probably should, and what the extra printing would cost you if they did it at a print shop. In other words, we want those folks to know that they’re overdoing it, and need to think twice before printing off things that really aren’t necessary.

 

Every Life Counts

Last Friday Delta Omega Epsilon and Gamma Sigma Zeta, two SUNY Canton fraternities, held a demonstration protesting the killings of two black men, Michael Brown (in Missouri) and Eric Gardner (in New York City). About 50 people (including me) were there at the demonstration, which began at Roselle Plaza. The demonstration consisted of a silent march around most of the buildings and residence halls on campus, followed by a moment of silence while candles were lit in remembrance. Many of the marchers carried signs saying All Lives Matter. When asked why they chose a silent march, the demonstration’s organizers said: “silence can speak louder than words.”

Protest

The same day, there were similar protests at other campuses and in cities across the country. There have also been a lot of people who don’t understand why the protests have been so widespread. In a well-written piece in the New York Times, Charles M. Blow wrote:

The argument is that this is not a perfect case, because Brown — and, one would assume, now Garner — isn’t a perfect victim and the protesters haven’t all been perfectly civil, so therefore any movement to counter black oppression that flows from the case is inherently flawed. But this is ridiculous and reductive, because it fails to acknowledge that the whole system is imperfect and rife with flaws. We don’t need to identify angels and demons to understand that inequity is hell… People want to be assured of equal application of justice and equal — and appropriate — use of police force, and to know that all lives are equally valued.

…We must acknowledge — with eyes and minds wide open — the world as it is if we want to change it.

On Friday, I’m proud to say, SUNY Canton students took a stand, with eyes and minds wide open, respectfully with a silence that spoke volumes, to face the world as it is and take steps to try to change it for the better.

My Thanksgiving Trip

On Saturday November 22nd, I drove down to Georgia to pick up Jill (my wife) and Mark (my son) for their final move to Canton. On the first day of driving, I went from Canton all the way to Winchester, VA, following I-81 all the way down from Watertown. The roads were mostly fine, but I ran into a big traffic jam due to construction between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania and lost almost an hour there. Once you reach Harrisburg, things move quickly—the Maryland border is close by, Maryland and West Virginia are very narrow on I-81, and you’re in Virginia before you know it. I wasn’t that tired when I hit Winchester, but it was 5:30 PM and very dark, so I decided to call it a day.

I got up at 7:00 AM on Sunday, and continued on I-81 south. Virginia is very long and it seems to take forever to get from Winchester to Roanoke, and then almost all the way to Wytheville. I switched there onto I-77 and as I began to drive across North Carolina it began to rain. By the time I reached Statesville, NC, it was absolutely pouring. I kept going and switched onto I-85 in South Carolina and the rain only got worse. By Spartanburg, the visibility had gotten so bad that you could only see about 10 feet in front of you. I kept going, determined to get home, and finally reached Georgia, where the rain got heavier still. In Metro-Atlanta, on the I-285 beltway, it poured so hard I couldn’t even see the lane stripes. Just as I reached my exit, the rain stopped and everything was fine the last few miles to Marietta, where I used to live.

Tuesday morning, the movers came and loaded up the truck with the rest of our stuff (I had brought about half our things up earlier, when I first moved to Canton), finishing at about 2:00 PM. We did a bit of cleaning, loaded up the clothes and stuff that Jill couldn’t bear to send up on the truck into the car. We left Marietta at about 7:00 PM, wanting to get a start on the trip back, since there was supposed to be a nor’easter hitting the east coat on Wednesday and I wanted to time our trip so that we’d miss it. After a huge traffic jam on I-285 around Atlanta (since everyone else traveling also had the same idea of getting an advanced start on their holiday travel) it was smooth sailing and we got to Greenville, SC at about 10 PM, where we called it a night.

On Wednesday, we got onto the highway, went about 20 miles, and promptly ran into a traffic jam. We got stuck for about 30 minutes, finding out that it was caused by an accident where a car had gone off the road into a guardrail. The traffic cleared and we were off again for about 10 minutes, when we ran into another traffic jam. We crept along for about 40 minutes, when I had enough of it and pulled off at an exit to get some gas. I asked someone at the station if they knew what was causing the jam, and they said a tractor-trailer had gone off the road on its side, blocking one lane about half a mile ahead. We got back on the highway, crept along for another 10 minutes passing the truck, and all was well from there.

We got onto I-77 and headed north. At about 3:00 PM, just before reaching Virginia, I saw an exit for Mount Airy, birthplace of Andy Griffith and the town on which Mayberry was based. We decided we had to go there. Mount Airy is now a bit of a tourist town, with lots of stores there named the Mayberry this or Mayberry that. Floyd’s Barber Shop is there, as is Walker’s Drug Store, and Opie’s Cookie Shop. There’s an Andy Griffith Museum (sadly, closed for the holidays) and an Andy Griffith Playhouse, in front of which is an iconic statue of Andy and Opie Taylor heading for the fishing hole, just like at the beginning of the Andy Griffith Show. We had a fine time looking around and taking pictures, and then got back on the highway, stopping for the night in Roanoke.

10430869_10152828104525211_4850189824135696223_n

Thanksgiving Day, we found that the nor’easter hadn’t left all that much snow in the Shenandoah Valley and that the roads were fine. When we got to West Virginia, it started to rain, and 25 minutes later when we hit Maryland, it started to sleet. Fortunately, the sleet didn’t last long and it was clear skies when we hit Pennsylvania. We got to Scranton at about 6:00 PM and decided to spend the night there. The only place open for Thanksgiving dinner was a Ruby Tuesday’s, so that’s where we ate. No turkey was available, so I had a Thanksgiving steak instead, with Jill going for the salad bar and Mark electing pasta.

Friday, we woke to find that some snow had fallen overnight and that the parking lot was very icy, but the roads were fine. We ran into another brief traffic jam a little before Binghamton (another tractor trailer on its side). As we neared Syracuse, lake effect snow showers began, but nothing too bad. We were home in Canton by 3:30, having missed the storm pretty much entirely. It’s great to be home, but I’m not looking forward to dealing with the gazillion additional boxes of stuff that arrived on the truck last Monday. I guess I’ll be dealing with that over the entire winter.

 

Holiday Time…

On Saturday, December 6, I attended the 2014 Children’s Holiday Party, held in Dana Hall. The place was packed with children of all ages, enjoying Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanzaa holiday games and crafts from countries around the world. The party was organized and staffed by faculty, staff, and students from our Early Childhood Education program, led by Prof. Maureen Maiocco.

IMG_1296

Everyone had a marvelous time, with the highlight of the day being (of course) the arrival of Santa Claus.

IMG_1269Me, Santa, and Prof. Maiocco

I’m told that the Children’s Holiday Party has become a “must go” event for lots of families in Canton, and I can easily see why. I certainly intend to be there every year. Congratulations to everyone in Early Childhood Education for doing this wonderful event every year.

Last Week’s Trivia Contest

Last week’s trivia contest had to do with snow. The first person getting all four correct was Atri Espiritusanto. Others getting all four right included Mae Farmer, Kamrie Davis, Jessica Emerle, Rebecca Keyes, and Francesco Palumbo.

Just come by my office (6th floor of FOB) to get your prize, a $10 gift card, usable anywhere on campus, Atri. Here are the correct answers:

  1. She fell into a coma after eating a poisoned apple, but was awakened by a kiss. Snow White.
  2. What you make when you lie down in the snow, and move your arms up and down. A Snow Angel.
  3. Don’t forget to put them on your car before the weather gets bad. Snow Tires.
  4. Snow song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Snow (Hey Oh).

This Week’s Trivia Challenge

With finals nearly over (hope everyone did well!), our last Trivia Challenge for 2014 has every answer containing the word last. The first reply with the most answers right takes the prize.  No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO answers@canton.edu since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them!

  1. If you wait until then to book it, you probably won’t get the flight you want.
  2. You write it so that people know what to do when you pass away.
  3. Madonna, Bono, Ludacris, and Cher don’t have one, but you probably do.
  4. This song by ZZ Ward’s chorus begins with: No more white picket fences,
    No more lace veils or vows, No more “You’re the only one” ‘cause that’s all done with now.
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