Days like yesterday remind me that “universal” and “university” share the same Latin roots.
Eric Olson, a senior and manager of ArtStreet Café, met me at 8 a.m. to talk about the “sick, twisted love” that gets him up early mornings and at all hours of the night to manage this entity of the student-run Flyer Enterprises.
After a morning of writing and rewriting headlines for alumni profiles in the UDQ , I went to lunch and then to teach my writing class. Trapped in a hot room on the day before Easter break, we talked about the amazing range of news stories they’ve picked for their final essay: the war in Iraq and the Moussaoui trial, of course, but also a local steel mill strike, NFL labor negotiations, General Motors’ struggles, the gang MS-13, the rise of satellite radio and a lot else.
But it was the sophomore I lunched with who was on my mind all day. As we walked in a light breeze back from Brown Street, she looked up at the beautiful blue sky and said, “This reminds me of home.”Home is Rwanda, which she fled on foot as an 8-year-old girl, dodging bullets and bombs, hopping over mutilated bodies and fighting other kids for scraps of food.
The writing class immediately followed lunch, and then I was back in my office putting the final touches on the spring Dayton Educator magazine, which went to the printer by the end of the day.
Some days, universities are like that.
The civil engineering capstone projects get bigger, better and more popular every year.
This year’s endeavor is a proposed 200-foot tall monument to the Wright brothers at the southwest corner of the Interstate 70 and 75 interchange. Past projects include a recreation center, a visual and performing arts building and proposed uses for the NCR Corp. property UD purchased last year.
“These projects are getting more and more ambitious,” adviser and civil engineering lecturer Don Chase said. “They are more visible and meaningful (than in past years).”
When Kelly Moon studied in Asia in 2004, she saw the prostitutes propositioning customers in front of brothels and on street corners. What she didn’t see were the children as young as 5 who she heard are sold into the sex trade industry.
Only after she returned to Dayton did she realize that both the women and the children are part of the same morally and economically destructive cycle that is fueled, in part, by the internationalization of business.
During yesterday’s Stander Symposium, Moon discussed the growing problem in human trafficking, the topic of her senior international business capstone project. (See a “Dateline” segment she shared.)
“This is something that we, as international business majors, will deal with in our jobs,” she said. “This is something our peers or fellow employees might be involved in, I’m sad to say, and it’s an issue we can make a difference in.”
She reported that this modern-day slavery is found across the globe, with 60,000 to 80,000 women and children annually being trafficked across international borders. It’s a multibillion-dollar industry that is both a human rights and business problem, she said.
Governments spend an increasing amount of money combating the spread of disease, violence and other illegal trade caused by the sex trade, reducing resources available for legitimate business. Thousands of girls are left demoralized and without education, reducing countries’ economic viability. Businesses are also hampered in growing markets where major human rights and freedom violations require international sanctions.
She made these suggestions to stem the growth:
— Refuse to participate.
— Do not openly or silently condone such behavior in your peers or business partners.
— Educate others about human trafficking.
She also recommends that businesses pass a zero-tolerance policy for their employees, similar to one the U.S. government instituted for its overseas officials. “So much of this is done by businessmen on business trips,” she said. “I think a zero-tolerance policy would be a great start.”
Jane Goodall gave the crowd that packed the Frericks Center a chimpanzee’s morning greeting: short hoots and pants that grew increasingly voluble and excitable.
“That means ‘Hi’,” she said. “It also means, ‘This is me.’ Every chimpanzee has his or her own individual voice.”
Goodall’s distinctly individual voice and unique path have often placed her at odds with scientific convention. The primatologist and conservationist shared these experiences during her Stander Symposium keynote address April 5.
In 1960, Goodall, then 26, arrived at Lake Tanganyika to study the area’s chimpanzee population. She made breakthrough discoveries, observing that chimps use tools, hunt and eat other animals and form lasting family relationships. She insisted on the validity of her observations that animals have distinct personalities, minds and emotions – findings that have implications for humans and their stewardship of Earth.
She learned to defend those observations at Cambridge University, where she later enrolled “to go straight for a Ph.D.” because as her mentor, paleontologist Louis Leakey noted, “We don’t have time for a B.A.”
Click here for a recent interview with Goodall.
At the University of Dayton Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop last weekend, writers got to write about writing on a blog posted through the workshop’s home page (click on “Live from the Bombeck Workshop” and then on “comments” to read writers’ reactions). The main buzz was around Dave Barry, the keynote speaker during Thursday’s opening dinner, who left the humor column writing business so “everybody would have a chance,” according to blogger Dave Lieber. Barry also had kind words for those he met during the book signing that evening. Here’s the experience of Joe Blundo, columnist for the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch:
Just another Dave Barry note: My son, Noah, is a columnist for the Post at Ohio University, and he worships Dave Barry. So at the Erma, I bought Dave’s new book, figuring I’d have him autograph it for Noah. While standing in line for the autograph, it occurred to me to ask Dave if he’d talk to Noah on my cell phone. So when I got to where Dave was sitting, I handed him the book and the phone and explained the situation. He took the phone and said, “Hi, Noah. This is Dave Barry. I just wanted to tell you that your dad is here at this convention and he’s drunk and naked.” The only thing that could have impressed my son more was if I really had been drunk and naked. Because, hey, he’s a college student. He respects heavy-duty partying.
The first documentary produced about Erma Bombeck’s life premiered before 350 writers at last weekend’s Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. ”Erma Bombeck: A Legacy of Laughter” sparked laughter, tears and some guilt from the mostly female audience. One writer asked if the kids ever felt like they were intruding on their mom while she wrote. “She used to lock herself in her office, and we’d slip notes — lots of notes — under the door. I don’t know. It didn’t seem like neglect,” said Betsy Bombeck to laughter.
Narrated by talk show pioneer and former neighbor Phil Donahue, the half-hour documentary will air on more than 270 public television stations, more than 90 percent of the nation’s television markets.
What kind of grapes are in a cabernet sauvignon? How do you even pronounce that? These questions and many others are answered in Tom Davis’ wine tasting class, a Monday night course with a waiting list. With Wine for Dummies as the textbook, this is no ordinary class.
Each week 65 students learn everything there is to know about wine, from how to correctly open the bottle to the origin of the grapes within. A recent homework assignment included visiting a wine store, a task no one complained about.
“Tom Davis and his wine tasting course are truly among UD’s most valuable treasures,” said Susan Byrnes, director of ArtStreet and a student in the course. “The class is both spiritual and scientific, full-bodied with the spice of life.”
Davis, a professor in the School of Business Administration, has been teaching the art of wine tasting for more than six years.
The half-semester course will end with a formal dinner that will include a tasting of more than 20 wines and gourmet food from Kennedy Union to show the great combinations wine and food can make. Swirling, sniffing and sipping are all just part of the class.
What makes good humor?
A keen punch line:
“The Rose Bowl is the only bowl I’ve ever seen that I didn’t have to clean.” — Erma Bombeck
Or maybe a peek at the absurd.
Mark Shatz teased wit from of the brains of attendees at today’s UD Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. His session, “Using Stand-up Principles to Punch-up Humor Writing,” sent participants on a visual journey of the bizarre. Take, for example, bar stool cushions. When asked what else they could be used for, one group shouted out bun covers for Princess Leia’s hair. Another suggested nursing pads for Dolly Parton.
How about humor in opposites?
Shatz dared the crowd to expose the most unlikely people to get body piercings.
The biggest groaner: hemophiliacs.
The most surprising answer: the Amish.
And where would the Amish go to get these body piercings?
One man chimed in: “They’d have to find that needle in a haystack.”
“Amy Lopez and Miryam of Nazareth. What can we say about both these women?” Sister Laura Leming, FMI, asked those who gathered to see Lopez, director of conference services and Kennedy Union, receive the 2006 Miryam Award on March 22. On the list of their gifts and graces, was this: “She is not fearful of other’s power. She acts as if she is a partner in their growth.”
The Miryam Award honors an individual or group for enhancing the climate for women on campus and includes $1,000 to be designated to an area on campus. Lopez will dedicate the money “toward education about the most destructive and prevalent crime affecting college-age women – sexual assault,” she said. “We need to look for creative and successful ways to provide education to our students and staff that goes beyond telling our women how to be safe. We need to provide training to Public Safety and to prioritize sexual assault education for them and for our male students. Our climate will never be welcoming, supportive and Marianist as long as this crime exists in our community.”
Campus trend-spotters, take note. Handmade beaded necklaces are quietly draping the necks of more and more employees across campus.
The hands that make them belong to Chris McCann, records auditor in the office of the registrar. The hands that sell them are her coworker’s, Rosey Terzian. The hands and bodies and minds that benefit from them belong to children attending a Marianist-run school in Nairobi, Kenya.
All proceeds of the necklaces, which sell for between $7 and $20, benefit Our Lady of Nazareth, a school of 1,500 children ages 5 to 14 run by Father Marty Solma, S.M. ’71. (Solma describes the school in this video.)
McCann didn’t have sales or Solma in mind when she took up beading just before this past Christmas. In fact, she didn’t want the trouble of selling them, Terzian’s suggestion, and thought if she could avoid thinking of a charity to support she’d be off the hook.
That’s when her boss, Tom Westendorf, walked by and said, “How about Father Marty?”
In just three weeks of sales, McCann has raised nearly $1,000, almost enough to sponsor two hot meals a day, school uniforms and education for eight children for a year.