April 17, 2018

THE WEEKLY BLAB

Volume 12, Issue 11–April 17, 2018

  

April Showers

I actually started writing this section of the BLAB on April 8 about the odd weather we’ve been having, and due to one thing or another haven’t been able to finish it until today, with the odd weather only continuing.  April 3 started off as a pleasant and sunny day.  As the day progressed, the wind began to blow harder and harder, reaching up to 60 mph.  At various points, it began to snow a little and the snow was so finely divided that it became almost like a white-out, even though there was very little accumulation.  The wind uprooted a few trees and caused some driving difficulties.

On Friday April 6th, an inch or two of snow was expected, which could have been a problem, as I was spending most of the day in Watertown for a presidential inauguration (see below), and Watertown gets the lake effect snow.  In actuality, not much happened down there—there was some wet snow for about an hour, but that was it and my ride home was fine, though more snow had fallen in Canton and the trees had a nice frosting.

There were a few flurries on Sunday April 9th and I thought that might be it for the season.  I was prepared to take my patio furniture out and set up the barbeque, but fortunately I wimped out that weekend, since winter wasn’t done with us yet.  I was in Albany most of the week (again, see below) and when I got back to Canton on Friday April 13th, things were fine.

This past weekend was quite another story.  It started getting nasty on Saturday afternoon, and I woke up on Sunday morning at 2:30 AM since my C-pap breathing device had shut down, due to our electricity going out.  I checked on the National Grid web app, and the electricity was out all over Canton.  I immediately called the College Police to see what was happening on campus, but the College is on a different circuit and all was fine there.  Unfortunately, when the power goes off, our sump pump goes off with it and the water began to rise.  Over the next three hours, about half the basement flooded.  Fortunately, the power came back on again at 5:30 AM or so and the pump kicked in before too much damage was done.  The weather stayed nasty the rest of the day, with snow, freezing rain, and ice at various times, resulting in the roads becoming sheets of ice.

We delayed classes for two hours on Monday, to allow time for the crews to finish salting and sanding the campus, and when I went out to drive to the College at about 8:30 AM, my driveway was all slippery ice, and there was about a half inch of ice on the car’s windshield that needed to be scraped off.  The main roads were fine, but lots of people who live in the more rural areas had to contend with icy back roads and had some trouble.  There was a light rain on Tuesday and today has brought some very light flurries, since the temperature is in the high 30’s.  The rest of the week is supposed to be in the 40’s, hitting 55° on Sunday and 61° on Monday.  I’ll believe it when I see it.

  

Art Gallery

I’ve gotten a couple of new pieces of art for my office “gallery”.  The first came from our new Director of Human Resources, Suzan McDermott.  Suzan had visited my office a few weeks ago and as we chatted to get better acquainted, the topic turned to music as it often does to me.  I played a few songs that I thought she might like from Youtube, including Leonard Cohen’s song Chelsea Hotel No. 1 (this is not the version he released on an album—that’s Chelsea Hotel No. 2—but I like the earlier form better that he only performed at a few concerts).  For those who don’t know, the song is an homage to Janis Joplin written a little after her untimely death.

Imagine my pleasant surprise when Suzan came by a few weeks later with a gorgeous framed piece of artwork collage based on several themes in the song as a gift for me.  Suzan is obviously a very talented graphic artist and I love the picture!

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Then, on April 4, I found three big boxes coming by mail delivered to my porch.  When I opened one of them up, I saw something wrapped in what seemed to be an outer layer of a ton of bubble-wrap.  Removing that layer gave me a new layer of somewhat smaller bubble wrap, inside which was something that was shrink-wrapped.  Removing that layer gave me something in cardboard, which contained something taped in a paper wrapper.  Getting all of that off took a good 15 minutes.  When I finally saw what was on the inside, it was two pages of original comic book art, beautifully framed, from the Archie comic book that I had appeared in way back when I was at my first college, in a story the Archie company had written about microscale chemistry.  The other two boxes contained the other four pages of the story, similarly nicely framed.  I think the pages are perfect copies of the original pages (which are in the college’s archives), but I’m not going to open the frames to find out.  They look fantastic!

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So, if you come into my office in the future, you’ll be able to see the whole comic story, featuring me and my colleagues Ron Pike and Mohan Singh, set at Merrimack College (my first teaching position) and at Riverdale High School (Archie’s school).  I think everyone knows the story of how this story got into the comic book in the first place, but if anyone asks me to, I’ll tell it in a future BLAB.  A big thanks to Merrimack and to Cindy McGowan who sent me the pages and had them framed.  I truly appreciate it.

These new acquisitions pretty much take up all the remaining wall space in my office and meeting room, so if anything else new comes in, I don’t know where we’ll put it.  As the old saying goes, “what a nice problem to have”!

 

Inaugurations!

As mentioned above, on Friday April 6, I drove down to Watertown to attend the inauguration of the new president at Jefferson Community College, Ty Stone.  The day began with a nice lunch at a local restaurant, after which we went onto campus, robed up, and became the procession of dignitaries for the inauguration.  The ceremony was very nice, and the highlight was a jazz performance on trumpet by Dr. Stone’s son (accompanied by a friend on trombone) of the song “Isn’t She Lovely”, which got a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience.  Dr. Stone’s inaugural speech focused on the importance of JCC to the local community, and on her goals for the future.

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Chancellor Kristina Johnson and President Ty Stone

The following Friday I was in Albany to attend the inauguration of the new president of The University at Albany, Havidán Rodríguez.  Once again it was a very nice ceremony with the student groups Serendipity and the Earth Tones supplying some musical accompaniment.  Dr. Rodríguez’ speech focused on the new “Authoring Our Success” plan for the University.

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L-R:  Chancellor Kristina Johnson, President Havidán Rodríguez, and Chairman of Board of Trustees H. Carl McCall

Congratulations to SUNY’s newest presidents, and I’m looking forward to working with them in the future.

 

More in Albany

I actually went down to Albany on April 10th, to attend the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence presentation.  The Chancellor’s Award is given to some 250 students from the SUNY system.  Since SUNY serves nearly 600,000 students in one way or another, winning one is quite an accomplishment, since it requires both high academic excellence with other forms of achievement, such as leadership, community service, and campus involvement!  Two students from SUNY Canton won the award.  Jessica Fischer is a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering Technology, who has led many environmental efforts on our campus, including initiating a pre-consumer food waste composting operation.  She also did research on wind turbines, including volunteering with WindAid Institute to install a wind turbine in a rural area of Peru.  Kaitlyn Tibbetts is a senior majoring in Criminal Investigation, who is currently an intern with the U.S. Secret Service in Knoxville, TN.  She received the McBride Criminal Justice Student Award through the NY State Police Chief’s Association, and was recognized as the Outstanding Associate Degree Graduate at SUNY Canton in 2016.  Both are wonderful students and fine persons, and we’re very proud of them.  Congratulations to Jessica and Kaitlyn!

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L-R: Jessica Fischer, Me, Kaitlyn Tibbetts

On April 11th and 12th, I attended the conference “Shall Make No Law: An Exploration of Current First Amendment Issues on College Campuses” along with five others from the College—our two Co-Chief Diversity Officers Bill Jones and Lashawanda Ingram, our Director of Student Conduct Kristen Roberts, our Student Conduct Officer Nate Pietropaolo, and our Chief of University Police Al Mulkin.  The conference was interesting, focusing on both free speech and religious issues, but the area is extremely complicated with lots of contradictory rulings in the courts.

The consensus view of the speakers was that campuses have to stick pretty closely to allowing any kind of speech on campus, but that colleges can have time and place restrictions for events so long as they are consistent for all groups.  One of the more challenging issues is that legally, even hate speech is part of free speech and that students (and everyone else on campus) should not try to stop it, though they are (of course) free to challenge and reply to it.  Some suggestions in dealing with hate speech included encouraging students to come prepared to politely ask challenging questions, or to not come at all and let the hate-speaker speak to an empty auditorium.  Students often question if this is enough of a response.

We continue to work hard at SUNY Canton to find ways of having civil discussions on controversial issues, and to ensure that our students have the opportunity to engage with responsible viewpoints on all sides of contemporary issues.

 

Last Time’s Trivia Contest

Last time’s contest had to do with songs about dancing.  Our winner was Rebecca Blackmon.   Just come to my office on the 6th floor of MacArthur Hall to get your prize—a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository.  Here are the correct answers:

  1. Beatles song that starts “Well, shake it up baby now”. Twist and Shout.
  2. David Bowie song with lyrics: “And if you say run, I’ll run with you/And if you say hide, we’ll hide. Let’s Dance.
  3. Chubby Checker had two song hits about this dance, the second one about doing the dance “like we did last summer”. The Twist.
  4. Most dances require having a partner, but not in this song by Billy Idol. Dancing with Myself.
  5. Halloween song by Bobby Pickett, the lyrics begin: “I was working in the lab late one night/When my eyes beheld an eerie sight/For my monster from his slab began to rise/and suddenly to my surprise. Monster Mash.

 

 

This Time’s Trivia Challenge

This issue’s challenge has to do with songs about flying. The first five entries with the most correct answers win a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository, as well as the admiration of their peers. No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO president@canton.edu since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them.

  1. Peter, Paul and Mary song that starts “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…”
  2. Tony Bennett song that includes the line “Let me see what life is like, on Jupiter and Mars.”
  3. The Steve Miller Band had two songs about flying. Name either one.
  4. Beatles song, also known as “Norwegian Wood”.
  5. Carpenters song about contacting aliens.
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March 23, 2018

THE WEEKLY BLAB

Volume 12, Issue 10–March 23, 2018

 

Spring is Here?

This has been an odd March.  Things got warmer for a spell, and a few weeks ago the snow was all gone.  Just as I was fooled into the belief that we might have an early Spring, the northeast was blasted with four nor’easters.  The first pretty much missed us, the second one gave us a little snow, the third one more or less missed the big cities on the coast but got us with up to 10 inches of snow (though by my house, it was more like 5 inches), and the current one has missed us altogether.  My former stomping grounds of New Hampshire and metro Boston have gotten hit time after time, making this the third winter in a row where their weather has been worse than ours.  May I suggest, to my New England friends, that you consider leaving the high costs of New England and moving to the bucolic North Country of New York?  The predictions are for weather in the high thirties to the fifties for the next 15 days, with only an occasional flurry, so the snow should be gone soon up here.  We’ll see if Mother Nature has another surprise in store for us.

Anyway, Spring Break has come and gone.  That’s also the time for conferences and travel, so I was booked up pretty much throughout, more about which can be found below.

On more esoteric subjects, as everyone who reads the BLAB should know by now, I’ve been obsessed with buying a number of box sets of excellent classical music, given the extensive nature and low prices that are available now.  I had managed to buy every box set but one of the conductor Herbert von Karajan, arguably the best conductor of the 20th century.  You might think that the ones I have should be enough—a set of Karajan’s orchestral music output on EMI (88 discs), four more orchestral boxes (80 discs each or so) and one of operas (70 discs) on Deutsche Grammophon, and one more from a European label that may or may not duplicate parts of the others (117 discs here).  But no—I had to have them all!  There was still one missing—a set of 72 discs of operas and choral music on EMI that was now up to more than $550 on Amazon—a price I was unwilling to pay.  After a year of searching, I finally found one on Discogs at only $160, so I quickly snapped it up and hoped for the best in terms of quality.  It was shipped to me quickly and when it came I breathed a sigh of relief—all the discs were there and it was in nice shape.   My collection is now complete.

Karajan is an interesting case study of a person who is artistically top-notch, but morally, not so much.  The consensus of opinion is that he was an opportunist, joining the Nazi party in the 1930’s (twice!) in order to take advantage of the opportunities that that would provide, though never being particularly active in the party or doing anything overtly anti-Semitic.  There is an interesting documentary called Das Reichsorchester (available on DVD in English) about the history of the Berlin Philharmonic during this period, and how the various musicians responded to the racism of that time.

 

Recent Travels

On Friday March 9th, I flew down to DC for the American Council on Education (ACE) Conference.  I decided to fly down on Boutique Air out of Massena, which has a direct flight to Baltimore-Washington International Airport.  The flight was fine, with the exception of the part just before the landing which was about as bumpy as I have ever experienced.  We landed smoothly, and I took a shuttle for a few minutes to the BWI rail station to catch a train into Washington.  The station serves both Amtrak and MARC (the Maryland commuter rail organization).  The first train was an Amtrak train, but I decided to take the MARC train about 20 minutes later, since the Amtrak ticket would have been $42, and the MARC ticket was $7.  It was a nice sunny day (though only in the high 30’s), so I didn’t mind sitting on the platform and waiting.  The trip into Washington was quite pleasant, and after looking around Union Station (which is quite beautiful) for a while, I took a taxi to my hotel.

The ACE conference is always pleasant because the topics being discussed are important and I run into lots of old friends from the various places I have worked in the past.  This time was a bit sparser, but there were still a few SUNY presidents as well as several from Georgia and elsewhere that I knew.  The presidents’ session began with a discussion on “Telling the Truth in Public: A Dialogue on Free Speech, Inclusion, and Social Movements on Campus”.  The main speaker, DeRay McKession, is the host of the podcast “Save the People”.

This was followed by a “Presidents/Chancellors/Rectors Caucus” on the subject of “Labor Market 2.0: Preparing for the Future of Work”.  The focus was on bridging the skills gap between the graduates produced by colleges and the skills industry wants.  Frankly, I didn’t think the session was very good—it had too much scare-mongering and too little recognition of the fact that graduates need to have flexible skills and an appreciation for lifelong learning, since today’s high technology is tomorrow’s outdated knowledge.

The luncheon discussion was on competency-based education and had a number of good ideas we need to think about.  Western Governors University has been doing some interesting things in this area (resulting in letting students learn at their own pace) and has reached an impressive enrollment of 90,000 in doing them.   The afternoon session was the always interesting session on Federal Relations given by Terry Hartle, who has done this analysis for many years.  The bottom line of this session was that there is still a lot of support in congress for higher education, there is lots of concern that this support is dwindling.

The plenary speaker at the ACE conference, “The Solving the Completion Puzzle: Leadership Counts”, was delivered by our own former Chancellor, Nancy Zimpher, who won the ACE Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mntor Award.  It was nice to see Chancellor Zimpher once more, and when I went up to say “hi” and to wish her well on her talk, she laughed and said “It’s nothing you haven’t heard from me before!”

 

I flew out of DC on Monday to Albany, where I had a meeting with some folks from SUNY to discuss our plans for the Entrepreneurship Accelerator and how we might best be able to carry them out.

On Tuesday, I met with several legislators about our (and SUNY’s) budget priorities.  I was able to meet with our own Assemblywoman Addie Jenne, Assemblymember Deborah Glick (chair of the Higher Education Committee in the Assembly), and staff from Senator Kenneth LaValle (chair of the Higher Education Committee in the Senate), and Senator Kemp Hannon‘s offices.  All the sessions went well, and the legislature is showing strong support for funding maintenance of effort (i.e., the state paying for the salary increases that it negotiates).  I also met with representatives of the New York Dental Association, which is helping us try to secure funding for our Dental Hygiene program.

On Wednesday morning, I took the train down to New York City for some alumni visits.  The trip along the Hudson River is always nice and it was a sunny day which made it even nicer.

I arrived in NYC on time, and walked up to the Residence Inn Times Square to join up with Anne Sibley (V.P. for Advancement) and Jordan Walker (Assistant Director of Individual Giving).  We had a meeting with Tamara Bullock (Class of ’01), who is now a funeral director in NYC, and has recently joined our Foundation Board.  I enjoyed talking to Tamara about her business, her background, and how she came to SUNY Canton.

Later that evening, we had an alumni reception at the Houndstooth Pub on 8th Avenue, hosted by Tom Walsh (Class of ’96 and also on the Foundation Board).  The reception was very nice, with alumni attending ranging from the Class of ’56 to one current student doing an internship in the city.  I gave a short talk on what’s new at the College, which was well received—the alumni were all happy to hear how well things are progressing and about all our new programs.

On Thursday morning, I had a meeting in the morning about the Entrepreneurship Accelerator, and then took the subway up to Penn Station to catch the 1:20 to Albany.  It was another nice day, though the train car I was in was unpleasantly warm.  While on the trip, I got a call from Michaela Young (my Executive Assistant) and then Debbie Flack (my Secretary) telling me that my flight to Massena was likely to be cancelled, as the plane was having mechanical problems.  The airline arranged for a rental car for the four of us booked on the plane that didn’t want to wait at least three hours to see if they could repair it.  So, when I got to Albany, I took a taxi to the airport and the four of us drove on to Massena, arriving at about 8:30 PM, which wasn’t that much later than the 7:15 PM the flight was supposed to arrive.  There wasn’t that much snow on the car—only about 3-4 inches, with a bit of crust at the top.  Wiping it off was easy, and the roads were fine from Massena to home.

 

 

Last Time’s Trivia Contest

Last time’s contest had to do with words starting with “spr”, in honor of spring.  Our fastest responders with all five correct were Jordan Walker, Betsy Rohr Adams, Kimberly Boyd, Greg Kie, and Alan Gabrielli (from SPSU!).   Just come to my office on the 6th floor of MacArthur Hall to get your prizes—a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository.  Here are the correct answers:

  1. If you turn your ankle, you’re likely to get one of these.  Sprain.
  2. In the nursery rhyme, the last name of Jack, who could eat no fat (his wife could eat no lean)?  Sprat.
  3. You can get this done at a salon in Canton or Potsdam in the dead of winter, to make it look like you’ve been in Florida. Spray-on Tan.
  4. Microsoft Excel is the best known one. Spreadsheet Program.
  5. It means lively, agile, and energetic. It’s also the brand name of a dental defense system, and of a vegetable shortening almost as popular as Crisco.  Spry.

 

 

This Time’s Trivia Challenge

This issue’s challenge has to do with songs about dancing. The first five entries with the most correct answers win a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository, as well as the admiration of their peers. No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO president@canton.edu since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them.

  1. Beatles song that starts “Well, shake it up baby now”.
  2. David Bowie song with lyrics: “And if you say run, I’ll run with you/And if you say hide, we’ll hide.
  3. Chubby Checker had two song hits about this dance, the second one about doing the dance “like we did last summer”.
  4. Most dances require having a partner, but not in this song by Billy Idol.
  5. Halloween song by Bobby Pickett, the lyrics begin: “I was working in the lab late one night/When my eyes beheld an eerie sight/For my monster from his slab began to rise/and suddenly to my surprise…”
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March 5, 2018

THE WEEKLY BLAB

Volume 12, Issue 9–March 5, 2018

 

Rest in Peace

This hasn’t been a good time for my family in the past year and a half.  Just as I was typing this issue of the BLAB, I got a text from my sister Drorit that my Uncle Reuven had passed away at 10:15 this morning, Israel time.  Reuven was my mother’s older brother, born December 17, 1931 in Bucharest, Romania.  He was a chemist like me, attending the Scoala Medie Technica de Chimia Synthesasi Materii Plastice (Secondary Technical School of Chemical Synthesis and Plastics—my mother went there too) in Bucharest, obtaining a degree in Chemistry.

After World War II when the communist government of Romania allowed Jews to emigrate, my mother’s side of the family moved to Israel on the ship ‘Transylvania’, arriving in July 1950.  Reuven changed his birth-name (Rudolf Dulzer) to a more Hebrew name of Reuven Avihai then, and lived on Kibbutz Beth Alpha in the lower Galilee at the foot of Mt. Gilboa for six months.  He then joined Kibbutz Magen, a brand-new settlement established by Romanian immigrants, in the northwestern part of the Negev desert.  Reuven later attended the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where he studied Chemistry, and then worked for many years as a chemist.  He was married twice, first to Bianca (with whom he had a daughter, Ronit) and then to Eva.  In his later years, he lived in an apartment in Tel Aviv.  Reuven was highly cultured, speaking fluent French as well as several other languages, and enjoyed discussing literature, music, and theater.

 

Wedding photo: the bride and groom (center row) are my Aunt Shula and Uncle Yoske.  In the back row, the person farthest to the left is my mother Simona, with my father Daniel next to her.  The tallest person in that row is my Uncle Reuven.  The third woman to his right is my grandmother Chaya, and the person with the hat on the right is my grandfather, Bela.

Earlier this year, on January 21, my Uncle Yoske passed away.  He was born in Poland with birth-name Iosef Kleinman, near the village where my father was from.  After the Holocaust, he was in the same displaced persons camp as my father and they came to Israel in the same group of immigrants.  When he came to Israel, my uncle changed his name to Yosef Ronen.  They both initially lived at Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim, near Jerusalem and were close friends.  My father married my mother in 1953, and Yoske married my mother’s younger sister Shula in 1955.  Yoske and Shula had three sons: Aviram, Boaz, and Asaf, all of whom are married and have children of their own.

Yoske was a fun-loving person, always telling stories and jokes and seeing the positive side of life.  He never seemed to get older either until the very end—he had a full head of jet black hair, and always had a smile on his face.  They lived near where we lived in Israel and our families would get together all the time.

Adults L-R: Uncle Yoske, my father Daniel, Aunt Shula, my mother Simona.  Babies L-R: my cousin Aviram, me, my sister Drorit (standing)

He worked for many years for a refrigerator manufacturer as a mechanic.  Family was the most important thing to Yoske (nearly all of his family was murdered during the Holocaust), and nothing made him happier than being with his children and grandchildren as they grew up.  Because of his sunny personality, it was always nice to spend time with him as I was growing up and when I visited Israel.

Rest in peace, Reuven and Yoske.

 

Goodbye February

February may be the shortest month of the year, but I’m still glad that it’s gone.  We’ve had a little snow to welcome March in, though nothing like what they’ve had on the eastern seaboard.  We’re far away enough from that and from the great lakes so that the recent “bomb cyclone” only gave us about half an inch of snow which no one paid any attention to.  Another coastal storm is supposed to hit on Wednesday or Thursday, which will hopefully leave us unaffected as well.  I do feel bad for the folks downstate—they got more than a foot of snow in many places and some people lost power for a while.

  

Women’s Ice Hockey

On February 24, I had the pleasure of attending the quarterfinal playoff game in the Colonial Hockey Conference, where our women’s ice hockey team played Becker College.  It was an excellent game, with the Roos dominating heavily in the first period, outshooting Becker by a 14-0 margin.  Unfortunately, Becker’s goalie, Julia Johnson, was up to the challenge, turning away multiple shots, and the period ended 0-0.  While Becker played somewhat better in the second period, Canton’s Whitney Bernier scored at 16:20, making it 1-0.  The third period was hard-fought and Becker ultimately pulled their goalie to add another offense player, but it was to no avail, as the Roos’ Tess Adams slipped a shot into the empty goal, making the final score 2-0.

The semifinal round didn’t go as well this past weekend, with the Roos losing 4-0 to Endicott.  Congratulations ladies on your excellent season—We’re all proud of you!

 

e-Sports

On March 1, SUNY Canton’s League of Legends e-Sports team competed in the inaugural Eastern College Athletic Association (ECAC) tournament, held at the Albany Capital Center during the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Basketball Championship Fan Fest.  It was a very cool event, with lots of people (tens of thousands of viewers) watching online.  We livestreamed it on campus and had the pleasure of seeing the Roos beat Canisius College in the consolation round, giving us 3rd place.  Not bad at all for a team that has only been around for a few months.  Congratulations to our six athletes (shown below,  l-r standing: Thomas Nagle, Jaden Batista, and Juan-Arturo Nunez.  Seated: Ryan Lee, Joe Canton, and Devon Balasubramaniam) and to our coach, Robert Snow!

e-Sports also give SUNY Canton a chance to play against some teams we would not normally encounter, including the University of Utah and Texas A&M.  We’ve been able to hold our own against these much larger schools (many of which also give athletic scholarships to e-athletes), so this bodes very well for the future.  The new e-Sports lab in Neveldine Hall will be opening soon—the equipment has all been ordered, and we’re just waiting for the new furniture to arrive.

At the tournament in Albany

 

Engineers Week

On February 27, SUNY Canton held its 4th Annual Engineers Week Open House.  In the afternoon, I attended the Career Fair down in Neveldine Hall, and had a chance to talk to the various companies there.  In all cases, they were excited to be at SUNY Canton, and were very pleased by the number and the quality of the students that had stopped at their tables.

That evening, more than 200 students from all over the North Country came by to check out the many different exhibits and hands-on activities at the Open House.

Virtual Reality demonstration

As always, the evening’s highlight was a student competition, this time to build a maglev sailboat.

The maglev race is on!

The winning team in the 9th-12th grade category won a $1200 scholarship for both members, with 2nd place getting a $500 scholarship and 3rd place winning $100 gift cards.  A big thank you to everyone who helped with Engineers Week!

 

Margaret D. Sovie School of Nursing Dedication

On March 1, I had the pleasure of attending the dedication ceremony for the Margaret D. Sovie School of Nursing.  Margaret Sovie was an internationally recognized scholar, researcher, educator, and nursing administrator.  Her research and publications impacted clinical practice and nursing protocols throughout the US and the world.  Margaret was a resident of Ogdensburg and a graduate from the St. Lawrence State Hospital School of Nursing, going on to earn her BSN, MSc and Ph.D. from Syracuse University.  She was also awarded the D.Sc. from SUNY, and two MSN degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.  She worked as an educator and administrator at SUNY Upstate Medical Center and at the University of Pennsylvania’s Strong Memorial Hospital.  After her passing away on August 16, 2002, her husband Al Sovie established a scholarship endowment at SUNY Canton, which helps nursing students here to this day.

As Al neared the end of his own life in 2016, he wanted to leave a lasting and visible recognition of his wife in the North Country, and so left money in his will to establish the Margaret D. Sovie School of Nursing at SUNY Canton.

L-R:  Debbie Polniak, Peggy Sue Levato, Margaret Sovie’s brother William Doe, and me.  The new plaque is behind us.

The ceremony was very nice, recognizing Margaret for her many accomplishments, and unveiling a plaque in her honor.  Several friends and family members of the Sovies were able to attend the ceremony, as did many students and faculty, past and present, from the nursing program.  We are deeply grateful to the Sovies for their generosity, and to Debbie Polniak, Al’s longtime friend, who made this dedication possible.

  

Student Research Symposium

On Saturday, I attended the 9th Annual Student Research Symposium of the Northern New York local chapter of the American Chemical Society.  I had been invited to give the keynote speech there about my career in chemistry and higher education, which I was happy to do.  About 80 faculty and students were in attendance.  The student talks that I heard were quite good.  It was very nice to have a chance to talk some chemistry, both at lunch with the faculty there and after my talk with a few people who came up to me to ask some questions.

 

One of the things that struck me is how much things have changed since I was doing my research in grad school and at my first college.  A lot of my work involved computer simulation of chemical systems and in those days, a big computer program (one that would have to run overnight on the state’s mainframe) was one over 8K in size.  No, that’s not a typo.  I still remember buying a 20 MB Jasmine external hard drive and thinking “I’ll never need to worry about memory again.”  The techniques I used to characterize the compounds I had prepared were at the edge of what was possible at the time and required homemade probes and networks, since commercial ones didn’t exist.  Today, they can be done routinely and quickly on commercial instruments (which are very expensive, but you can’t have everything).  That’s the way it is in science—time marches on, and things that were cutting-edge rapidly become commonplace.  Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.

 

 

Last Time’s Trivia Contest

Last time’s contest had to do with plays on words.  Our only contestant was Alan Gabrielli, former Dean of Arts and Sciences at Southern Polytechnic.  Alan, you’ll have to mail me your current address if you want your prize.

Here are the correct answers:

  1. When the forest ranger Googled “how to start a wildfire”, he got 48,500 matches.
  2. When the doctor was asked about the prognosis for the man who was found to have swallowed eight plastic horses that were found in his stomach, she replied: “His condition is stable.
  3. Two TV antennas got married last Sunday. The wedding was terrible, but the reception was excellent.  (The answer has three words).
  4. When the guy stood up his girlfriend at the gym, the romance was over. Why?                  It didn’t work out.  (The answer has two words).
  5. For his grand finale, the Spanish magician said “Now, I’m going to make myself disappear, at the count of three. Uno… Dos…” and poof, he disappeared.  What happened to him?  He disappeared without a tres.  (The answer has five words).

 

This Time’s Trivia Challenge

This issue’s challenge, in honor of the season, has to do with words starting with the letters “spr”. The first five entries with the most correct answers win a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository, as well as the admiration of their peers. No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO president@canton.edu since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them.

  1. If you turn your ankle, you’re likely to get one of these.
  2. In the nursery rhyme, the last name of Jack, who could eat no fat (his wife could eat no lean)?
  3. You can get this done at a salon in Canton or Potsdam in the dead of winter, to make it look like you’ve been in Florida.
  4. Microsoft Excel is the best known one.
  5. It means lively, agile, and energetic. It’s also the brand name of a dental defense system, and of a vegetable shortening almost as popular as Crisco.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

February 20, 2018

THE WEEKLY BLAB

Volume 12, Issue 8–February 20, 2018

  

Warming Trend

In the North Country and in New England, there is usually a thaw in the weather at some point in January and February gets cold again.  That doesn’t seem to be the case this year, with February so far being pretty much entirely above zero, with us heading into a warm patch this coming week.  The predicted high is 45° today, 53° tomorrow, and 58° (some are saying 60°) on Wednesday, dropping into the high 30’s on Thursday and Friday, the low 40’s on the weekend, and staying in the 30’s and 40’s for the rest of the month.  What does this portend for the future?  I’m guessing either tropical weather or another blizzard for March.  Stay tuned.

It’s always nice to hear that friends are doing well, and in looking at today’s issue of Diverse Issues in Higher Education, I read that Kirk Nooks has now been selected to be the president of Gordon State College in Georgia.  Back when I was at SPSU, we hosted a branch of Georgia Highlands College (a community college) on our campus.  Kirk was the manager for that branch campus, and I got to know him then, as we worked together to make sure that the Georgia Highlands students had access to resources and events on the SPSU campus.  Kirk was very pleasant to work with and a real stand-up individual.  He eventually left Georgia to take a position (if I’m remembering right) in Alabama, and then as President of Metropolitan Community College’s Longview campus in Lee’s Summit, MO.  He’s coming back to Georgia now, and I’m sure the students at Gordon State will enjoy having him as president.  Several other people I worked with while I was at SPSU have now become college presidents—Margaret Venable (now president at Dalton State College in Dalton GA) and Al Panu (now chancellor of the University of South Carolina Beaufort).  Good people all.

 

Green Dot

Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of hosting a lunch for our campus folks who are involved in our campus’ Green Dot Program.  For those who don’t know, Green Dot is a program that mobilizes students, staff, and faculty to help prevent violence and make the campus a safer place.  We’ve all been in a situation where you see things beginning to get out of control.  Perhaps you’re there when two people start yelling at each other.  Perhaps they start shoving or hitting each other.  Perhaps you’re at a party and see someone being taken advantage of who’s under the influence.  Perhaps the person taking advantage is under the influence too. What do you do in any of this instances or similar situations?

Green dot means that you’re willing to step up and do something try to keep power-based violence from occurring.  Here are some examples:

  • If a friend seems to be under unusual stress, ask if there is a way that you can help.
  • If you see a situation escalating out of control, step in to stop it if it is safe to do so. Otherwise, call an RA or other Campus Official, or call the College Police (7777).
  • If a friend is under the influence, make sure they get home or to another place of safety. Don’t leave them there, since bad outcomes that they can’t control may follow.
  • If you hear someone telling a joke that normalizes violence or attacks someone because of their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, step in and say that you don’t find that type of humor to be acceptable.

We will be offering Green Dot Bystander Training this semester, so please sign up for it when you see the announcement.  Our Green Dot faculty, staff, and students are great, and it was very nice having lunch with them and hearing about their accomplishments and plans.

 

Diverse Discussions

That evening, I attended one of our campus Diverse Discussions, offered by our Center for Diversities and Inclusion.  After some pizza and wings, we watched a documentary called “Time—the Kalief Browder Story”.   Kalief Browder was a 16-year old Bronx high school student who was accused of stealing a backpack.  He had previously pled guilty to joyriding in a stolen bakery truck and was on parole.  Since his family was unable to afford his bail (set at $3,000), he was imprisoned for three years (two of them in solitary confinement on Rikers Island) while waiting for his day in court.  While Kalief was in jail, the prosecution requested deferment of proceedings nine times between June 23, 2011 and December 14, 2012.  Kalief finally appeared before a judge on March 13, 2013 and was offered a plea bargain of immediate release in exchange for an admission of guilt to two misdemeanors.  He refused.  He was finally released in May 2013 when the prosecutor’s case was found to be lacking in evidence and witnesses.

In November 2013, he filed a lawsuit against the NYPD, Bronx District Attorney, and the Dept. of Corrections.  The action against NYC was taken up by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (Southern District of NY) for “unnecessary and excessive force” on adolescents on Rikers Island.  In January 2015, the NY City Council voted to end solitary confinement for inmates under the age of 21.  Kalief committed suicide on June 6, 2015, with his supporters blaming the mental and physical abuse he suffered while in prison.

It was impossible to watch the documentary without wondering how the legal system could have failed so badly—the long delays before trial, the culture of violence in the prisons, and the excessive use of solitary confinement.  There were also allegations of corruption and violence by guards (as well as low pay, understaffing, and abuse of guards by prisoners), and of prosecutors using long delays in order to force plea-bargains.  In the discussion afterwards, all the students wanted to know what actions they could take to prevent situations like this from occurring in the future.  That’s a good question, but the sad truth is that while everyone says they want safe communities, properly maintained prisons, and speedy trials, it seems that fewer are willing to allocate the necessary funds and attention needed to make this actually happen.

Part 2 of this documentary will be shown today at 4:30 in the Kingston Theatre.

 

St. Valentine’s Day

It’s always tough to come up with a new idea for a St. Valentine’s Day gift—going out for a nice dinner, flowers and candy are always nice, but everyone does some combination of that.

Well, I was at the Canton Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner on February 8, where I was one of several who was asked to give a brief talk on what I appreciated about the North Country and what was new at SUNY Canton.  The talk was well-received, and then it was time for the annual Member of the Year Award, which went to Glow Skincare and Spa, owned by Carmen and Blake Gendebien.  Carmen’s thank-you speech was very sweet, and included calling out SUNY Canton (among many others) for the help and support we had given as the business got started and grew.  They’ve given back to the community too, including by participating in the Women’s Business Bootcamp held at SUNY Canton and starting the “Jules for Life Foundation”, a local charity that supports families with children diagnosed with pediatric cancer.

Carmen and Blake Gendebien

You can probably guess where I’m going with this—I decided to get Jill a gift certificate for a “day of beauty” at the Glow Skincare and Spa (as well as some flowers) as a Valentine’s Day gift.  She loved it, and now the rest of you have another idea for next year that will help out a nice local business.

Also occurring each year on St. Valentine’s Day or thereabouts is SUNY Canton’s “Love Your Library Day” celebration.  This year, the Queen of Hearts was played by Marianne DiMarco-Temkin (Retention Specialist at the Advising Center), various student groups manned a table at which you could make special heart-shaped cookies, and you could get your picture taken at an old-time photo booth, among other activities.



Volunteers from the Women’s Volleyball Team

Lots of students attended throughout the day, and it’s no surprise that SUNY Canton’s library was rated the best in SUNY in the most recent Student Opinion Survey.  I got there at about 2 PM (they had started at 9 AM), and things were still going strong.  After enjoying a nice cookie that a volunteer from our Women’s Volleyball Team made for me, I got to pose with the Queen of Hearts for some photos and watch people come by, some of whom had even dressed for the occasion.

 

 

Coming Up and Super-Cool

On Thursday, March 1 at the Albany Capital Center, the Eastern College Athletic Conference will be hosting the first ever ECAC eSports Invitational.  Four teams will be competing in League of Legends, with the winner being declared the first ECAC Invitational Champion.  The first round will be Canisius College (Buffalo, NY) vs. Siena College (Loudenville, NY), and Stevenson University (Owings Mills, MD) vs. (you guessed it!) SUNY Canton.  The winners of the two games will play in the championship game.  In the press release, Randy Sieminski (Director of Athletics) said: “SUNY Canton is thrilled to be participating in the ECAC’s first major eSports event. This will be a great experience for our students to be involved in a first-class competition at a phenomenal venue surrounded by the added excitement of the NCAA Division I basketball conference playoffs. We can’t wait.”  We’re trying to stream it onto campus so that anyone who wants to can see it, and will send out the information about when and where as soon as we have it.

 

 

Last Time’s Trivia Contest

Last time’s contest had to do with snarky songs about love.  Our fastest responders with all five correct were Robin Gittings and Terri Clemmo, same as last issue.  What happened to everyone else?  Just come to my office on the 6th floor of MacArthur Hall to get your prizes—a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository.

Here are the correct answers:

  1. Carly Simon wrote this song about a big-headed ex. Who’s the guy?  She hasn’t told.  You’re so Vain.
  2. Kelly Clarkson had a hit with this song about how “We started out friends, It was cool, But it was all pretend.” Since You Been Gone.
  3. The Corrs had this revenge song, starting “You bored me with your stories, I can’t believe I endured you for as long as I did.” I Never Loved You Anyway.
  4. Very cool song by Soft Cell with lyric “I love you though you hurt me so, Now I’m going to pack my things and go.” Tainted Love.
  5. The J. Geils Band summed it up with their anti-homage to Valentine’s Day, with lyric “And so it goes, Till the day you die, This thing they call love, It’s gonna make you cry.” Love Stinks.

 

 

 

This Time’s Trivia Challenge

This issue’s challenge calls on you to complete the play on words. The entries with the most correct answers win a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository, as well as the admiration of their peers. No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO president@canton.edu since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them.

 

Example:  When the dog gave birth to puppies near the road, the police officer gave it a ticket for                        .    The correct answer would be “littering”.

 

  1. When the forest ranger Googled “how to start a wildfire”, he got 48,500                        .
  2. When the doctor was asked about the prognosis for the man who was found to have swallowed eight plastic horses that were found in his stomach, she replied: “His condition is                            .
  3. Two TV antennas got married last Sunday. The wedding was terrible, but the                                                            (the answer has three words).
  4. When the guy stood up his girlfriend at the gym, the romance was over. Why?                  It didn’t                                     (The answer has two words).
  5. For his grand finale, the Spanish magician said “Now, I’m going to make myself disappear, at the count of three. Uno… Dos…” and poof, he disappeared.  What happened to him?                                             (The answer has five words).
Posted in Uncategorized

February 13, 2018

THE WEEKLY BLAB

Volume 12, Issue 7–February 13, 2018

 

Catching Up

The theme of this issue of the BLAB is catching up.  I’ve let a few weeks slip again between issues of the BLAB, so there’s some news to catch up on.  Also, I’ve been able to catch up with some old friends, on some reading, and on some music.  So, catch up it is.

February is birthday season in the Szafran household.  On February 8, my father Daniel celebrated his 91st birthday.  He’s out in Las Vegas during our cold weather, and every time I talk to him he reminds me of how perfect the weather has been out there lately.  Here, not so much—we haven’t had that much snow, but we did have some ice this weekend, so scraping off the car Monday morning was a bit of a hassle.  It’s sunny now, and the weather report calls for tomorrow to be in the 40’s so much of it will all melt off.  Anyway, my father is very active out there, going to the synagogue each morning for prayers, followed by exercising at a local gym.  He’s still shooting 3-pointers and pulling other people in to exercise with him.  A friend of his got him a Fitbit for his birthday, so I’m sure I’ll be hearing how many steps he’s taken each day.  It’s great that he’s in such good health and is enjoying himself.

My son Mark’s birthday was on February 9, and we celebrated by going to his favorite local fast food restaurant, Dairy Queen, which reopened that day after being closed for much of the winter (as they do each year).  We’ve been binge-watching the television show Monk lately and finished the final episode on Saturday.  It was a great series, with almost every episode worth watching.  What’s funny is that I remember watching it religiously the first time it came around, but I had no memory of the final episode whatsoever, so I’m wondering if I ever saw it.  Anyway, all his friends wished him a happy birthday, he got several cards and gifts, and several people took him out during the week, so he was happy as a clam.   

Jill and I caught up with the TV show Riverdale this weekend, which seems to be getting more popular with the public, but less popular with me as the plots get more and more ridiculous.  Jill is doing a lot of watching of the winter Olympics, since she loves the figure skating.   I’ve watched nearly none of the Olympics coverage, spending my time instead listening to two good boxed sets of CDs I’ve picked up recently—one is the complete recordings of the pianist Aldo Ciccolini on his major label (Erato), and the other is recordings of almost everything Antonio Vivaldi ever composed.  Ciccolini is one of the best pianists of the 20th century, well known for his exquisite style—he’s a favorite of other pianists.  I especially like that he has an unusually broad repertoire, especially of French composers who are recorded relatively infrequently.  The clarity and sound quality on the discs is uniformly excellent.  I bought the Vivaldi set (on the Brilliant Classics label) despite having tons of recordings of his music already, because it got really good reviews.  Many of the reviews said that the recordings, even his best-known works, were a revelation and I have to agree—they’re great and very true to the composer’s original intent.  The Ciccolini set has some 56 discs in it (I’ve gone through the first 15 thus far), and the Vivaldi one 66 discs (I’ve gone through 45 of them), so it’s going to be a little while before I finish.  There are half a dozen additional boxed sets awaiting their turns thereafter.

 

State of the University

Chancellor Kristina Johnson gave her State of the University address on January 22, so I flew down to Albany with Lenore VanderZee (Executive Director for University Relations) on Sunday afternoon in order to be there to hear it.   Doug Scheidt (Provost) and Geoffrey VanderWoude (Director of Planned Giving) drove in for the address as well.  There was a breakfast honoring Chancellor Johnson Monday morning, held in the new Albany Capital Center, which is very nice.  The Chancellor’s speech touched on four major themes: the need for an individualized education path for all students; increasing research innovation, outreach, and entrepreneurship within SUNY; increasing use of renewable energy and sustainability in the system (wanting to move toward zero net carbon); and increasing partnerships and philanthropy.

After the speech, Lenore, Doug, and I met for lunch at Jack’s Oyster House with SUNY Canton’s former acting president Joe Hoffman (who is now interim provost at SUNY Maritime) about ways that SUNY Canton and SUNY Maritime might be able to work together to do a program focused on river pilots for the St. Lawrence River.  It’s always good to see Joe and the discussion went well.  That evening, it was back to the Albany Capital Center for the Legislator’s Reception, where we met with a number of legislators and business people.  After returning to Ogdensburg the next morning I stopped back at the College for a while but had to go home to pack because I was going on yet another trip the next day.

 

Florida Trip, Part II

After the debacle with my return flight from Florida earlier in the month, I had some concerns about my second trip, but they were unfounded—both the trip down and back came off without a hitch.  I left on Wednesday January 24, flying from Ogdensburg down to Sanford, FL and arrived there on time, with Peggy Levato (our Director of Alumni and Development) picking me up at the airport.  We drove from there to The Villages, which is a rather large (more than 100,000 people!) set of properties meant for retirees.  A fair number of our alumni live in the area.  We checked in to the TownePlace Suites by Marriott where I’ve stayed before—it’s very nice—and I was promptly upgraded to a two-bedroom suite, since the hotel was filled with performers from the Helsingborg, Sweden Symphony Orchestra, who were performing the next evening.

That evening, we went out to dinner with John and Rosella (’68) Valentine at a very nice fish restaurant, Eaton’s Beach Restaurant.

The place is very popular, and we had seats along the wall (more like a set of nice garage doors) nearest to the lake.  It was a cool evening, so the doors were closed, but I’m told they open them when the weather is warmer.

L-R: Peggy Levato, Rosella Valentine

The food was excellent, as was the conversation—the Valentines had recently returned from a trip to England, and John had assembled a CD with pictures and music related to the trip.  We also talked about the College and about music—John and I are both lovers of opera, and discussed some upcoming performances and some recordings I had purchased since I saw him last.  The Valentines are really nice people and have been strong supporters of SUNY Canton for many years.

On Thursday, we drove down to Leesburg to attend an alumni gathering at the Olive Garden Restaurant.  It was nice speaking to everyone and hearing their SUNY Canton stories and catching them up on what’s been happening at the College.  Present at the gathering were Eugene Christopher (’61), Gordon and Connie Myers, Gordon Ahners (’59), and John and Rosella (’68) Valentine.

That evening, I was able to join my close friend and colleague Mono Mohan Singh, who lives in the Villages only six miles from where we were staying.  I drove over to see his house which was quite nice, and we went from there to a very nice rib restaurant nearby.  I’m usually not a big rib fan, but Mohan spoke well of it, so I agreed to give it a try.  I’m glad I did, because the food was first-rate.  I hedged my bet by getting the half rib, half chicken combo and it was very good, but the ribs were indeed the best part.  I worked with Mohan for about 15 years while I was at Merrimack College and even after I left for New England College.  Together with Ron Pike, we co-wrote several books and many papers on Microscale Chemistry, and we were co-founders of the National Microscale Chemistry Center.  Mohan’s daughter Pam is a lawyer and will be getting married this spring.  Mohan now has grandchildren from his sons Nick (who has two daughters) and Bill (who has a son).  Both Nick and Bill were students of mine when I was at Merrimack.  We caught up on old times and family stuff, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing him again.  Plans are for Mohan to visit Canton this coming summer.

 

On Friday, we were off to Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille in Ocala for another alumni gathering.  Along the way, I picked up a rental car, since Peggy was going to Tallahassee for another alumni visit, but I was heading to Sanford to go home the next day.  Harry’s is another nice restaurant, and it was great to see Louis (’57) and Evelyn Harmin, Fred (’50) and June Snizek, and Joseph and Connie Parisian (both ’50).  Everyone was very interested in what was new at the College, especially about the new majors and eSports.  After the gathering, I drove up to Sanford to spend the night, taking the flight back to Ogdensburg at 1:20 PM and arriving on time at 4:20.

 

 

Entrepreneurship Accelerator

As we all know, the North Country is a small place where (like on the old TV show “Cheers”) everybody knows your name.  On Thursday, February 1, a group of us from SUNY Canton went over to the site of the old Jubilee Grocery to look at the building as a possible site for the entrepreneurship accelerator we are trying to establish and to see how much it might cost to transform the site into what would be needed.  Someone must have noticed us being there and we quickly got a phone call from the Watertown Daily Times wanting to find out more.  You can read the article they wrote here, which details that we are in the very, very preliminary stages of discussion and investigation.  A lot of people have responded positively at what we are trying to do with the accelerator, and an editorial supporting it appeared collectively in the Watertown Daily Times, the Advance News, and the Journal of Ogdensburg a few days later, which you can read here.

 

Women’s Ice Hockey Game at Potsdam

When I spoke to SUNY Potsdam’s President, Kristin Esterberg, a few weeks ago, she had an excellent idea: if our schedules permit, whenever SUNY Canton plays SUNY Potsdam, we should both attend, going to the campus hosting the game as the other’s guest.  Since the next time this was happening was on February 6 at Potsdam, I went over there to attend the Women’s Ice Hockey game.  President Esterberg met me at the door and we walked through their athletic center to the hockey arena, which is quite nice.  The attendance was rather small and the game did not start off too well (from Canton’s point of view), with Potsdam scoring four goals in fairly rapid succession in the first period.  Things settled down in the second period, with Sydney Jordan scoring her eighth goal of the season at 16:27 minutes in.  Brooke Susac, goalie, made 29 saves for Canton, keeping the Bears scoreless in the 2nd and 3rd periods.  The team has gone on to split with Becker College, losing the first game 1-0, but winning the second 4-1.

  

This Just In

By now, everyone knows that SUNY Canton has added eSports to its intercollegiate athletic lineup, the first college in SUNY to do so.  I’m proud to report that Rob Snow, our Head Coach, tells me that our brand-new team now has its first win under its belt, defeating the University of Maine Farmington in League of Legends, defeating them in game 1 in a sweep, and securing the win in game 2 after an uphill battle.  Congratulations!

 

 

Last Time’s Trivia Contest

Last time’s contest had to do with songs about Upstate New York.  Our fastest responders with all five correct were Robin Gittings and Terri Clemmo.  Just come to my office on the 6th floor of MacArthur Hall to get your prizes—a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository.

Here are the correct answers:

  1. Frank Baum from Chittenango wrote the book, and Harold Arlen from Buffalo composed this theme song sung by Julie Garland in the movie “The Wizard of Oz”. The Wizard of Oz.
  2. In the Broadway show 42nd Street, a couple goes on their honeymoon here, with the lyric “To ______ in a sleeper, there’s no honeymoon that’s cheaper, and the train goes slow. Ooh-ooh-ooh.”  And no, it’s not the city that they’re shuffling off to.  The lyric goes “To Niagara in a sleeper, there’s no honeymoon that cheaper, and the train goes slow.  Ooh-ooh.  Off we’re gonna’ shuffle, shuffle off to Buffalo.”
  3. In the Grateful Dead’s song Truckin’, while going to this upstate major city, the lyric goes “Been thinkin’, you got to mellow slow. Takes time, you pick a place to go, and just keep truckin’ on.  Buffalo.
  4. In the folk song “Erie Canal”, the lyric goes: “Get up mule, here comes a lock, We’ll make _______ ‘bout six o’clock.” It’s a small city, just past Utica.  Rome.
  5. Name of Bob Dylan’s song about professor Jeffrey Owen Jones (who taught film at the Rochester Institute of Technology) that starts off: “You walk into the room with your pencil in your hand; You see somebody naked and you say, “Who is that man?”; You try so hard but you don’t understand; Just what you will say when you get home. Because something is happening here but you don’t know what it is; Do you Mr. Jones?  Ballad of a Thin Man. 

 

This Time’s Trivia Challenge

This issue’s challenge, in honor of St. Valentine’s Day, will be snarky songs about love. As usual, the first five with all five correct wins a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository, or whatever else I’ve dredged up as a prize. No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO president@canton.edu since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them.

  1. Carly Simon wrote this song about a big-headed ex. Who’s the guy?  She hasn’t told.
  2. Kelly Clarkson had a hit with this song about how “We started out friends, It was cool, But it was all pretend.”
  3. The Corrs had this revenge song, starting “You bored me with your stories, I can’t believe I endured you for as long as I did.”
  4. Very cool song by Soft Cell with lyric “I love you though you hurt me so, Now I’m going to pack my things and go.”
  5. The J. Geils Band summed it up with their anti-homage to Valentine’s Day, with lyric “And so it goes, Till the day you die, This thing they call love, It’s gonna make you cry.”
Posted in Uncategorized

January 19, 2018

THE WEEKLY BLAB

Volume 12, Issue 6–January 19, 2018

 

 

Florida Trip

January is usually a heavy travel month, since there are fewer scheduled events due to the holidays and classes not starting until January 22.  This month is no exception, and the travel began with a trip down to Florida to meet with alumni.

I flew out of Ogdensburg on Allegiant airlines, which flies directly from there to Sanford, FL.  Sanford is fairly near Orlando, but its airport is much less busy, making it convenient to use.  It’s a full-size aircraft that carries some 150 people.  Since there are no jetways in Ogdensburg, you have to walk up a zig-zag ramp to get on the plane, but that wasn’t any problem.  I wound up being in Zone 5, which meant I was almost the last person on the plane, but there was no-one else in my row, so I could easily spread out, and I had a luggage bin pretty much all to myself.  The flight down was pleasant enough—the seats could be a bit more comfortable but they were OK, and you have to pay for any food or drink ($2 for a soda).

The plane landed almost exactly on time, and as I got off the plane, my phone received a text from the ever-intrepid Peggy Levato (our Director of Alumni and Development) that she was waiting in the texting lot to pick me up, and to let her know when I got off the plane.  I texted her that I was here, and just as I walked out the terminal door, she pulled up in the car.  The weather was rainy for the first few days—a downpour had ended just before I landed, and it rained periodically thereafter.  After stopping for a light lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, I checked into the hotel, near the Daytona Beach speedway.  That evening, we had dinner at the River Grille restaurant in Ormond Beach with Richard (’51) and Marcia McCormick, parents of our own Director of Facilities Planning, Mike McCormick.  They are delightful people and strong supporters of the College, and rightfully proud of the many successful facilities projects Mike has overseen on our campus.  The restaurant was very nice—it had an old-fashioned sort of feel and food was quite good.

The next morning, we drove to New Smyrna Beach to have breakfast with Carol Roche (’80) at her home.  Carol has a lovely house, painted on the inside in pastel colors, with many decorations that come from Nantucket, MA where she grew up.  The breakfast was excellent, since Carol is a very good cook and is always looking for new and interesting recipes.  Carol is an accountant and still has many clients in the North Country, as well as in Florida.  She has gone out of her way to help students in the years since she graduated.  From there, we drove a short distance to have lunch at Blackbeard’s Inn with John and Anne Goetze.  John was the Director of Facilities back when we made the transition from the old campus to our current campus, and knows a lot about the history of the College, which was interesting to hear. He has also held several other positions at SUNY Canton, and is a strong supporter.  The restaurant was very good, and I had a delicious red snapper there—a type of fish I’ve always liked but rarely run into.

From there, it was off to Norwood’s Eatery & Treehouse, where we had an alumni reception.  Many of the folks present live in the area, but some were from the North Country vacationing there.  It was really nice to see Joe (SUNY Canton’s 3rd president) and Dine Kennedy there.  They looked tan and fit, and I’m told exercise regularly at the local Y, a practice I should no-doubt adopt.

Other alumni and friends attending included:

  • Lewis and Janice Badura (both ’61)
  • Bernie Regan (our Foundation Chair, and class of ’65)
  • Richard (’51) and Marcia McCormick
  • John and Rosie Bartholomew
  • John and Anne Goetze
  • Gil White (’68) (Foundation Board Member)
  • William (’69) and JoAnne LaPierre (William is a professor emeritus from the Auto Tech program)
  • John and Chris (’93) Gray (John is the founder and managing partner of Gray & Gray and Associates, and Chris is a Foundation Board Member)
  • Carol Roche (’80)
  • Robert (’70) and Paula (’71) LaPierre (John is the Comptroller of the Adirondack Medical Center)
  • Harley (’54) and Patricia Burger, and
  • Carl (’57) and Betty Wenner

The reception was held outdoors in the “treehouse” part of the restaurant, which is very cool, and the rain held off throughout.  There were very nice hors d’oeuvres of various kinds, and I gave a short talk about what’s new at the College that was well received.  It’s always nice to be able to meet our alumni and hear about their days at Canton, and the many things that they’ve been able to accomplish since graduating.  The reception broke up at about 8PM, and from there I was off to Stuart, FL with Geoffrey VanderWoude, SUNY Canton’s Director of Planned Giving.  When I got to my room in the hotel, I was thoroughly exhausted, but not so much so that I didn’t have a little carrot cake for dessert first at the hotel’s bistro.

Friday morning, we drove down to Fort Lauderdale to have lunch with Doug Zeif (’13), who has made a major name for himself in the hotel and hospitality industry.  He is currently the principal at Next! Hospitality Advisors, and was recently a speaker in our Excellence in Leadership lecture series.  Doug teaches online courses in the hospitality area for us, and we’re exploring other ways he might be able to be involved in some of our future activities. We ate at the Kaluz Restaurant, which has outside seating, and we sat at a very nice table overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.

While we were eating our lunch, the wind managed to catch our table’s umbrella just right, sending it flying into the air pole-first, and hitting a lady the next row in.  Everyone was scurrying around trying to make sure she wasn’t hurt, and making sure that the other umbrellas were anchored down so that it wouldn’t happen again.  They never replaced our umbrella, which was a problem when it started to rain at the end of our meal, so we had to dash under an awning.

That evening, we met with John Maines (’77).  John is a journalist and database editor for the South Florida SunSentinel newspaper.  He has written multiple articles about growth and development, many making correlations from databases and leading to greater public safety.  He is the co-winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service.  Geoffrey kept the name of the restaurant secret for me, leading me to suspect it might be an Indian restaurant, and I was right.  It was very nice to see John again and we had a nice discussion about the current state of the newspaper business and what might be done to improve it, and how politics was being covered in South Florida.  John will be receiving an honorary degree from SUNY Canton this Spring at Commencement.

We checked out of the hotel on Saturday morning and made the trip up to Sanford to catch our flight back to Ogdensburg.  The first thing to go wrong was just as we walked into the terminal, I got a phone call from my father, telling me he had been robbed—his laptop computer and iPhone had been stolen.  I quickly called Verizon to stop service on the line, and “froze” the phone on the “Find My Phone” app.

As I was doing this, I saw Gil White across the waiting area and waved hello.  We all got on the plane and it took off on time (1:23 PM), but when they tried to land in Ogdensburg three hours later, the airport said they couldn’t land because they needed another 30 minutes to clear it from the snowstorm from that morning and the previous night.  We circled the airport for the 30 minutes, but they then reported that the airport said it would be two hours before we could land.  The pilot announced we would be landing in Syracuse and refueling there and would then proceed back to Ogdensburg.  After sitting on the ground for more than an hour, I got a phone notification that the flight was rescheduled to leave Sanford at 6:59 PM (of course, we had already left on time) and would get to Ogdensburg at 10PM.  I showed this to the stewardess, who said they hadn’t gotten this message, but in any event, if we didn’t leave in the next 30 minutes, they’d have to take us off the plane since we had sat on the runway so long.  About 45 minutes later, they made an announcement that someone on the plane had a medical issue and we’d have to wait for the paramedics.  They came onto the plane via a set of stairs about 15 minutes later, accompanied by firetrucks, an ambulance, and a maintenance vehicle.  After discussing the matter with the family for about 20 minutes, a paramedic went off the plane and came back with a wheelchair, taking the person and two members of their family off the plane.  After waiting for the firetrucks and ambulance to leave, we finally taxied to another location at the airport—an exit door near baggage—and were allowed to get off the plane at about 7:15.  We had to go down a set of icy stairs and were told that the baggage would be brought out on the adjacent carousel, and they had arranged for busses to take us to Ogdensburg.

After waiting for a while for the baggage, we heard the terminal manager talking to the airline headquarters in Las Vegas asking when the buses were schedule to come (9:10 PM, we were told), and asking why they hadn’t notified the terminal that the plane was being diverted there.  The bags finally came off the plane at about 8:00, and we decided that we would rent a car and drive.  We got the last car at the airport from Enterprise, and Geoffrey (driving), Gil, and I got to Ogdensburg at about 11:15.  One more problem—my car had a snowdrift behind it, more than a foot of snow in front of it, and about a half-inch of ice covering the windshield.  Even with the blowers and heater on full blast, it was so cold out (-5°F) that they could only make a little headway.  After about 15 minutes, I could clear enough to see a little, and pulled the car forward onto a plowed area.  After about 15 minutes more, I was able to clear enough ice off to drive (Gil and Geoffrey left at this point to drive to Potsdam), and finally got home to Canton at 12:15!

The next morning, I called the customer service number they emailed me asking “How was your flight”.  When I told them all that had happened, they quickly agreed to refund my ticket.

 

More Coming Up!

On Sunday, I’ll be off to Albany again for the Chancellor’s State of the University speech, and the Business Council’s Legislative Reception afterwards.  I come home on Tuesday morning, and then turn around and leave again on Wednesday through Saturday for alumni visits to a different part of Florida than before.  That wraps up January, and February only has a quick trip into Albany at this point.  March?  Well, that’s a different story.

 

Last Time’s Trivia Contest

Last time’s contest had to do with songs about New York.  Our fastest responders with all five correct were Robin Gittings, Mary James, Terri Clemmo, Alan Gabrielli (from Georgia!), and Kevin Elliot.  Just come to my office on the 6th floor of MacArthur Hall to get your prizes—a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository.

Here are the correct answers:

  1. Frank Sinatra 1980 song that says “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” New York, New York.
  2. In the Drifters and George Benson both had massive hits with this song, saying “The neon lights are always bright” there. On Broadway.
  3. Simon and Garfunkel’s 1966 song, saying “Slow down, you move too fast, You got to make the morning last.” The 59th Street Bridge Song.
  4. According to Duke Ellington, the quickest way “to go to Sugar Hill, way up in Harlem”. Take the “A” Train.
  5. Rolling Stones song with lyrics: “Friends are so alarming, My lover’s never charming, Life’s just a cocktail party on the street, Big Apple, People dressed in plastic bags, Directing traffic, Some kind of fashion.” Shadoobie!  Shattered.

 

 

 

This Time’s Trivia Challenge

This issue’s challenge will continue a series about songs, this time being songs connected to Upstate New York. There are a lot fewer of these than about New York City!  As usual, the first five with all five correct wins a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository, or whatever else I’ve dredged up as a prize. No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO president@canton.edu since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them.

  1. Frank Baum from Chittenango wrote the book, and Harold Arlen from Buffalo composed this theme song sung by Julie Garland in the movie The Wizard of Oz.
  2. In the Broadway show 42nd Street, a couple goes on their honeymoon here, with the lyric: “To ______ in a sleeper, there’s no honeymoon that’s cheaper, and the train goes slow. Ooh-ooh-ooh.”  And no, it’s not the city that they’re shuffling off to.
  3. In the Grateful Dead’s song Truckin’, while going to this upstate major city, the lyric goes “Been thinkin’, you got to mellow slow. Takes time, you pick a place to go, and just keep truckin’ on.
  4. In the folk song Erie Canal, the lyric goes: “Get up mule, here comes a lock, We’ll make _______ ‘bout six o’clock.” It’s a small city, just past Utica.
  5. Name of Bob Dylan’s song about professor Jeffrey Owen Jones (who taught film at the Rochester Institute of Technology) that starts off: “You walk into the room with your pencil in your hand; You see somebody naked and you say, “Who is that man?”; You try so hard but you don’t understand; Just what you will say when you get home. Because something is happening here but you don’t know what it is; Do you Mr. Jones?”
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January 9, 2018

THE WEEKLY BLAB

Volume 12, Issue 5–January 9, 2018

 

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year over the break, and is well rested up for the beginning of the Spring semester.  I really didn’t do very much over the break—mostly rested, read a bunch of books, and listened to a lot of music.  Mark has gotten into the old TV show “Monk” recently, so we’ve all been binge watching that.  I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed the show when it was first broadcast, so I’m thoroughly enjoying seeing it again, and since I’m remembering almost nothing about the individual plots of most episodes, it’s like it’s a new show to me.  We also watched a number of movies that have been accumulating.  One of the most interesting was “The Walk”, a semi-documentary about the guy who walked a tightrope that he snuck up between the twin towers in New York City (obviously the original event happened before 9-11, but the movie was made well after, using CGI).  We watched the 3D version of the movie which was really something—it gave you a bit of the feeling as if you were walking the tightrope yourself and seeing what he saw.

The weather was pretty crummy here over the break, as it was over much of the country.  We had a cold snap where the low temperatures hit -18 to -20°F for a week, warmed up a little for two days, and then dropped again as the so-called cyclone bomb hit the east coast.  We’re now in a warming trend—the temperature has been above freezing (barely) for two days, and it’s actually supposed to approach 50°F on Thursday and Friday.

 

In the middle of the night during the cold snap, our house’s boiler decided to stop producing heat.  Jill woke up at about 3:30 AM and noticed that it was getting cold, so she woke me up and I went into the basement to see what happened.  The boiler was getting power, and the lights indicated that the four zones in the house were all calling for heat, but the boiler temperature was only about 50°F.  I called up Grants Plumbing’s emergency number and no doubt woke up Eugene from a sound sleep, but he was very pleasant about it and came to the house about 20 minutes later.  What we found was that the boiler wasn’t getting enough intake air, because the intake pipe had some moss and leaves in it—possibly a nest of something.  He cut through the PVC inlet pipe, cleaned out the line, and put a sleeve on it to reattach the line, and the boiler started up and started heating the place.  He told me if it happened again, just loosen the sleeve, separate the pipe, and let it pull in air from the basement.  Sure enough, the next night the same thing happened, and so I did what he suggested and all is well.  We’ll see if it’s worth replacing the PVC line or whether I’ll just keep taking the inlet air from the basement, which seems to be working out fine.

 

Presidents Meeting

Just before the break, on December 13-15, I was down in NYC for a SUNY Presidents meeting.  This time, I decided I was going to fly out of Ottawa, Canada, since there are direct flights from there a few times a day to Newark Airport.  It had been snowing a little so the drive up to airport took a little longer, but nothing serious.  The plane left a little late, but was otherwise fine.  I took the airport shuttle bus into Manhattan, which let me off about 5 blocks from the hotel I was staying at.  The bus normally costs $17 each way, but the ticket agent asked me if I was a senior citizen, and said their definition of it is anyone over 62, which is exactly my age, so I got a round-trip ticket for $18 total—not bad.  So, I’m now officially a senior citizen.  I walked to the hotel, checked in, and walked over to SUNY’s NYC office for a meeting between the presidents of the Colleges of Technology and the Chancellor.  We talked about several issues common to our sector, most of which were related to strategies to help offset our higher than average costs for keeping current with technology.  After returning to the hotel, I found that there was an Indian restaurant around the corner, so it shouldn’t be hard to guess where I had dinner that evening.

 

The Presidents meeting started the next morning, and it focused on the topics of “Campus Climate”, “Increasing our Research and Outreach Enterprise”, and “Crisis Communication”, each of which was discussed by a panel of presidents.  I was on the last panel, and talked about the crisis communication issues that arose during our Yik Yak incident back in 2014.

There was also a very interesting speaker on “Leadership Before a Crisis”, giving five main recommendations, each accompanied by an African proverb.  The five recommendations and proverbs were:

  • Ask how the crisis intersects with your campus values, and recognize that there are no quick fixes. “When spider-webs unite, they can even tie up a lion”.
  • Create a culture where everyone is listening and hearing all communities on the campus. “In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams.”
  • Create a great value around collaboration instead of competition. “If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”
  • Leadership matters. “An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.”
  • Leadership, if well expressed, is contagious. Have a positive attitude.  “However long the night, the dawn will break.”

 

State of the State

On January 2, I was off to Albany for the Governor’s annual State of the State message.  I had breakfast at the hotel, which was a good thing, since if you’re going to attend the speech, you have to go through security, and can’t leave thereafter.

The main foci of the speech were about making New York State a leader in ending discrimination and sexual harassment of women, standing up for unions, advocating for more infrastructural work (and pointing out that New York is the national leader in advanced infrastructure, even when people say that various projects couldn’t be done), and saying that the Federal Government is at war with New York (especially regarding the new tax bill’s capping deductions for property, state and local taxes), and that the State would be taking steps to block and address this.

 

There wasn’t a whole lot about higher education in the speech, but there is a push for more transparency in student loans (and appointing a state omsbudsman for this), as well as advocating for establishing food pantries on all state college campuses (SUNY Canton has had one for several years).  After the speech, several SUNY presidents and I met with the State’s Assistant Secretary of Education to discuss several of these issues.

 

Higher Education in the News—and It’s Not All Good

Higher Education is in the news a lot lately, and not always in a good way.  A lot of people seem to be questioning whether sending a child to college is a good investment for families, why our graduations rates aren’t as high as they should be, and lots of other issues.

A recent poll (taken June 8-18, 2017) by the Pew Research Center showed that among Republicans, the percentage saying that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the way things are going in the country rose a small bit from 32% (in 2010) to about 37% (in 2015-6), and then spiked upward to 58% in 2017.  Over the same period, among Democrats, the percentage saying that has dropped from 22% to 19%.  On the other hand, also in a Pew Research Center poll (taken May 25-June 29, 2016), similar majorities of both parties (89% of Republicans and 87% of Democrats) said that their education from a four-year college was useful in developing skills for the workplace, and 53% and 52% respectively said it was very useful [similar positive results were obtained for a four-year college education leading to job opportunities and to personal growth].

Let’s look at some of these issues one by one.  Questioning whether college is a good investment makes absolutely no sense at this point in time.  All the data point to that college has never been a better investment than it is now.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics (click here for the reference), based on 2015 results (the most recent available), the average salary of someone 25-34 who worked full time, year-round, with a high school diploma was $30,500, while that for someone with a bachelor’s degree was $50,000.  The unemployment rate for high school graduates was 5.4%, compared to bachelor’s degree graduates at 2.8%.  The relative difference in earnings between the two categories, 64%, is the largest it has ever been since this began to be tracked in 1973, and its rate of growth is increasing.  So, you are more likely to get a job with a bachelor’s degree, and it will pay you significantly more.  Having a bachelor’s degree correlates with lots of other things too—likelihood to own a house, to be healthy, to be happy, etc.—because having more resources leads (on average) to better outcomes.

Of course, to get that bachelor’s degree, you have to graduate.  On average, the graduation rate at public universities of first-time full-time students in a bachelor’s degree program was 59% among students who started their education in 2009 and finished by 2015 (click here for reference), though this number varies widely by type of college—it is higher at selective state universities (80.3%) than at open admissions ones (34.6%)—and also varies by many other factors (ethnicity, gender, family income, etc.).  Students fail to graduate for lots of reasons, some of which are beyond our control (death in family, financial issues, moving to join friends, weaker home high school, etc.) and some of which reflect where colleges can do better (simplifying procedures, eliminating superfluous requirements, stronger student support, more effective responses to outcomes assessment results, etc.).  Graduation rates are highly complex and there are no simple or quick fixes, but there are ways that the rates can be continuously improved.

In some cases, negative views occur because of misunderstandings about how colleges work. I remember an article about Title IX issues and sexual assault which drew a reader comment saying in effect “Why don’t colleges give victims of sexual assault a choice of a campus-based procedure and a court-based procedure?  The campus-based procedure would allow for a faster resolution and would let colleges issue no-contact orders or suspend students who were found to be responsible so that they would no longer be on campus.”  Of course, all those suggestions are exactly what most (if not all) colleges ARE doing.  The article actually correctly said what colleges were doing, but the responder either didn’t read the article, didn’t understand the article, came in with a pre-perception that was unshakeable, or was a troll/bot.

Another common complaint is that colleges raise costs because there is now more money available.  The argument goes that as additional financial aid is made available to students by the government, colleges will respond by raising costs to soak it all up.  The colleges, in turn, are accused of spending the increased revenue on inflated faculty salaries, hiring bloated staffs, building climbing walls, and other such things.  While I can’t claim that no college has ever squandered money foolishly because they could get it, that’s not the way budgeting works anywhere that I’ve ever been.  In my experience, faculty salaries are not inflated—they’re almost always lower than salaries for equivalent backgrounds in the private sector. Are college staffs bloated?  No doubt at some places, but every place I’ve ever been at has been quite lean in its operations, with net increases in staff positions most likely occurring to address some federal or state mandate (Title IX, sustainability, etc.), often unfunded.  Faculty legitimately complaining about low salaries often point the finger at the increasing number of staff, without understanding that this is happening because of mandates that the college has no control over.

Besides the mandate issues, here in New York, state colleges do not set their tuition rates (that’s done by the state government in Albany), and don’t negotiate with labor unions about salaries and benefits (that’s also done in Albany.  When salary increases are approved by the state, funding isn’t increased to cover the costs—we have to find the money within our current budgets).  Thus, it’s quite common to see a tuition increase completely eaten up by a small salary increase, leaving the college with less money for programs and support than it had in the previous year.

So, the reality in Higher Education is often different than what people think or what’s reported in the press.

 

 

Last Time’s Trivia Contest

Last time’s contest had to do with songs about winter.  Our fastest responders with all five correct were Robin Gittings, Terri Clemmo, and Kevin Elliott.  Just come to my office on the 6th floor of MacArthur Hall to get your prizes—a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository.

Here are the correct answers:

  1. Song that begins: “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose.” The Christmas Song.
  2. What you’re doing when “Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, snow is glistening.” Walking in a Winter Wonderland.
  3. Beatles song with lyrics: “Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting.” Here Comes the Sun.
  4. The Mamas & the Papas song with lyrics: “All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray, I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day.” California Dreamin’.
  5. Anne Murray song with lyrics: “Spread your tiny wings and fly away, and take the snow back with you, where it came from on that day.  Snowbird.

 

 

 

This Time’s Trivia Challenge

This issue’s challenge will continue a series about songs, this time being songs about New York. As usual, the first five with all five correct wins a duplicate CD from the vast Szafran repository, or whatever else I’ve dredged up as a prize. No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO president@canton.edu since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them.

  1. Frank Sinatra 1980 song that says “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”
  2. In the Drifters and George Benson both had massive hits with this song, saying “The neon lights are always bright” there.
  3. Simon and Garfunkel’s 1966 song, saying “Slow down, you move too fast, You got to make the morning last.”
  4. According to Duke Ellington, the quickest way “to go to Sugar Hill, way up in Harlem”.
  5. Rolling Stones song with lyrics: “Friends are so alarming, My lover’s never charming, Life’s just a cocktail party on the street, Big Apple, People dressed in plastic bags, Directing traffic, Some kind of fashion.” Shadoobie!
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