December 3rd, 2008

TinyMCE; calendar migration; The Gun, The Flag, and the Noose; and dancing...

I spent most of my work day today working on a redesigned Web page for OIT Units. Observation: TinyMCE sucks.



I exported my Palm Pilot calendar and then imported it into Google. I want to stop having to sync the two, so now that it's imported into Google, I hope to just maintain my calendar there. We'll see how it goes.



I had a very interesting conversation with my manager over lunch today about the way we think and react, particularly in the context of the afternoon meeting we had yesterday.

A little bit after that, she stopped by to ask Rhonda and me if we had any suggestions for a creative title of a panel that's going to be held at an expo being put on by another college here in the university. My suggestion "floated to the top."



I attended the NCSU History Department's "teach-in" called The Gun, The Flag, and the Noose, which came about as a result of the recent "Free Expression Tunnel Incident." It was held in one of those large, auditorium-style classrooms in the Withers Building on campus, and it lasted from 6PM - 7:30PM.

I got there about 15 minutes early, and I watched four women up in front of the room working on getting the presentations onto the computer that was going to project them onto two huge screens on either side of the front of the room. The seemed a little "giggly" to me, and kind of nonchalant as 6:00 approached and it wasn't quite ready.

Then at about five minutes until 6:00, two of them walked up the aisle and out of the auditorium. They returned to the front of the room five minutes later, right at six when it was supposed to start, breezing by me at a pace that wafted cigarette smoke odor from them. Reunited, the four of them dillydallied a little bit until at about five after six, I thought, "These students! They need to get it together."

Shortly after that the program opened with a welcome and shortly after, "I'm Dr. so-and-so, and these are my colleagues, Dr. so-and-so, Dr. so-and-so, Dr. so-and-so, and Dr. so-and-so. (Bust me. I love when my paradigms are ripped out from under me.) Each of these speakers turned out to be excellent in their own areas of expertise, and I found the whole event academically rigorous and just extremely well done.

These are some of the impressions I jotted down while waiting. Some of them reflect what I've already noted above:

  • A clear majority of the audience is white, which is probably how it should be, but it surprised me. I guess I always expect these "diversity events," to be a "preaching to the choir" type situation, which they often are for GLBT diversity events.

  • I see the Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Diversity is here.

  • I wonder how many of the students here are here only because they're getting credit for attending for some class.

  • I wonder if that guy (sitting in the row in front of me, on the front row in fact) is one of the guys who defaced the tunnel.
The first professor talked about the history of the Confederate flag, which was very interesting, and has changed over the many years it has been in use. She noted that there was a Confederate flag drawn on the Free Expression Tunnel wall during the incident, and underneath it the caption, "The Real American Flag." I hadn't read that in the accounts of the incident.

The second professor talked about "the gun," and specifically in the context of it as the KKKs historical "weapon of choice." Her presentation was mostly about the Klan in fact, its history in general, its history specifically in North Carolina, and how it has "ebbed and flowed" (if you will) as an organization over the years.

At the end of her presentation, she noted that, historically, these are the three things that have tended to ramp up Klan activity—when African-Americans:

  • Make electoral progress

  • Make civil rights progress, or

  • Experience economic prosperity
The final presenter, and interestingly, the only African-American presenter, talked about the history of lynchings. She showed some very compelling images, specifically of lynchings that happened in our state, most notably in Wilmington, NC.

After the presentations, about 15 minutes of discussion took place, all of it very, very interesting. And the panel did a great job of facilitating the discourse.

Events like this are reasons I love being around or working at a university.



Dancing was fun tonight, as I actually danced again. I was careful not to make any jarring turns with my left leg, and figured though I'd probably pay for it a little bit tomorrow, it was worth it.