Friday, April 24, 2009

Mind blowing video from Sony

A colleague, Haney Howell, sent me a mind expanding video from Sony.

Turn your sound up and click on the hotlink headline above.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Friendship Nine hero, his niece and our essay contest

Every April at Winthrop University, our student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists hosts a reception honoring our top high school essayists.

This year, 40 students, from six high schools in the Carolinas, wrote an essay on "Why Free News Media Are Important."

Our top essayists for 2009--recognized, along with their teachers and parents, yesterday:

First Place, Paul Avinger of Heathwood Episcopal School in Columbia, S.C.

Second Place, Taylor Snyder of South Point High School in Rock Hill, S.C.

Third Place (co-winner), Cassie Stanton of Lugoff-Elgin High School, Lugoff, S.C.

Third Place (co-winner), Jalen Williams of South Point High School in Rock Hill, S.C.

Honorable Mention, Rachel Wolf of Heathwood Episcopal School in Columbia, S.C.

I had the high privilege at yesterday's reception of meeting two of the First Amendment trailblazers of the early 1960s. Willie McCleod, a member of the Friendship Nine, was there to celebrate his niece--Jalen Williams (our co-third place winner.)

In a picture accompanying this blog post, see Mr. McCleod, his niece Jalen and yours truly. In another picture is Mr. McCleod and fellow Friendship Nine member Clarence Graham--also at yesterday's reception for our winners. The remaining photo shows yours truly with my department chair, Dr. Bill Click, and Mr. Graham. Thanks to Winthrop journalism student Brittany Guilfoyle for snapping these photos.

For expressing their First Amendment freedoms at a Rock Hill restaurant, McCrory's, in 1961, Mr. McCleod and Mr. Graham were imprisoned for 30 days at hard labor.

Their "crime": ordering food, and declining to leave when management ordered them to, at then segregated McCrory's on Main Street. Mr. McCleod, Mr. Graham and seven other freedom-conscious African-American men (all of them at that time students at Friendship College in Rock Hill) stood their ground, insisting, peacefully, that they be served at McCrory's lunch counter.

The rest, as they say, is history. The Friendship Nine, as they came to be called, helped pave the way for others in the Civil Rights movement. Preferring jail and hard labor over being rejected at that lunch counter in Rock Hill, McCleod and Graham and their fellow students, according to one Civil Rights historian, were the vanguard of sparking the "jail/no bail" sit-in movement that was copied in other places throughout the South. (Jail for the Civil Rights protesters meant white authorities had to spend precious resources--food and money and manpower--on trying to contain a movement that just grew stronger, more popular and more vigorous.

But back to Mr. McCleod's niece, Jalen. Here, in part, is what she wrote in her essay:

"As a little girl, when I used to take over night visits to my Uncle Willie's house, he never told me the story of the Friendship Nine. He and 8 other black Friendship College students went to stage a sit-in at McCrory's restaurant and were arrested. Unlike the story with Emit Till, the light was shined on this dark story and it was put into the public eye. So I ask. . . you, how free media plays (a) role in these events that are entwined with civil rights issues? It has to do (with) how media interprets these events and whether or not it is is pulled into the public view. Emit Till's story was hushed by media and people when it occurred. A horrid murder pushed into the dark crevices of history, to remain so silent, that it's almost deafening. My uncle, in fact was lucky, lucky as in not to have been beaten by the police. Lucky as in to be alive to tell the story to newspapers and TV interviews. To share his account to the world, to give the nation an idea what a drastic period of segregation we used to be in. . . One of these stories is the truth of the media bringing civil right(s) events into the open, the other one is a story of monstrous actions being hidden in the shadows of the society of the Deep South."

Nicely put, Jalen.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Soul" arrives from Kia Motors

I drive a VW Beetle diesel and love it.

Especially the fuel economy. I've gotten up to 44 miles to the gallon of diesel.

My bright blue 2003 Beetle looks brand new. (Can't tell the difference between a 2009 Beetle and a 2003 Beetle.)

Entering the competition in the small car market, however, is a new animal called the "Soul"--built by Kia Motors.

Gets 31 mpg and reminds me a bit of another small car--the Mini Cooper (built in England.)

You can buy a brand new "Soul" for under $14K.

Click on the hotlink boldface headline above and enjoy the video and sound.

Maybe we all need a little "Soul" in our lives.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Susan Boyle rocks 'em at talent show in Britain

I'd heard a local (Charlotte) radio personality almost tear up couple days ago recalling the talent of one Susan Boyle from Great Britain.

Susan rocked them with her "I Dreamed A Dream" performance.

Turn up your sound and click on the boldface headline above to fully appreciate her.

Not a raving beauty but what a voice!

Monday, April 13, 2009

T-Mobile Dance

I had never heard of the T-Mobile Dance YouTube video before the other night. It's a commercial for T-Mobile but quite uplifting and entertaining!

Turn up your sound, click on the hotlink boldface headline above, and enjoy.

You might find yourself dancin!

Daddy Daughter Date Night sets a good example

If you've been reading my blog very long, you know that one of my favorite eating places is Chick-fil-A. (See, for example, my Dec. 31, 2008, blog post about why I love to eat there.)

The service is always A-1, as is the food.

Never mind that your discount coupon has expired.

Chick-fil-A always accepts it.

This company truly "gets it," offering quality food and quick, courteous, efficient (I'll please you no matter what it takes) service.

A few weeks ago (March 30th) the Chick-fil-A on Cherry Road in Rock Hill, S.C., featured a Daddy Daughter Date night. "Dads, bring your beautiful daughters to our place..." read the signs promoting this event.

The evening that it occurred, it just so happened I dropped in and snapped a few pictures. (No sitting room or standing room at the Chick-fil-A on Cherry Road for that special night, cause all the dads and their daughters packed the place.)

Winthrop student Deni Avant was there snapping photos, along with yours truly, and she informed me that another Winthrop student, Laney Whittle, had a big hand in making this special event happen. (Whittle, a sophomore integrated marketing communication major, is the marketing assistant to Lanae Bengtson at Chick-fil-A on Cherry Road.)

Whittle said that upwards of 50 fathers and their daughters showed up that evening, making the event, in her words, "a tremendous success."

And how could it have NOT been a success, what with every daughter getting a red rose, the tables set with fine linen, seating and table service inside the restaurant and valet parking when you drove in.

And of course dads and daughters feasted on those scrumptious chicken sandwiches.

Way to go, Chick-fil-A!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Saying farewell to our graduating seniors

April is always a sort of bittersweet month.

Bitter because some students that you've gotten close to over the years soon will be leaving. Sweet because the semester is almost over.

One of those I've gotten to know quite well is Heather McNair from Lexington, S.C.

Heather is graduating in December 2009. (I had thought she was leaving in May but she will be with us a few more months.) Nevertheless, we'll all miss her come December.

In the photo accompanying this blog post she and I pose after the annual awards banquet/dinner for the mass communication department.

Good luck, Heather!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Christy Mullins & LCT

Here we are at the conference at Clemson University. (Taking a break.)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Student newspaper wins awards

The Johnsonian, student newspaper at Winthrop University, did well in the recent S.C. Press Association Collegiate Division Awards competition. Our student paper won six awards--all of them presented at an all day conference yesterday at Clemson University.

In winning the awards, The Johnsonian went head to head with student newspapers such as The Daily Gamecock at the University of South Carolina and The Tiger at Clemson University. Editor-in-chief Christy Mullins and her staff competed with student newspapers published at colleges or universities in S.C. with more than 5,000 students enrollment. Congratulations to Mullins and her crew for winning the following:

1. Best Overall
Second Place
(for the entire Johnsonian staff)

2. Best News Story
Second Place
Nicole Smith

3. Editorial Writing
Second Place
Arthur Takahashi

4. Column
Second Place
Nicole Smith

5. Humorous Illustration or Cartoon
Second Place
Brandon Oxendine

6. Illustration or Informational Graphic
First Place
Brandon Oxendine

Nice going, Christy and staff!