Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Lieutenant Colonel Edwin Dyess

Edwin Dyess Ends Year of Leadership

Last week I mentioned that Edwin Dyess, president of the Student Council, was one of the five Tarleton students that attended the Memphis, Tennessee Southern Federation of College Students and Press Representatives Convention in April 1936. The spring of 1936 was Dyess' last semester at Tarleton. Just before graduation he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of the Cadet Corps.

Lt. Col. Dyess was also a star in track and a capable and inspiring leader. A true defender of the purple and white, he was nominated for All Tarleton Boy. After graduation he attended flight training at Kelly and Randolph Fields in San Antonio and was commissioned second lieutenant in the United States Army. He then was promoted to first lieutenant and led the 21st Pursuit Squadron to Nichols Field, Manila, Philippines in October 1941.

Dyess was captured by the Japanese on April 9, 1942 and later that day he and the others began the Bataan Death March. He was a POW at Camp O'Donnell, but after two months of planning and preparation he and the others escaped, eventually being evacuated by the U.S. Navy to Australia. After arriving back in the United States he was taken to an army general hospital in Virginia to regain his health and was promoted to lieutenant colonel upon his release.

Lt. Col. Edwin Dyess then resumed flying December 22, 1943, but was killed that day in Burbank, California. His plane caught fire while on a training mission and he was killed attempting an emergency landing. He stayed in the plane rather than bail out in order to guide it to a vacant lot in Burbank, saving countless civilians on the ground.

Dyess received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Distinguished Service Cross and the Abilene Army Airfield in Abilene was renamed Dyess Air Force Base in 1957!

Handbook of Texas Online.
J-TAC, April 11, 1936.
J-TAC, April 25, 1936.
J-TAC, May 16, 1936.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's Administrative Professionals Day!

Today is Administrative Professionals Day, always held on the Wednesday of Administrative Professionals Week, the last full week of April.  Formerly Secretaries Day/Week, it was established in 1952 by the National Secretaries Association (now known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals, or IAAP*).

IAAP defines administrative professionals as “individuals who are responsible for administrative tasks and coordination of information in support of an office-related environment and who are dedicated to furthering their personal and professional growth in their chosen profession.”   The job titles vary; it's not just secretary any more.*

The day was created to recognize those on "whose skills, loyalty, and efficiency the functions of business and government offices depend," and to call attention "through favorable publicity, to the tremendous potential" of this career.*

There are many ways you can recognize administrative professionals today and this week, including simply saying thank you!  TAEOP, the organization of Tarleton Area Educational Office Professionals, and the TSU Horticulture Club are selling single roses for $5 TODAY from 8 AM to 1 PM in the following locations:
· inside the Administration Building
· in front of the Library
· near the Dining Hall

[*information source:
Original image found via flickrCC: 'enter' by: Wirawat Lian-udom
Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License]

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 top Shakespeare resources @DSL

William Shakespeare's birthday was on April 23. Here are our top 10 Shakespearean resources:

10. FILM
25 Shakespeare films on DVD (list) and 43 Shakespeare films on VHS (list).
Subtle library plug: We have VCRs and TVs you can watch the films on downstairs in the A/V room.

5 related titles (list).

11 titles (list).

42 titles (list).


9 titles, including King Lear and Othello in Spanish. Plus, 100+ titles related to Shakespeare.

Try this search to pull up 200+ titles (copy and paste): Shakespeare AND criticism (as a subject).

18 titles, including the fantastic 105 volume series, Shakespearean Criticism.

60+ titles (list).

Try the following: Literature Criticism Online, Gale Literary Database, Project Muse, JSTOR, MLA, Academic Search Complete. Or try these Shakespearean e-journals.

**Bonus online resources--a) check out Project Gutenberg to download audiobooks & e-books of Shakespeare for free online. b) Generate random Shakespearean insults at this site.
More great links here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thunderstorms in Cloud Computing OR Back Ups to the Rescue

The recent glitch in Amazon's cloud storage that knocked out several popular websites is a timely reminder that backing up materials is usually best practice.

Now that we're all storing so many items on social media, we often forget that digital storage doesn't equal permanent storage (not sure what does) and forget to make backups. Then, when something does go wrong, all we can do is mourn the loss of those files, pictures, papers, etc.

To help us avoid that situation, the tutorial "How To: Back Up Your Social Media Presence Before the Ball Drops" by Brenna Ehrlich at Mashable provides great tips for downloading and backing up many types of online content. The tutorial is organized into four parts, so finding just what's needed should be a snap:

-- Back Up Your Facebook
-- Back Up Your Tweets
-- Back Up Your Blog
-- Back Up Your Photos

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Sons of Tarleton Society - 1936
A.W. S. Council - 1936

Miss Westbrook Gives Easter Hunt for SOTS

Seventy five years ago Miss Mary Hope Westbrook, Associate Professor of English, and faculty advisor of the Sons of Tarleton Society and the Association of Women Students, took the SOTS and their dates on an Easter egg hunt at Stephenville State Park. The eggs, including three prize eggs, were hidden in a large area. The students and guests had almost given up hope of finding the prize eggs, but eventually they were all found and the winners, David Bryant, Paul Claunch, and Mrs. George Davis were each awarded a large basket of divinity!

Miss Westbrook, second from left on top row, was also instrumental in making it possible for five Tarleton students to attend the Memphis, Tennessee Southern Federation of College Students and Press Representatives Convention in April 1936. This was the first year that Tarleton students had gone to the convention. Attendees were Edwin Dyess, president of the Student Council, William Paul Jones, editor of the Grassburr, Wayne Cowan, editor of the J-TAC, Edwina Sparks, vice-president of the A.W.S., and Ora Nichols, secretary-treasurer of the Student Council. Miss Westbrook was also instrumental in organizing both the A.W.S. and the Student Council!

After the Easter egg hunt everyone was treated to a fried chicken dinner, complete with plenty of fried chicken, gravy, fruit salad, rolls, bread and butter pickles, tea, coffee, and pecan pie! Tommy Gordon ended up with the biggest pile of chicken bones!

This Tuesday morning Easter eggs appeared around campus to get us all in the spirit! Hope you have a fantastic Easter weekend!

Grassburr, 1936.
J-TAC, April 11, 1936.
J-TAC, April 18, 1936.

Top Ten Reasons to Go Green

With Earth day just around the corner, and spring season upon us many start to think of ways to go green. There are many reasons for going green conserving resources, clean air, and clean water to name just a few.

Click on the link to visit and see what their 10 reasons are for going green.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Environmental Communication Week 2011

Reminder - Environmental Communication Week still going on.

Wednesday April 20, 2011:

Fiction/Non-Fiction Book Swap (Bring a Book, Take a Book)  -Apr. 18, 2011 - Fri. Apr. 22, 2011
Where: Library Foyer

9a.m. - 1p.m. Recycling Information Booth
Where: Library Foyer

10a.m. - 11a.m. Wind and Solar 101-Presented By: Mr. Eric Graff, Owner of the Air, Wind, ad Solar Energy Store
Where: Library Multipurpose Room

11a.m. - 1p.m. Recycling Information Booth
Where: Thompson Student Center

12p.m. - 1p.m. Green Works New To You House Party (Door Prizes)
Where: Math 135

1p.m. - 2p.m. Panel Discussion
Where: Library Multipurpose Room

2p.m. - 3p.m. Southwest Regional Dairy Center and Environmental Sustainability of Animal Agriculture
Where: Library Multipurpose Room

3p.m. - 4p.m. Water Gardening
Where: Library Multipurpose Room

4p.m. - 5p.m. How to Conserve Water and Harvest You Own Rainwater

Thursday April 21, 2011

Fiction/Non-Fiction Book Swap Apr. 18, 2011 - Fri. Apr. 22, 2011
Where: Library foyer

1p.m. - 2p.m. Open Session

2p.m. - 3p.m. Recycling Contest

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Students are drowning in debt - 10 ways to help pay for college

According to this article from, students are drowning in debtFor the first time in history student loans surpassed credit card debt in America!  More students are taking out loans than ever before to buy an education that has an uncertain future.

Here are some tips/ideas of ways to help pay for college:
  • Save for college - money to help pay for books, meals, etc.
  • Get a head start - take high school AP courses and enter college as a sophomore
  • Maximize your financial aid
  • Look for free money - over 2.9 million  private scholarships worth $16 billion are up for grabs
  • Federal loans - carry lower interest rates
  • Get a roommate to help with the cost of housing
  • Manage your living expenses - walk or bike to school, look for student discounts on meals, etc.
  • Make extra money - look for student jobs on campus, sell tickets at games, etc.
  • Save money on college textbooks - buy used books, or ask others if they might loan you a copy
  • Start paying your loans back as soon as possible and pay extra each month - this will reduce the amount you will pay in interest, and pay the loans off faster.
Here is a link to 101 ways to pay for college. Have you got a tip?  Post a comment and share!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Free apps for reading & libraries

If you have a smart phone or iPod Touch, take advantage of these apps:

BookMyne: (iPhone) Search the catalog of your nearest library (including the Dick Smith Library), and get book recommendations from the New York Times and the GoodReads site. You can also scan the bar code for books and multimedia in a bookstore and see if they're available in your nearest library.

AccessMyLibrary College Edition: (Android/iPhone) Use our Gale Databases while on the go (subjects include Health, Business, and Literature). After you download the app, you'll be asked for your university e-mail address. Once it is verified, you'll be emailed a password.

iBooks: (iPhone) Download free and paid e-books and PDFs and put them on a virtual "shelf."

Kindle: (Android/Blackberry/iPhone/Windows) No Kindle, no problem--download Amazon's Kindle books to your smart phone or iPad--or your PC. Free books are also available.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Beat the heat without beating your wallet

Summer is just around the corner, and it's already starting to heat up here in Texas. If you're like me, you have already turned on your air conditioner a few times by turning the switch and not doing any other checking or action. Did you know you could save money and energy by taking a few extra minutes to check the overall condition of your air conditioner? This article presented on Lifehacker's website explains how badly sealed air conditioners are a big waste of money and energy. You can also check on other links provided within the article to learn how to fix this! Badly Sealed Air Conditioners Are Huge Wastes of Energy.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Tarleton Speech Class 1905 Preston Porter, Grubstake Theater

The Tarleton Players
From the early beginning of John Tarleton College, oratory was included in the curriculum. As stated in the 1902/03 bulletin, the oratory department was designed to teach oratory as an art, to develop in the student a knowledge of his powers in expression, and to work until the strain and roughness disappeared and the animation was made attractive.

The 1902/03 oratory department had 34 students and the elocution class consisted of nine members. Other bulletins stated that expression must come from within outward, with naturalness being the highest form of art with which to manifest the effect of a true conception of a truth as directly and simply as possible. The expression curriculum seeked to develop the originality and awaken the power of each student. The above photo shows the 1905 speech class.

By 1923 Tarleton had an Actor's Club with 75 members. Plays were presented by the Public Speaking and Expression Department. The first mention of the "Tarleton Players" is in the 1928 Grassburr. It states that the Tarleton Players represent the best dramatic talent in school! Before 1928 the theatrical presentations, or lyceums, were just presented by the Public Speaking and Expression Department without a name for the group.

In 1929 the Tarleton Players participated in National Drama Week. The first annual Jubliee was presented by the Speech Department Tarleton Players in 1933, with the 10th annual Jubilee held in 1942. In 1947 the Tarleton Players competed in the Texas Junior College Speech Association play contest in Hillsboro.

The 1948 Grassburr states that the Speech Club was composed of students of the Speech Department who were interested in receiving additional training and experience in appearing before an audience. Each year the Tarleton Players, presented to the Tarleton students the Annual Jubilee, consisting of plays and various dramatic interpretations.

Preston Porter, shown above, a Tarleton student from Huckabay, performed in the Tarleton Players' semi-annual Dramatic Festival in March 1959. His thoughts of performing began as an eight year old when he played a bit part in a high school production. In the spring of 1959 he also signed a contract with the Grubstake Theater in Cripple Creek, Colorado to perform dance specialties, sing, and assist in other acting parts in the Colorado summer theater! And.......he also worked in the library! In fact, today, we have several library employees who have been in the Tarleton Players!

For the opening of the Clyde Wells Fine Arts Center, the Tarleton Players performed The John Tarleton Story, and perhaps the most "famous" play occurred in the fall of 1981 when Tarleton alumnus, actor George Kennedy, made a guest appearance in Gold in the Hills!

One of the oldest organizations on campus, the Tarleton Players have been entertaining Tarleton and the community with excellent theatrical performances for many many years!

Grassburr, 1923, 1928, 1929, 1942, 1947, 1948.

J-TAC, March 17, 1959.

John Tarleton College Bulletin, 1902/03.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Brown Bag: Egypt & The UAE: An Experience In Contrasts

On Thursday April 14, 2011 the Dick Smith Library will host a Brown Bag talk from 12:10pm to 12:50pm in the Multipurpose Room. Ms Betsy Ball, Assistant Professor in the Management, Marketing, and Administrative Systems Department will give a firsthand account of her January 2011 trip to Egypt and the UAE. The uprisings in Tunisia occurred during her trip, and she returned just 10 days before the uprising in Egypt.

Ms Ball's talk will include her photographs and her impressions of the area, and she will share thoughts about current events in Egypt and the Middle East. This a rare opportunity to hear the from someone who has just witnessed current events on a global scale.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - 10 Communications Hurdles

We do annual reviews about this time every year, and every year I set a goal to improve my communications skills. I found this list of communication hurdles - can you relate? 
  • Confronting or criticizing others
  • Not being taken seriously
  • Feeling self-conscious
  • Dealing with other people's anger
  • Speaking in front of a group
  • Controlling one's emotions
  • Receiving criticism
  • Getting cooperation
  • Setting limits
  • Taking the floor
One of my biggest hurdles is written communication. I seem to come off as mad or mean and I don't understand how or why!  Do you know of other communications hurdles?   Post a comment and share!

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's National Library Week!

It's that time of the year again - National Library Week! Last year, we celebrated with a couple Read posters featuring Dr. Dottavio and the Purple Poo. Who do you think will be on this year's posters? Stop by the library tomorrow and find out! The unveiling and refreshments will be at 1 PM, April 12th.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

ROTC at Tarleton

From the very beginnings of Tarleton a military style for the male students was maintained. Shown in the photo above are the early John Tarleton College cadets posed in front of the first Tarleton building wearing their uniforms! Military drills were a part of the physical education curriculum.

John Tarleton College became a part of the A & M System in 1917 and automatically became an institution of military training. "John's Army" of sixty eight cadets was organized the first year that Tarleton was a part of A & M. The second year Tarleton became a branch of the SATC (Student Army Training Corps). This program was designed to train officers for service in World War I. Being funded by the federal government and operating as a part of the army, the new organization didn't adhere to the rules and regulations of the college, causing a great deal of dispute over which institution would govern the students. SATC stayed on campus briefly, and after the war steps were taken to bring a permanent ROTC program to campus.

Created by the United States Congress in 1916, ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) had a presence at Tarleton upon becoming a part of A & M in 1917, but officially ROTC didn't arrive until 1921. Every male freshman student was required to join the ROTC, wear uniforms, and receive daily military training. After the first year they had the option of staying in ROTC or be members of the cadet corps. By 1922/23 the cadet corps had 250 cadets in 3 companies. Later in the year 2 more companies were added.

Each Friday was dress parade day. The corps also marched in the State Fair of Texas parade and had a winning rifle team. The ROTC cadets are shown in the second photo above during their daily training. Each year the cadets were reviewed by high-ranking US Army officers and had a competetive drill between the different units.

ROTC has continued to be an important part of Tarleton, producing commissions into the Army at most graduations. As the 1923 Grassburr stated, " we all believe in military training as the basis in the establishment of the best moral, mental, and physical characters of the Tarleton youth."

Chamberlin, Frank. R.O.T.C. at Tarleton, Dick Smith Library. Cross Timbers Historic Images Project.

Dick Smith Library. Cross Timbers Historic Images Project.

Grassburr, 1923.

Homeland Security uses Twitter and Facebook For New Alert System

Homeland Security Taps Twitter, Facebook For New Alert System  It is like Code Purple for the nation! No more level Orange threats. Facebook and Twitter are widely used, but what about the older generation or those without computers, the internet, or cell phones?

The new system is supposed to launch April 27th.  They will post warning "when appropriate."  It is probably not too far removed from the emergency broadcast system warnings and tests that go out over TV and radio. Might as well tap into Twitter an Facebook if people are on them all day long, right?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Best FREE Apps for iPhone

My previous cell phone contract terminates this month, and in preparation I finally caved in to "the Man" and got an Apple iPhone.

One of the best things I have discovered about smartphones is the HUGE amount of free entertainment available through the App Store. Below you will find a few of my favorite apps, as well as why they're so awesome.

"Wait!" you say, "I thought academics hated Wikipedia!" Ah, but that is not the case. The online encyclopedia has its place and useful applications. Personally, I'm a big fan of using the citations at the bottom of their articles. These are often reputable sources in their own right. Use with caution, though, as not every source is a reliable one. The mobile version is pretty standard, too, and there isn't much if any quality loss.

This is a nifty little QR code reader that has a couple of other features. In addition to reading the code, it will also read square bar codes on the back of books, on your soup can, or anywhere. Then, the app routes you to their links page with the possibility to buy the book from Amazon, eBay, etc...

Angry Birds
This is just for fun. Using the laws of physics to free the troubled avians brings a tear of joy to the frazzled working man.

Unfortunately, I can't link you to the apps directly (I don't have iTunes on my work machine), but I can link you to the app store where you can search for them yourself! Click here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Circulated Audiobooks

Here are the audiobooks that have been checked out most frequently at the Dick Smith Library:
  1. Harry Potter series, by J. K. Rowling - six of the the seven audiobooks in this series would be in the top ten list, so in the interest of variety, I'm lumping them all together as number one.  Narrated by the incomparable Jim Dale, these are a real treat.
  2. The lion, the witch and the wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis - PZ7.L58474 LI 2000
  3. On the street where you live, by Mary Higgins Clark - PS3553.L287 O5 2001
  4. I don't know how she does it: the life of Kate Reddy, working mother, by Allison Pearson - PR6116.E17 I2 2002
  5. The bear and the dragon, by Tom Clancy - PS3553.L245 .B42 2000
  6. Guns, germs, and steel: the fates of human societies, by Jared Diamond - HM206 .D48 1999
  7. Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis - BT77 .L348 2000
  8. - a tie: The Da Vinci code, by Dan Brown - PS3552.R685434 D3 2003B,
  9. and The secret life of bees, by Sue Monk Kidd - PS3561 .I44 S38 2001
  10. - a tie: Standing in the rainbow, by Fannie Flagg - PS3556 .L26 S73 2002,
    The fourth hand, by John Irving - PS3559.R8 F68 2001,
    Shopgirl, by Steve Martin - PS3563.A7293 S56,
    and Junie B. Jones CD edition, Books 1-8, by Barbara Park - PZ7.P2197 J86 2003
  11. - a tie: Black Hawk down, by Mark Bowden - DT407.4 .B69 1999,
    Instant immersion Spanish - PC4111.I57 2002 (we also have the advanced edition - PC4117.I57 2002),
    and The lord of the rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien - PR6039.O32 L6372 1990
You can find these on the lower level of the library, in the AV section to the right as you exit the stairs or elevator.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens located in Galveston, Texas provides a fun place to learn and play. This tropical destination offers many attractions for your family getaway or a group outing. The possibilities to have fun and learn are endless. This wonderful world features aquatic life from the Caribbean, South Atlantic, North Pacific and South Pacific Oceans. Opportunities to learn about the world's oceans await. When you are done diving, step into the Rainforest Pyramid to marvel in the lush greenery and wildlife of the world's rainforests. This ten-story exhibit features wild birds, Cotton-Top Tamarins an Ocelot, reptiles and other interesting critters. Explore the Discovery Museum, or 3D, 4D ridefilm theaters, or ride the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat, and more...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Save Money, Cook at Home, Feed your Friends!

Everyone knows that the economy is not in good shape right now. One way to save money is to cook at home. Stay out of the fast food restaurants – they are expensive and not good for your health! The library has a book called College Cooking: Feed Yourself and Your Friends. It has bargain shopper tips and food trivia. A few of the recipes have tips on how to make it a vegetarian recipe. Check it out! You can find other cookbooks in the same area.

Here's a recipe that looked good to me from the book:

Beef Enchiladas

1 small onion
½ pound extra lean ground beef
2 teaspoons Mexican seasoning
2 cups salsa
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
1 (15-ounce) can pinto or black beans
4 (6 inch) low-fat flour tortillas
½ c low-fat shredded cheddar or Jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray an 8 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Peel the onion and chop into 1/4 Р1/2 inch pieces. Place the onion and ground beef in a saut̩ pan and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, or until completely browned. Drain off any excess grease and add the Mexican seasoning, 1 cup of salsa, and the green chiles with the juice. Drain the liquid from the beans and stir into the mixture. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Spoon one quarter of the mixture into the center of each tortilla and roll them up. Place the enchiladas seam side down in the pan, cover with the remaining 1 cup of salsa, and top with the cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.