Five University of Alabama students at the Society of Professional Journalists Southeastern regional conference this weekend in Gainesville, Fla. represent two generations of collegiate journalists, most of whom have worked at The Crimson White.
GAINESVILLE, Fla.– If you want to see the present and the future of journalism, you can usually find it at a Society of Professional Journalists spring regional conference.
Such is the case this weekend as five undergraduate students from the University of Alabama are here on the University of Florida campus where the Mark of Excellence student journalism awards will be handed out later today.
Students from the states of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida will find out whether or not they will advance to national competition for recognition as the nation’s best student newspapers, web sites, radio and television broadcasts. A host of awards for individual stories and series will also be given.
Twitter and Wiggio each make a contribution to the 2012 Gulf South Summit. Glad we’re using these tools to take the conference beyond the Lake Terrace Convention Center.
HATTIESBURG, Miss– A few days before the conference, I contacted one of the organizers to find out what our Twitter hashtag would be for this 2012 Gulf South Summit, my first such gathering.
The reply I received was “We’re using Wiggio and you should have gotten an invitation to join,”
I thought “Wiggio” What’s that? Thankfully a YouTube video explained to me.
Even though I created my account before coming here to Hattiesburg, I was still a little fuzzy on how Wiggio could compete with Twitter in the social media arena,
Groups are not the same thing as social networks. Each has a place at a conference like this.
Thankfully, someone had posted fliers around the Lake Terrace Convention Center notifying conference attendees to follow up on Twitter using the hashtag #GSS2012
The bigger point here is this gathering is using electronic means of sharing presentations, videos, handouts AND building community online, one that will last long after we leave Hattiesburg.
Today’s luncheon keynote with my friend Patti Clayton, involved a Tweet N’ Talk where people could respond to some of the prompts from Clayton either by talking to those at their tables on communicating in 140-character updates.
It was a real neat way to integrate social media into our deliberations.
While most at my table were not on Twitter (and I found myself educating them about this social media platform), it was encouraging how many service learning educators are there– communicating in the Twitterverse.
This afternoon, there were some presentations on social media and service learning. I hate that I missed them.
But, thanks to Wiggio, I might be able to at least review the slides before the week is out.
This is a live blog from the events of March 17, 2012– my 42nd birthday.
9:15 p.m. UA Friends Throw Impromptu Birthday Party At Chuck’s Fish
What started as a salmon supper at Chuck’s Fish in downtown Tuscaloosa became a 42nd birthday party among UA friends tonight.
One of my good friends, Stacy Jones, set everything in motion as we arrived for the dinner.
We started with Lobster Claws and then I was pretty full on my seafood platter.
Then, it was time for dessert and after I ordered my white chocolate bread pudding (YES, I know I will pay for it when it’s time to weigh in next week), Dr. Jones decided to make it a birthday bread pudding.
I thought, ‘What is she up to?”
Minutes lady the waitress brings out the dessert all lit up with the candles and the entire restaurant broke out in a rendition of “Happy Birthday” right before I blew out the candles…two of them– as I’m forty-TWO today.
It was a great way to top off a great birthday.
The other folks in the UA party– two of our graduates Katie Boyd Britt, former Student Government Association President and Wesley Britt, who played for the Alabama Crimson Tide before going on to a career on the New England Patriots.
Wesley is in graduate school now at Bama and I believe Katie is in law school. Katie and Wesley happened to be sitting at the table next to us.
Where would I be without my Crimson Tide family? This was definitely a memorable birthday celebration.
5:11 p.m. Can’t Escape Working on One’s Birthday
Finally, I’ve finished reading and grading a set of writing assignments. There is still more work to be done. But, I consider this a major accomplishment of the day.
It’s been hard to work while thinking about an upcoming birthday supper that is planned for later this evening.
1:50 p.m. Update My Panera Surprise:Carrot Cake Muffin
OK- Remember that 2.6-mile walk this morning? Yeh, I remembered it too as the cashier at Panera Bread revealed my birthday “surprise” was a free pastry.
When it opened a couple of years ago in Tuscaloosa, Panera Bread was a welcome addition to our hangouts for quick meetings and “treat yourself” kind of snacks and foods.
The company is known for its artisan breads. But, the bakery cafe always features the delectable desserts that you’re not supposed to have if you’re concerned about your weight.
Each year, on your birthday, Panera notifies you that with your MyPanera card, you bring it in for a surprise.
It’s a great customer loyalty program.
I didn’t claim my surprise last year. So this year, I was definitely going to take advantage of it.
I was thinking it would be an entree or a salad. That was going to be my lunch today. Turns out I’m walking out of with a carrot cake muffin with walnuts and a lowfat strawberry smoothie.
Felt good about the “lowfat” part of the smoothie, but not so good about the muffin. I just tried to lock up the nutrition information on these items. Not available.
1:25 p.m. Update Uh-Oh, You Mean I Need New Running Shoes?
One of my errands for this 42nd birthday was to replace insoles in my relatively new running shoes that I purchased last summer.
“New” for me means that I’ve had the shoes for less than a year. My last pair of tennis shoes lasted (and I still wear on and off) at least four or five years.
Well, it turns out that today I learned even more about shoes.
If they’re going to support your weight in exercise, they really only last a few months.
Today I learned there are shoes with built-in stability controls and that I should have shoes JUST for exercise/working out. Really?
The description online for “Brooks Beast” says my new shes provide “the ultimate in motion control shoes available to runners.
They’re “designed explicitly with the severe over pronator or larger runner in mind.”
Guess I’m that “LARGER runner” I was NOT expecting to spend my birthday gift money on shoes. But, such is life.
8:06 a.m. Update A Birthday Waffle for Old time Sake
I debated about whether to blunt the impact of my walk by having my favorite breakfast.
I promised myself not to make this birthday about food.
But, then I said– the more important thing is the eat what I want and keep track of it. You see here my Birthday Waffle..
For the first time in my nine years in Tuscaloosa, I went to Waffle House and had myself a waffle itself, which is only 314 calories.
As one of the guests on “For Such A Time As This” segment on Moody Radio South, I’ve found myself in the company of great preachers of the Gospel, who also were guests this week during Moody Radio South’s New Day Cafe.
I never thought that I would be able to say I’m in the company of preachers of the Gospel.
Martin Houston, co-host of Moody Radio South’s Morning Show, New Day Cafe, invited me to talk about Christian alliances and partnerships and I’ve found myself among other pastors who were interviewed for the series.
The second part of my interview aired this morning. on Moody Radio South, which is heard on 88.9 FM in Tuscaloosa or over the Internet on the Website.
Today’s verdict in the Virginia Tech wrongful death trial in Christiansburg, Va., has special meaning as it came down as I had just visited with people and places central to the tragic events on April 16, 2007.
BLACKSBURG, Va– Spending three days here in the very building where hordes of media gathered nearly five years ago in the wake of the worst shooting on a college campus in U.S. history could not have happened at a better time.
The decision came just three days after the AEJMC Southeast Colloquium concluded here at the Inn at Virginia Tech, the place where 11 news conferences were held across the 8 days following the shooting.