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Tulane Honors Program

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Oxford Students Required to Sign Contracts

Students forced to sign 'I'll try harder' contracts
By Jonathan Richards and Tony Halpin
OXFORD is to become the first university in Britain to protect itself from litigious students by introducing legally-binding contracts requiring them to attend lectures.
Students admitted to Oxford this autumn will have to sign the document, seen by The Times, which states that they must “pursue such studies as are required of you by any tutor, fellow or lecturer, or other qualified person assigned by the College to teach you”.

This includes “activities such as practicals, the completion of written work, attendance in tutorials and classes and lectures, and the sitting of University and internal College examinations”.

The contract only commits a college to “make such teaching provision for undergraduate students as it reasonably decides is necessary for their courses of study”. This “may” include tutorials, classes and seminars.

Oh my. Have we come to this? In my day in Oxford... OK. Well, being a graduate student I didn't actually have to attend lectures. I wanted to attend them. Call me a geek. Geek. There, I did it for you. Now, get back to class before you are found in breach of contract.

Sophie B. Wright Middle School

I am very proud to announce that the Tulane Honors Program has forged a long term (read: indefinite) relationship with Sophie B. Wright Middle School. Mrs. Jenkins and I met with Mrs. Monica Ponoroff (Director of "For the Children" a Tulane community outreach literacy program) and Ms. Elaine Lewis, Language Arts teacher at Sophie B. to discuss their needs and opportunities.

Starting immediately we will be looking for students to tutor, give classroom aid, play guitar, and help organize their library. Now the specifics:

Math/Science tutors (remember, these kids are grades 4-8, even English majors can do this math!)
We need 4 Tulane students Mon-Thur for the morning (9-12) and 4 students for the afternoon (1-3). You do NOT need to do every day! We can use as many as 32 students, each one taking one three hour shift a week. In other-words, if you can only make Monday from 1-3 great! Sign up in our office.

Science & Social Science Fair
5 students per fair. These students would work with a particular teacher and their students at their own schedule to develop projects that the students would present at a Fair. We are hoping for two separate fairs later in the spring.

We are looking for a few students who play instruments (guitars, but also band instruments) to come occasionally and play for the students, providing them with an example and encouragement to play themselves. This is a chance for Marching Band to shine! :-)

2 students per shift (9-12/ 12:30-3) Monday thru Thursday (a total of 16 students/week) to assist the computer teacher.

A library in Nantucket that would like to partner with a library in New Orleans and that partner will be Sophie B. Wright Middle School. So anyone interested in putting together a library please come see us and we will provide the contact name.

Reading Project
We will also be coordinating a reading project with Tulane's Service Learning so stay tuned for more information on that later.
All of these opportunities are very exciting for you as a Tulane student and for the rebuilding of New Orleans. Let's start these children off on the best foot possible for the future!!

Sophie B. Wright Middle School is on the corner of Prytania and Napoleon Ave. The city bus is running (no cost) and there will be a service learning van available. (Times to be announced.)

I realize you will have LOTS of questions so please feel free to emailMrs. Jenkins and get on board!

Newcomb Rally Covered by the Chronicle

Supporters of Women's College at Tulane U. Rally Against Plans to Merge It Out of Existence


About 150 women ranging in age from 18 to 84 chanted, sang, and pleaded with Tulane University administrators on Friday not to dismantle their alma mater, Newcomb College, an undergraduate division for female students that Tulane plans to close in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The 120-year-old college is slated to be combined this fall with its counterpart for men into a single undergraduate college at Tulane. Although Newcomb will no longer exist as a separate degree-granting institution, a committee is studying ways to continue the college's legacy of supporting women's education and leadership development, possibly through an institute or foundation.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Little Fun: Which Sports Car Are You?

I'm a Lamborghini Murcielago!

Does this sound like me?

You're not subtle, but you don't want to be. Fast, loud, and dramatic, you want people to notice you, and then get out of the way. In a world full of sheep, you're a raging bull.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Wynton Marsalis

While Mayor Nagin was saying some *ahem* curious things on the occasion of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Wynton Marsalis was truly inspiring in a speech to our students and community at Tulane. Follow the link above for the whole speech. A few prime quotes:

That is why, as I stand before you tonight, I say the best way to be, is to do. Don’t settle for style. Succeed in substance. President Cowen said “don’t come back if helping restore New Orleans is not in your DNA,” and 91 percent of you have returned. Most of you have returned at a time when many would have stayed away. And now that you are here, you have the opportunity to set a new tone, not only for New Orleans, but for our country. Remember, many a revolution started with the actions of a few. For example, only 56 men signed the Declaration of Independence of which Ben Franklin said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” A few hanging together can lead a nation to change.

One of my favorite:
And though I haven’t quite pinpointed it, somewhere between my daddy’s youth and mine, generational aspirations for a richer democracy changed to aspirations for a richer me - more wealth and more leisure time for a lower quality of work. Oh, and forget about our political process. Voting became too much of a bore - let alone keeping an eye on how our tax dollars were being squandered or how our interests were being poorly served by our elected officials.

And finally,
The rebuilding of New Orleans is an important point in the history of the United States. Should my generation expect yours to be the watchdogs of this effort? Should we expect you to monitor how our leaders handle this responsibility to restore our city?
Well, my generation might not – because we have not been very good watchdogs ourselves. But I do. I expect you to be different than the example we’ve set for you.

Don’t wish for someone else to do later what you can do now. When you perceive a problem, instead of speaking about it in bars or dorm rooms or in hushed corners, put together a group of friends and be loud in your dissent. When you notice inconsistencies between what is said by government officials and what is done, exercise your individual and collective power to take steps to remove them. Our form of democracy allows you to do that. Remember, the best way to be, is to do.

What are you going to do?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Tie Dye Par-tay!

I considered it a success. What did you all think?

Some new students doing the dye.

My daughter Izzy helping to tie-dye.

Trevor and The Zoo!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Deja Vu All Over again!

Yesterday's convocation was one of the most moving ceremonies I have ever been to; certainly the most moving of academic ceremonies. Dr. White's Jazz band entered McAllister first playing in the slow dirge "When The Saints Come Marching In." After they were in they changed the beat for the second line and the song went on with a jubilant rhythm and clapping by all. I was the second in line after the band and we moved down the aisle smiling and clapping. Then, as Dr. Cowen came through the door, the place erupted in cheers and applause as everyone got to their feet. As Dr. Cowen stepped up onto the stage I could see him wiping tears from his face. Folks, as cheesy as this may seem, I do believe we have the best leader for Tulane at this time that we could possibly have hoped for. I am very proud that he is my President.

The ceremony then went on with the usual academic comments, statistics, and jokes. Dr. Cowen's speech was very good (although not as fluid as it would have been had he not stuck to the script :-). We then were led out by the band and Dr. Lefton, the Provost ("keeper of the prison") switched hats with the bass drum player. Very funny and I am sorry I don't have a picture of it! I did manage to get a few with my phone of the band playing outside.

So Welcome Back! And I am eager to see you all in the classroom and (most of all!) in Bruff!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Welcome Back!

Today is move in day for freshmen! I am on my way to convocation, en-robed in my scarlet and blue Oxford academic regalia. It has been great to see so many students and parents. Everyone seems very excited to be here! I look forward to welcoming you all back over the next few days.

Monday, January 09, 2006

What to expect, when your expecting...

Everyone here on campus is working very hard to get things ready for your return this week! There is fresh paint on fresh walls, above fresh carpet, etc. I want to be honest with you and give you a sense of what to expect. You will see many homes with blue tarps on their roofs and as you drive in, depending upon your route, you may come through areas with lots of debris still being piled up in front of homes and on the neutral ground, that slip of land between streets. This is all a sign of life, since if that refuse wasn't being brought out of the homes it would mean they are rotting from within. (In some areas such as Gentilly and the Ninth ward people have not really been able to even begin their clean out.) I tell you all of this so that you are prepared for what you might see. On campus things are looking very good.

There is still work being done and more to do, but the buildings are looking very good and the campus is being readied for your return! Butler House, for example, looks better than it has in years! The downstairs has been completely redone and painted, new carpet in the lounge and we will be getting new furniture and.... a new plasma TV! :-) But... not all of the furniture and fixture may be here when you arrive. Your rooms are of course complete and there will be seating in the lounges and so on; we just may have to wait a week or so (not much more I am told) for the new stuff to get here.

UPDATE: The furniture is in! Along with about 60 mattresses. Butler lounge is looking very nice. (We have to wait until the summer for the kitchens to be renovated, but we will get there. :-)

We are also hard at work planning for this semester. Tonight I am having dinner with the RAs, Saturday we have the tie-dye party for incoming Honors freshmen with the Zoo playing, Sunday night my wife and I will be at a parent's reception at the Zoo (the one with animals) and we are hammering out a schedule of weekly Honors Round Table speakers. I will be joining folks for lunches in Bruff and my family will join us for dinner once a week or so.

So hurry back! We are eager to see you and are ready to start the new year!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Chez Butler : CafePress.com

Attention Butler Honors Residents (and those who would like to be in Butler)! I have two exciting announcements.

Butler Rooms The first is that there are 20 spaces available in Butler House, the Honors only residence hall. If you are interested please email applyhrl@tulane.edu and tell them that you are interested in living in the Honors Residence (Butler). It is primarily a freshman dorm, but I am told they are willing to have other years, but you may have to room with a freshman.

T-Shirts and coffee mugs and a bag... As part of becoming a residential college Butler House we are working to develop our identity. Did you know that Butler House was named after Pierce Butler, Newcomb Professor of History AND English andDean of Newcomb from 1919-1938? Now you can show your pride in being a part of Chez Butler! Get your kitsch at Café Press. (Please note: There is no mark up on these items, so you are paying only for the item and shipping.)