A University Tradition – A Family Tradition

By Tena Bullington

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Please note that this blog article preludes the Founders Queen and Court ceremony on October 22 at 6:00pm in the Parlor of Founders Hall.

Founders Queen and Court is an historic event that has taken place at Athens State University for over fifty years. These honors have been bestowed upon women exemplifying Athens State’s mission and as those chosen are voted upon by their student peers it is truly an honor.

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Inhabiting Territories of [Post]Colonial Space

By Kevin Dupre

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Please note that this blog article preludes an appearance by Robert Antoni at Athens State University on November 12 and a book discussion of Antoni’s latest book As Flies to Whatless Boys on October 21.

As Flies to Whatless Boys takes readers on a journey into the Caribbean that few in the United States might ever make.  Cruise-line passengers and honeymooners may, on occasion, dip their toes in the warm waters off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago, although still fewer of those explore the space, vicariously or via the history of those exoticized islands so near our shores.  Further, a passing look at the history of the Caribbean might prompt limited questions about what [presumably European] languages are spoken there.   These would get one no closer to what it might be like to migrate or live in the West Indies.   But following Willy, the main character, who journeys there with his family from England, in part on a quest to either to lead or follow his first love Marguerite.  The novel takes readers deep into the bowels of the ship on the passage across the Atlantic and deeper still into the island’s colonial culture.

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You Keep the Crunches –The Beginning of My Love Affair with SUP

By Tonyia Bowling

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I shouldn’t be able to do this. I shouldn’t be able to do this – these are the words running through my brain over and over again.  This is the story of how my love affair with stand up paddle boarding began.

Early in my vacation I observed a paddle boarding group leave a marina and then the guide tow some of the guests back to the outfitter desk for a refund. When we inquired how hard it might be to learn we were told that it required a lot of core strength; I have none of that.
At night we visited websites of different companies that offered stand up paddle boarding. One member of my family pulled up a photo of a lady just lying on her stomach on a board. I was told, “If she can do it, you can do it.” The pressure was on.

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Chickamauga 150 Countdown: The Loser Part II

By Ron Fritze

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After the battle of Stones River, the Union high command again wanted Rosecrans to advance against Bragg but he demurred. Pressured to take the offensive, he finally began the Tullahoma campaign of 24 June to 3 July which used brilliant maneuvering to force Bragg out of Tennessee without any major fighting. By early September, he had forced Bragg to abandon the strategic city of Chattanooga and was closely pursuing him when it would have been an opportune time to consolidate his gains by halting in Chattanooga. Pushing ahead, he was initially surprised when Bragg turned to fight. The climax was the battle of Chickamauga on 19-20 September 1863.

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Chickamauga 150 Countdown: The Loser Part I

By Ron Fritze

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William S. Rosecrans (1819-1898) commanded the Union Army of the Cumberland at the battle of Chickamauga and made the fatal mistake of pulling a division out of his battle line. Confederate forces exploited that gap to inflict a stinging defeat on the Union forces. Needless to say, this situation resulted in Rosecrans being removed as commander of the Army of the Cumberland. He was never given command of a major army again.

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Heat Lightning

By Guy McClure

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When the sun finally called it a day dragging its long shadows that spread into an all-encompassing cooling blanket, we would emerge with our wet heads smelling of soap and the indoors – calmed from the previous hours exertions by tepid waters and echoed sounds.  In our paper-thin pajamas, we sat in the front yard, cross-legged in the folding chairs with the prickly green plastic webbing on the seats – hoping to, but never catching the breeze that could work wonders by cooling our still dewy bodies.

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Chickamauga 150 Countdown: Grant on Bragg

By Ron Fritze

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During the Civil War and for years after, Grant was known for keeping his opinions about the war to himself. After he left the presidency that changed and Grant started to reminisce. In 1877 he went on a world tour with John Russell Young as the reporter who accompanied him. Over the course of months, Grant started to provide recollections of the Civil War which Young eagerly included in his newspaper columns and a later book. Then toward the end of his life, Grant was financially ruined by dishonest “friends” and needed to leave his family some money. So he wrote his famous memoirs that were completed shortly before his death. They sold well and are a classic of American writing. In Young’s book and his own memoirs, Grant revealed some telling anecdotes about Braxton Bragg as a man and a soldier. Here they are for your enjoyment. Are there any Bragg fans left out there?

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Chickamauga 150 Countdown: Ambrose Bierce

By Ron Fritze

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Ambrose Bierce (1842-1913?) was a journalist, satirist, and short story writer (mostly horror and thrillers) who is best known for his Devil’s Dictionary and the short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” “Owl Creek” is set in northern Alabama and may have been based on the abandoned railroad bridge a mile or two south of Elkmont. Born in Ohio, Bierce had the good fortune, like me and Abraham Lincoln, to grow up in Indiana. In 1913 he is supposed to have disappeared into Mexico during the great Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920. A fictional depiction of his last days forms the plot of the film Old Gringo (1989).

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Freedom Recaptured

By Guy McClure

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What does it take to be truly carefree? For me it is simply two wheels and starry summer nights.

While home in Athens after my freshman year at college, I first experienced this freedom and it has stuck with me ever since. You see in the early summer of 1980, my grandfather’s driveway became the depository for a stolen bike. A white 10-speed Raleigh that he subsequently gave to me after it was not claimed. I hadn’t ridden a bike since I had been issued a driver’s license, but I took the gift thinking it may bring back a sort of nostalgia. It did bring nostalgia, but it wasn’t about the action of riding the bike but the environment in which the bike was ridden.

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Tools of the Trade: Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus

By Ron Fritze

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In this blog, I want to share with you what has become my favorite tool for putting some variety and spice into my writing. Check out the Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus (2004) or OAWT for short. It is a great alternative to Roget’s Thesaurus because it is easier to use and works just as well if not a bit better. It is organized in a dictionary style and provides many synonyms listed in logical order. When appropriate, distinctions are made between formal and informal usages. Some entries also provide a few suggestions for antonyms. Examples of sentences that demonstrate usage of a word are also provided. Take the word “bad.” The OAWT gives twelve different general ways that “bad” can be used. Well over 150 synonyms and antonyms for “bad” are supplied. So if you mean “bad” in the sense of “the bad guys”, it gives alternatives like “corrupt,” “reprobate,” or “crooked” among others. If you mean “bad” in the sense of a “bad child,” it suggests “naughty,” “wayward,” or “undisciplined” among others. Remember, there are often subtle differences in meaning and connotation between some of the alternative suggestions. They are not necessarily inter-changeable parts. Keep your dictionary handy so that you can pick out the word that works best for your situation.

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