Chickamauga 150 Countdown: The Winner, Part I

By Ron Fritze


This is excerpt one from a three-part article for the Chickamauga 150 Countdown:

When it comes to Confederate military prowess, Braxton Bragg was nobody to brag about. Yes, he commanded the Army of Tennessee at the great victory at Chickamauga but the fact is, the Confederates won because of Rosecrans’ mistake and despite Braxton Bragg’s leadership.
Bragg was born in North Carolina into lower class family. His father, however, developed into a successful business man. This provided the resources for Bragg to get a good education and eventually an appointment to West Point. At West Point, Bragg graduated fifth in his class and also earned a below average number of demerits.


Greek Tragedy in Athens, AL: Euripides’ Trojan Women

By Travis Sharp


Everyone knows the stories of the Trojan War: Paris (in many minds seen as Orlando Bloom) and his fateful trip to Sparta; Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand ships; the deaths of Achilles and Hector; the Trojan horse being brought into the impregnable city; the destruction of Troy and those within its walls. A (very) rough interpretation of this ancient Greek lore was presented in the 2004 film Troy. But in all of the retellings, there is something missing—where are the women of Troy, the survivors not killed by the invading Greeks? We know that King Priam was murdered, but what of Queen Hecuba? What of Andromache, Hector’s wife? What fate took Helen of Troy? What destruction fell upon the cursed Cassandra? These are the stories which ancient Greek playwright Euripides explored in Trojan Women, a play which, according to translator Dr. Francis Blessington, “explores, with rare depth, human suffering.”


Do We Have a Club That Fits Your Personality?

By Tena Bullington

Food Drive

At Athens State University, we have many student clubs looking for new members and new ideas. Perhaps you are a closet artist who wants to learn more and participate but do not want to take classes – we have an Art Club for that. Or maybe you are a teacher-in-training and want to visit and learn from other teachers-in-training – there’s the Athens State University Teacher Ambassadors. Maybe you want to participate in things like cookouts and other student-led activities that create a collegiate atmosphere – then maybe the Student Government Association is the club for you.


Tools of the Trade: The Roget’s Thesaurus, Old School

By Ron Fritze


“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain
When it comes to advice on writing well, Mark Twain is someone to be heeded. One of the problems that any writer continually faces is maintaining the variety of their word usage. If you are not careful, you can end up using the same word over and over again. To your reader that practice comes across as dull and boring and may cause them rightly to question the extent of your vocabulary. So how do you get some life in your vocabulary and get from the “lightning bug” word to the “lightning” word? Answer, the thesaurus, a word book of synonyms and related concepts.


5 Tips for Pursuing a (Graduate) Degree

By Tony Ricks


(The following is adapted by the author from an original blog post he wrote on April 21, 2013  and published at

Thinking about taking “the next step” after your bachelor’s degree? Or just after high school?

Recently, I offered advice to a college student at Athens State on the pros and cons of grad school. I hold a Master’s from Boise State and a Doctorate from Florida State. (Combining mascots, this makes me a Seminole on a Bronco). My particular area of expertise is in Rhetoric & Composition.  Today, I regularly work with college writers at Athens State.


Chickamauga 150 Countdown: The Mistake

By Ron Fritze


They call it the “fog of war.” It’s when unforeseen circumstances cause a battle plan to fall apart. It’s when an army’s communication breaks down during the heat of battle. It’s when generals lose track of where their troops are located. Every battle sees mistakes on both sides. Sometimes the mistakes cancel each other out. Other times, a mistake will lose a battle decisively. Chickamauga was one of those battles.


Justice, Injustice, or another Day in America

By Gary McCullors


Have you ever walked into a store just as you were leaving?  Bought Dinner twice on the same day, at different restaurants?  Visited that one place your spouse said you had better not be caught dead in, or you will wind up dead?  Seem to be spending more money than you thought?  Any of these things sound familiar?  I can’t vouch for the “one place,” but the others happened to my niece last year.  She was blissfully going about her business one day last year when she went to get some money out of an ATM.  The ATM blissfully reported that she didn’t have any money.  She immediately called and blasted her husband wanting to know what he had spent all the money on.  He of course denied spending it which generated a few rounds of, “Yes, you did,” “No, I didn’t,” and “You are lying.”  She reluctantly accepted that he may not have spent it, maybe.


Tools of the Trade: Writing

By Ron Fritze


Students periodically ask me for advice about succeeding in college.  I have a lot of advice but on this occasion I want to focus on one key piece of advice.  We live in a world where technology is touted as the end of education.  That is not true, technology is a tool, it is means to gain an education.  The end in education for a student is learning.  Sure it is a big help if you have a laptop to assist with your studies.  Blackboard and similar learning management systems are great tools.  But the bottom line is this—a person needs to want to learn.  And learning means work.  Besides the high tech tools, there are also some tried and true low tech tools that will help you to improve your writing.  But You have to take the time to use them.


Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling puts universities’ race-preferred admissions on life support

By Jess Brown


Although the Supreme Court’s end-of-term decisions about gay marriage dominated media coverage and public debate during the last week of June, its hot-off-the-press decision about affirmative action and university admissions deserves a close reading by university trustees, presidents and faculty. In the decision of Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, Justice Kennedy, speaking for a seven-member majority, may have substantially redefined the permissible scope of affirmative action in the context of university admissions. It is also worth noting that both members of the Court from racial/ethnic minorities – Thomas, an African-American, as well as Hispanic Sotomayor – supported his position.


Can You Really Go Back To School?

By Guy McClure


When I received my diploma 28 years ago I thought my days of studying were over. Granted, in hindsight I realize that I didn’t study enough when I was in college – but at that time scholarly pursuits seemed an overwhelming burden for someone in their early twenties. Now, almost three decades since that commencement march, I’ve decided to go back to school for a second bachelor’s degree.