Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Visiting with Tom Nelson

A little over a week ago, I was at The Ohio State University, attending the second biennial U.S. Conference on Teaching Statistics. While there, I was able to visit with Tom Nelson, who partly overlapped with me during our graduate training in social psychology at Michigan.

Since 1992, Tom has been on the faculty in political science at OSU, focusing on the kinds of topics one would expect from a social psychologist -- attitudes, public opinion, and methodology. In fact, Tom is a leading figure in the hybrid field of "political psychology."

Like Tom, I have a faculty appointment outside of a psychology department (in my case, human development and family studies). As I've discussed with various people over the years, social psychology is an excellent discipline in which to receive training, as the social/behavioral theories and methodological/statistical techniques one learns can be applied across a variety of disciplines.

Here's a photo from our recent visit, taken in Tom's office. He just happened to have his U of M diploma laying around, so we included it in the picture.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shaking Things Up a Bit on "Michigan Thursday"

As I wrote about in my March 4, 2004 entry (March 2004 archives), since I first arrived as a faculty member at Texas Tech University in 1997, I have carried on my own "tradition" called Michigan Thursday, in which I wear U of M garb every Thursday. Michigan Thursday complements the pre-existing Texas Tech tradition of faculty and staff members wearing the school colors of red and black every Friday. Thus, with me, Michigan Thursday leads into Texas Tech Red & Black Friday.

In the fall of 2005, upon completion of her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, an attachment theory scholar named Kazuko Behrens joined our faculty at Texas Tech. A Golden Bear through and through, Kazuko became the first (and thus far, only) Texas Tech faculty colleague to join me in the weekly use of garments to display spirit for our alma maters. In Kazuko's case, we have Cal Thursday.

The first (or sometimes second) Thursday of every month, my department has its regular faculty meeting. On May 10, we had our final meeting of the academic year. In anticipation of this final meeting, Kazuko and I decided to throw our colleagues a curve-ball, of sorts, by switching our school garb. Neither of us has any official affiliation with the opposite school. I wore a Cal shirt (which I had picked up on a previous visit to the Berkeley campus) and I loaned Kazuko one of my Michigan ones. We were pleased to see our colleagues discover the switch very quickly.

The picture below shows us at the faculty meeting. Notice, also, the matching pens we're holding (me, a Cal pen, and Kazuko, a Michigan one).

Monday, May 07, 2007

Demise of the Frieze Building on the UM Campus

In recent months, the demolition of the Frieze Building on the University of Michigan campus has been ongoing. As I first learned about and reported here in July 2005 (see monthly archives on the right-hand side of this page, midway down), the Frieze Building will be making way for a new residence hall, North Quad (which will join South, West, and East Quads).

Various online articles and photo essays about the demolition are available. The university has a blog devoted to the Frieze Building, through which you can access a link to the photo essays.

There's also a retrospective exhibit, sporting a title only a punster such as myself could love, "Frieze Frame" (click here and here for further details).

During my years at Michigan in the mid-late 1980s, social work was one of the disciplines housed in the Frieze Building. I used the Social Work Library fairly often, as it was a good source of journal articles on stress and coping, a topic I was studying at the time. Ultimately, however, a splashy new building for the School of Social Work opened several years ago by the corner of South U. and East U.

The Frieze was also home to performing arts disciplines, but new replacement theatrical facilities are in the works, too.

Given the physical size of UM, many faculty, staff, and students probably have had little familiarity with the Frieze Building, even during the years it was hosting academic departments. For some, though, it does carry nostalgia.

Monica Biernat, who obtained all of her degrees at U of M and was a member of the same entering cohort as me in grad school, e-mailed me this reflection in 2005: "I can't believe the Frieze building is coming down -- I used to study there for finals when I was an undergraduate!"

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

25th Anniversary of Zingerman's Deli

I was just doing some leisurely web browsing, when I decided to check out the latest news that was fit to print at the New York Times. Front and center on the page (the online version, at least, as shown below) was a nice photograph. Was it of a major news event in Washington, DC or in some other major world capital? No. Shown in the photo was none other than Zingerman's delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The occasion for the article appeared to be Zingerman's 25th anniversary, and how the deli and the company's associated businesses are expected to bring in $30 million in revenues this year.

My cohort entered graduate school at U of M in the fall of 1984. As best as I can recall, I was never aware during my years in school there of how new Zingerman's really was, at the time. Perhaps the brick exterior just made it look old. My final two years of grad school (1987-88 and 1988-89), I lived on East Kingsley, just a few blocks east of Zingerman's. I wouldn't say that I frequented the place, but I certainly enjoyed a bagel or a sandwich there from time to time.

Congratulations to everyone at Zingerman's for their accomplishments, longevity, and recognition by the New York Times.