Archive: » 2021 » May

Judging Newspaper Contest After a Pandemic

I spent several hours last week judging entries in a Better Newspaper Contest for another state’s press association. Newspaper associations often “swap” judges for these annual contests. Members of the Texas Press Association agreed to judge the entries for this state, and its members will do the same for TPA. I volunteered to judge a few dozen entries in four categories. Entering these newspaper contests used to be a dreary, time-consuming affair back in prehistoric days. Someone in the newsroom, usually me as editor, had to flip through bound books of back issues, select the stories,...

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Enjoying Life’s Little Pleasures

I have been pondering the little things in life that give me pleasure. Perhaps spending more than a year at home helped foster this introspection. Or maybe it is knowing my remaining number of trips around the sun dwindle inexorably. The days pass too quickly, so I am trying hard to appreciate each day, to enjoy every sandwich. (And I do love sandwiches.) After the fierce winter storm froze our world in mid-February, dozens of mature azalea bushes in our yard looked like goners. Most of their leaves turned brown and fell off. I tried to imagine how our yard would look without these azaleas....

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Back Among the Stacks

For the first time in 14 months, I returned to regularly working in person last Monday at the Estes Library at LeTourneau University. Coincidentally, that was also the first day the university issued new COVID-19 guidelines that ended the mask-wearing requirements and relaxed sanitation standards. I stuck my mask back in my pocket and spent a quiet day at the front counter of the library, filling interlibrary loan article requests and assisting the occasional patron. Very occasional patrons, actually. It is always slow in the summer at the library. Usually, a student worker is at the counter,...

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A Letter To Our Daughter Upon Graduation

Dear Abbie: On Saturday morning, you will walk across the stage at the Belcher Center to receive a bachelor’s of science degree from LeTourneau University. Your mom and I couldn’t be prouder of you. You completed your degree and are graduating with high honors from a university with rigorous standards — with a triple major in English, psychology and theology. It’s a big step, and it inevitably leads to you wondering what comes next. So, here’s some unsolicited advice from your dad. First off, you received a fine education within a wide variety of disciplines. That provides a strong...

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