My next gig: teaching at Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism

OU BobcatsI’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be the Scripps Howard Visiting Professional at Ohio University for the upcoming academic year. Some of the proudest moments of my journalism career came under the Scripps banner. Spending a year at OU teaching journalism seems a perfect next step for me.

The Scripps School of Journalism is a renowned program, which is demonstrated by the number of OU students I’ve placed in internships and full-time openings at the various media companies I’ve worked for.

I’ve never been disappointed when I’ve hired a Bobcat.

Now I’ll get to work closely with students as they develop their skills. If you’re shopping for talent, let me know and I’ll steer the best and brightest your way.

The statue of E.W. in Scripps Hall. His nose is shiny because students rub it for good luck before tests.

The statue of E.W. in Scripps Hall. His nose is shiny because students rub it for good luck before tests.

After I was laid off from Hanley Wood last winter, I started sizing up the opportunities that were coming in over the transom. Andy Alexander and I had coffee on P Street in D.C. and started talking about OU. Andy and I served on the Scripps School’s professional advisory board together several years ago, and after he left his role as ombudsman at the Washington Post he amped up his relationship with OU, including working as a visiting professional.

Andy got me thinking. I’d had numerous conversations with J-school director Bob Stewart over the years about opportunities to move to Athens to teach, but the timing never was quite right. This time, it was, and Bob helped make it so.

Lara and I moved from D.C. to Athens in late June. We were stressed about leaving D.C., which we love. But we’re now smitten with our new home. Athens is a great town (the farmers’ market rocks, and there are several great restaurants within walking distance of the house we’re renting.)  Shortly after arriving, I had a chance to participate in OU’s High School Journalism Workshop. The quality of that program convinced me I’d made the right decision.

While I’m teaching at OU I’ll continue the digital media consulting I’ve been doing under the LedgeSolutions banner.  And I’ll be rooting for the Bobcats.

This is an HDR shot I took of Scripps Hall several years ago. OU's campus is beautiful.

This is an HDR shot I took of Scripps Hall several years ago. OU’s campus is beautiful.

 

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Brutalism in context

brutal contextual ad

 

Loved this contrarian contextual ad along the right rail of  Kriston Capps’ most excellent defense of Brutalism on CityLab.

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Builder goes big …

Builder magazine September 2013Great to see Builder win the Magazine of the Year award in the American Society of Business Publication Editors’ Azbee Awards. Congrats to everyone who made this happen. Despite all the change that was happening at Hanley Wood through 2013, the staff still managed to produce top-caliber work. (I notice Architect also nabbed more than a few awards in the competition, too. Sweet)

 

 

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Labatt’s, the Dead and the 1990s …

Bob and Lara

 

Boogie’s daughter, Kim, texted me this photo she found among her mother’s things. I’m thinking this is early ‘90s, after we moved to Albuquerque. That’s a Labatt’s in my grimy paw and some sort of Grateful Dead homage.

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General Logan in the snow

Logan Circle in snow

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Hey, that dog has condoms on his feet

Ozzy's bootsLast winter, Ozzy became anxious about walking on ice and snow. I think the real issue was the salt. So Lara did what any irrational pet owner would do. She went out and bought him boots, which I faithfully (and patiently) put on him for winter walks.

Yesterday, we were walking up 14th Street and came upon a group of young women who clearly had been taking full advantage of the spontaneous boozy brunch deals that erupted across the District in honor of  the snow day. As soon as they spotted Ozzy, one of them said, “It looks like he’s wearing condoms on his feet.”

Amid the laughter from everyone except poor, chagrined Ozzy, she asked if it was tough to put the boots on.

“Yup,” I deadpanned. “Just as hard as putting on condoms.”

 

 

 

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SnoBama at the Dupont Circle ice sculpture competition

SnoBama

Lara and I took advantage of the snow day in D.C. to grab lunch at Annie’s and then go over to the Dupont Circle Snow Sculpture competition, where SnoBama (above) and the Snow Hipster (below) were two of the cooler efforts we saw.

Snow Hipster

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Missoula’s Circle Square will buy anything … of value

Circle Square in MissoulaThe Missoulian newspaper did a nice profile on my buddy John Baker’s business in Missoula. I’ve been to the store several times and it’s a treasure trove. If you’re ever in town, drop by to say hi to John. Bonus points if you tell him Paul McCartney sucks.

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Diego Rivera, Vladimir Lenin and Rockefeller Center

Man at the Crossroads

When Nelson Rockefeller commissioned Diego Rivera to create a mural for Rockefeller Center, he wasn’t expecting Vladimir Lenin to make the scene. And when Rivera included Lenin in the work, Rockefeller came unglued, demanding that Lenin be excluded. Rivera offered to add Abe Lincoln as a compromise. When that didn’t appease Rockefeller, the mural was covered and eventually destroyed.

Diego did another version (above) at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico city, which I got to see last time I was there. Diego enhanced the new version, adding other famous Communists and Nelson’s father, John. Very amusing dig at his capitalist nemesis.

Lara at the Mexican Cultural Institute with Talavera tile in background.

Lara at the Mexican Cultural Institute with Talavera tile in background.

The Mexican Cultural Institute here in D.C. has an exhibit called “Diego Rivera’s Man at the Crossroads.” It’s a fascinating history of the work and the controversy. There aren ‘t many original documents here. It’s mostly facsimiles and copies. There isn’t even a color photo of the original. All that’s left are black and white images that Lucienne Bloch managed to shoot before the destruction. But it’s a fascinating look at the controversy, and it also served as an introduction the cultural institute itself, which features a sprawling, three story mural by Roberto Cueva del Rio and a room done in beautiful Talavera tile.

I particularly liked the historic photos in the exhibit and enjoyed the inclusion of correspondence related to the controversy. The poem “I Paint What I See” by E.B. White also was very amusing …

‘I paint what I paint, I paint what I see,
‘I paint what I think,’ said Rivera,
‘And the thing that is dearest in life to me
‘In a bourgeois hall is Integrity;
‘However . . .
‘I’ll take out a couple of people drinkin’
‘And put in a picture of Abraham Lincoln;
‘I could even give you McCormick’s reaper
‘And still not make my art much cheaper.
‘But the head of Lenin has got to stay
‘Or my friends will give the bird today,
‘The bird, the bird, forever.’

Definitely stop by to see this if you have time. There will be a lecture on Thursday, Feb. 20 that I hope to attend, and the exhibit runs until May 17.

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Joan of Arc at Meridian Hill Park

Ozzy and I talked up to Meridian Hill Park yesterday, where we found Joan of Arc looking down on the District from the top of the hill. Wikipedia alleges this is the only statue of a woman on horseback in D.C. Meridian Hill Park also has a great Dante statue and a tribute to James Buchanan.

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