Novemberis from the Latin novem (English, "nine") plus the Latin suffix -ber (English, "-th"). Mensis is Latin for "month." Mensis November means "the ninth month"--a misnomer, however, since November has been our eleventh month for over 2000 years.
All of our calendar's bermonths (September - December) are misnamed. Why? Because, when the ancient ten-month calendar was replaced by the twelve-month Julian calendar (refined later as the Gregorian calendar), nobody thought to rename months 7 - 10 as months 9 - 12. September should be named November and October should be named December--and so forth. But nobody seems inclined to correct these misnomers.
ARTICLES ON THIS PAGE:
(Today through November 28th)
1. NEW article: Dr. Lois Wright Cup Presented to the Class of 2018.
2. NEW article: English Is a Crazy Language, by Richard Lederer.
3. NEW article: Photo ID Contest: Ten First Decade Faculty Members.
4. Marine Sergeant James C. Windsorin the Korean War.
5. Addendum: Walker House Photos and Information, by A. J. Jelonek.
6. NEW cartoons: Thanksgiving.
The pursuit of excellence is a continuous process through life. Enjoy the pursuit.
Elaine L. Chao
President and CEO, United Way of America
What has a neck and no head, two arms but no hands?
Answer shown at the bottom of this page
Dr. Lois Wright Cup Presented to
the Class of 2018
by A. Jane Chambers
On Saturday afternoon, October 26, 2019, a new Christopher Newport tradition began on the 50-yard line during halftime at the Homecoming football game, with the first annual presentation of the Dr. Lois Wright Cup. The silver cup's name honors Dr. Lois Wright, CNC's first and only student to receive the A.A. degree in the first academic year of our then-new college (1961-62).
In the above University photo, Dr. Wright, wearing a CNU blue coat, and President Paul Trible applaud Cedra Brown, President of the 2018 Class Council, after jointly handing her the Dr. Lois Wright Cup, presented each year to "the young alumni class with the highest annual giving percentage." Applauding also on the left is Baxter Vendrick, Director of the Alumni Relations Office, keeper of the Cup until the ceremony. An announcer described to the crowd what was happening.
The class of 2018 was the first to win the award because 37 % of its members donated funds to their alma mater in academic year 2018-19.The award is not for the amount of money the winning class gives, but the percentage of class members who participated in that gift.
The above picture of Lois Wright and Baxter Vendrick holding the Wright Cup was taken shortly before the ceremony on the field by Lois's friend Elizabeth Benson-Colligan, mother of a CNU graduate, who rode down from Williamsburg with Lois for this event. Our thanks to Elizabeth for this picture and the next two photos in this article.
Before going to the stadium, Lois and Elizabeth went into Klich Alumni House to connect with Baxter and Katie Monteith, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations. There Lois also saw the Lois Wright Cup for the first time and relaxed awhile in the McKnight Conservatory (photo above), the lovely glassed room opening to the recently constructed Terri M. McKnight Veranda.
At the alumni house, Lois and her friend also met with Christopher Newport alumnus Gregory P. Klich ('84), after whom the alumni house is named. Katie Monteith then drove Lois, Elizabeth, and Greg to the stadium in one of CNU's golf cart shuttles, while Baxter, cradling the Cup, was driven in another. The group met President Trible on the sidelines shortly afterwards.
The Dr. Lois Wright Cup will remain on display in Klich Alumni House permanently. "Class of 2018" will be engraved on the smaller rectangle on the base. Lois's 1962 diploma is also on permanent display in the house.
Editor's Note: The following, often printed erroneously as anonymous, is an excerpt from Crazy English (1989), one of over 40 books written byRichard Lederer, PhD (born 1938), an American author, speaker, and retired English teacher best known for his books about the English language and word play such as puns, oxymorons, and anagrams (Wikipedia).
Let's face it--English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France.
We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
Richard Lederer at the 2006 Mensa World Convention, where he was a speaker. Photo from Wikipedia.
If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on.
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.
The ten people in the above photograph were members of two academic departments at CNC in the mid-to-latter part of the first decade. How many of them can you identify by both NAME and DEPARTMENT at CNC? Even if you cannot identify all of them, consider entering this Photo ID Contest, which is only for CNC students of the First Decade (the First Decaders). CNC/CNU faculty, staff, and administrators, and other readers of this website may not enter this contest.
HOW TO ENTER
Email me at email@example.com with your list (by the 2 rows) of those professors whom you can identify. Give for each person the NAME, DEPARTMENT, and LOCATION in the photograph--for example: "Row 1, left-right: 1. Mr. W (A dept), 2. Ms. X (B dept.), 3. ? , 4. Ms. Z (A dept.) & 5. ? (B dept )."Also give your name, phone number and mailing address. DEADLINE for entering the contest is December 9 at 5:00 p.m.
HOW TO WIN
The contestant who correctly identifies the MOST professors and their departments will win the contest and a PRIZE, which will be mailed to the winner's home. The name and (if possible) a photo of the winner will be posted on this website on December 13. If there is a tie, both contestants will receive a prize and also be named and (if possible) pictured on this website. If three or more contestants are tied, the PRIZE will go to the 2 contestants whose emails were dated the earliest; therefore, enter soon.
Please observe the Honor System: If you know the location of this photo, and therefore can easily locate the faculty names and departments, do not enter this contest, and do not enable another contestant to cheat.
Thank you! And Good Luck!
P.S.: We might have more contests (also with prizes) if the response to this one reflects enough interest among our readers.
"In the Corps, he had had the extremely dangerous assignment of living moment by moment in the face of “this fell Sergeant, Death,” by walking in front of everybody into minefields to find mines, to use his steady hands to defuse these mines, and finally to walk on. This was to be done over and over again, day by day, month by month."
It was not until I read these words by Barry Wood, in 2007, that I knew about Jim Windsor’s heroic service in the Korean War. I was editing Barry’s essay “James C. Windsor: President, 1970 – 1979” for the book Memories of Christopher Newport College: The First Decade, which Barry, Rita Hubbard, and I were preparing for publication in 2008. I had known both Jim and Barry since I joined the CNC English faculty in the fall of 1963, but I had never heard Jim talk about his military service. Recalling a photo of him in Marine uniform, I found two photos in the 1966 Trident's dedication to "James Clayton Windsor--Teacher, Administrator, Counselor and Friend" (pp. 12 & 13)--the one right showing the Jim I knew, and the one left below showing Jim the young Marine.
Jim Windsor talking with student Norman Blankenship. 1966 Trident, p. 13.
About a dozen years ago, one of Jim’s grandsons, Jay Windsor, constructed a website to share some of his grandfather’s ideas “with a larger audience.” The various items there included essays, speeches, lectures and so forth on such topics as education, psychology, and religion. Following the “Welcome” page was a short “Biography,” followed by an “Oral History,” in dialogue form. In the "Oral History" excerpts quoted below, Jim talked to his grandson Jay about his experiences as a Marine. The brief topic headings are mine.
JOINING THE MARINES
Jim Windsor as a young Marine. 1966 Trident, p. 12.
“When I graduated from high school three friends and I decided to join the marines. I believe we were patriotic, and also wanted to see the world and save money for college. It was in June, 1950, about five years after the end of World War II, so it was a time of peace and we did not anticipate that we would be involved in a war. However, just three weeks after we enlisted North Korea attacked South Korea and the Korean War began. The war lasted three years, from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953. I was in Korea for almost one year, beginning in September, 1951, so my involvement was a matter of timing. I was on active duty when the war began.”
BASIC TRAINING AT PARRIS ISLAND
“I went to Parris Island, South Carolina and was there for three months. The training was very challenging and some did not make it through. The physical training was very intense with much running and hiking with heavy backpacks. We learned to shoot several types of weapons, and battle tactics. The emphasis was always on self-discipline, obedience to orders, working as a team, honesty, integrity, faithfulness. The Marine Corps motto is Semper Fidelis - ‘Always Faithful.’ I was at Parris Island in the summer months so it was very hot, frequently 90 - 100 degrees. The island was covered with sand fleas which were called ‘no see ums’ because they were so small, but they had a hurtful bite which left a red bump which itched. When standing at attention you were not allowed to swat the bugs, so you had to endure the bites without moving. This actually turned out to be good preparation for the swarms of large black mosquitoes which populated Korea. By the end of the training we were confident and proud to be Marines.”
COMBAT YEAR IN KOREA
Basic physical training at Parris Island.
Marine high rope training at Parris Island.
Marines marching in snowy Korean mountains.
“During the winter months my platoon lived in bunkers which were fortified holes in the ground. It was extremely cold, sometimes well below zero. We had small warm-up tents on the reverse slope which would accommodate two persons for a short time. Any fire or smoke on the forward slope would draw fire. I was a member of an Anti-Tank Platoon. Our weapons were heavy machine guns, rockets, flame throwers and explosives, so we were involved when there were difficult obstacles hindering progress, such as gun emplacements and bunkers."
Marines carrying a wounded comrade in Korea.
"We also set and disarmed mines. It was dangerous work and we frequently suffered casualties. The most difficult experience is to lose a friend.When you are in combat, and getting shot at, your world shrinks down to the small portion of the earth you occupy, and to the few comrades on whom you depend. There is a strong bonding and you look after each other. You fear letting your buddies down more than you fear the enemy or death. We suffered a lot of casualties (dead and wounded) and were fully aware that we were living in harm's way. I was wounded, but not seriously, and survived the experience. I have felt since then that every day is a gift. Many of my comrades did not have the chance to grow up, and I have felt blessed all of my life.”
Marine tanks in Korea of the type Jim saved.
Notable in the above paragraph are Jim's very brief coverage of his extremely dangerous task with mines, described more fully by Barry Wood at the beginning of this article, and Jim's failure to mention not only his Purple Heart but also his Commendation Ribbon for Valor in saving a tank and its crew during a fierce battle, described in the letter below.
“When I became involved in the war in Korea I felt it was a worthy cause and that once again [as in World War 2] the U.S. had expressed its support for freedom and justice. Communism was held at bay, and South Korea is a free country and has prospered. It was the right thing to do. I have thus far lived to be 74 years old. When I was in the mountains of Korea I never thought I would survive this long. I have already lived twenty years longer than my father, who was killed in a coal mine accident when he was fifty-four years old. The values which continue to guide me may be summarized in these principles: Do not be too concerned with what you have, or what you do, but rather focus on what you are becoming as a person. Seek truth, live love, do good.”
After the original publication of this article (August 9, 2013), Dr. Windsor wrote to me "Thank you for composing and printing the article on some of my experiences in Korea. It was very thoughtful and well done. I have not talked much about my service in the Marines, but at age 81, I suppose it is now worth mentioning as a part of my history. Thank you for remembering."
Born August 11, 1932 in West Virginia, James Clayton Windsor died April 3, 2016 in Williamsburg, Virginia, at age 83.
additional details and editing by A. Jane Chambers
After reading my website article Racism and CNC's Shoe Lane Site: The History behind the Walker's Green Marker, CNU alumnus A. J. Jelonek ('15) sent me three photographs he took of the Walker home and site while a student at CNU and some comments about them.
The above 2012 photo taken by A. J. Jelonek of the front of William Walker Jr.'s house shows the addition of a CNU mailbox in the front, and nearer the house, a CNU sign reading "University Mail Room and Residential Housing Support." A. J. wrote, "During my freshman year (2010-2011), CNU used Walker's former home for the University's Counseling Services. The next year, Counseling moved into its current home in the Freeman Center. The house was then used by the University Mail Room staff and by Residential Housing Support staff."
This second photo, also taken in 2012, shows the back of the Walker house, with a white mail truck parked behind it. To take this picture, alumnus Jelonek had to go to the third floor of nearby McMurran Hall. The cars are in Parking Lot M. The not-yet-built Alumni House would face the larger part of Lot M.
This third photo, A. J. wrote, "was taken June 2015, after the demolition of the Walker house, but before construction started on the Alumni House." The paved driveway once going to the attached garage of the Walker house became the entrance for the construction workers and their heavy equipment. The large graveled area, where the house had stood, became the space for construction offices, storage of tools and materials, and workers' parking. The large group of trees beyond the driveway and gravel became the site of the Alumni House.
Thank you, A. J., for this contribution to CNC/CNU history!
READERS: We welcome YOUR historically interesting pictures of the Christopher Newport campus (and/or its people) also.
ANDREW ADRIAN (A.J.) JELONEK is the Venue Coordinator at the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. A native of Leesburg, VA, he received his B.A. in Theater from CNU on May 9, 2015, with a minor in dance. He appeared onstage in various CNU theater productions, was a brother of Alpha Psi Omega, the national theater honors society, and served as the president of Initiative Student Theatre and the secretary of the Film Club of CNU. Maybe one day he will also be performing at the Kennedy Center.
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