This has been a curious year — and more — in local politics. The State College, Pennsylvania, school district developed a plan to renovate the high school. Their plan was opposed by some unwilling to spend the money and by others who did not like the idea of a large, single high school for a growing town. Opposition to the plan became more heated, with accusations that the Board was refusing to listen to citizens. In the spring primary, a slate of five candidates opposed to the Board’s high school renovation swept the election and are now poised to control the school board after the November election.
The challengers spent a lot of money on the primary, much of it donated by developers and related business interests, and appear to be spending heavily on the fall election campaign. Some citizens are supporting two write-in candidates — here’s Christopher Long’s argument.
Supporters for the slate of five challengers — who control the ballot on both the Republican and Democratic ticket — are appealing to voters to “Finish What We Started.”
It is still not clear where the probable new board will take the district, but we do appear to be in for a change. Perhaps it is a bad sign that as soon as the challengers swept the primary, their lament that their side was not being heard was replaced by the new theme that the supporters of the outgoing board should sit down and shut up.
One morning in our first week in Rome, we spent several hours discussing Nathaniel Hawthorne’s THE MARBLE FAUN. At the end of the morning, we walked from our Sede di Roma classroom to the Trevi Fountain, where Hawthorne describes a midnight walk in the mid-nineteenth century.
If you are planning to come to Rome with us in the summer of 2008, you’ll want to be able to publish web sites and a blog at the Penn State server. This is easy to set up and practice, and it will allow students to develop their observational, writing, and communication skills as part of a special course on The Rhetoric of Rome: Street and Studio.
To start your own blog, visit the Penn State blog site. Once you are accepted for the Rome program, you can practice your own Rome 2008 blog, and send me a link that I can post on this site. Eventually, we will have a web of links that includes all the students and professors in our program — both blogs and web pages.
An easy way to upload photographs to your blog and web page, which you will be doing in Rome, is to set up an account on Flickr, an application where you can set up photograph albums that are public, private, or viewable only by people you designate. Once you have uploaded photographs to Flickr, you can easily link to them as you are writing a blog entry. If you don’t have a Flickr account, I suggest that you set one up soon and get a little practice before you get to Rome.
If you do not yet have a Penn State web page, you can get started by visiting the setup site.
We will also have an ANGEL site for the program, on which we can post confidential information that only program members will be able to see.
Rome in 2008
The summer study-abroad program of the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences is now accepting applications for next summer.
The program is open to students from any major and from any Penn State campus, and we have always been able to accept a few students from universities other than Penn State.