Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The State of Higher Education at SJSU

Two short pieces in today’s San Jose Mercury News might best illustrate the priorities today at San Jose State University.

On page B3, the headline reads “SJSU water damage closes building,” and the building is where I taught journalism classes for more than twenty-four years, off and on.

It goes on to say that SJSU will not hold any journalism classes in the century-old Dwight Bentel Hall on the first two days of the new fall semester

Students assigned to courses in this building were instructed to report to the Student Union, and not to Yoshihiro Ushida Hall.

In the C6 piece in the sports section, you would have learned that renovations are nearly complete at Ushida Hall, with new locker rooms and office space for the basketball, volleyball and gymnastics programs. The locker rooms feature an area where there is “locked access so coaches and players can leave their gear in their lockers.” How novel to find lockers that lock.

The SJSU's athletic director called this "a significant improvement that is nice and adequate, and has a little glitz to it."

The Ushida project cost about $55 million, and there is no mention whatsoever as to whether or not there are any dry classrooms nearby.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It All Adds Up

In last Sunday’s edition of the largest San Francisco Bay Area newspaper, the front section was only eight pages long, and it contained ten advertisements. Of those, five tried to sell the reader on how to feel better. It seems that the pain in the back is a major problem, and one full-page advertisement described the advantages of spinal decompression, another on curing lower leg pain, and a third on sciatica. A fourth advertisement came from two chiropractic doctors who declared that they could help anyone suffering from “arthritis, knee pain, cartilage damage, bursitis, tendonitis, and crunching and popping sounds.”

However, those essential sounds help me know that I am still alive.

There was also another regularly run advertisement for 50% off implants and crowns, along with a free initial consultation (Reg. $400). See the earlier July 28th blog for similar, competitive advertisements that may help Obama’s fund raising.

Also on Sunday, that same newspaper published an informative, laudatory 24-page section on the $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers football team. The stadium is about forty-five miles from San Francisco.

That section contained thirty-four advertisements filling thirteen total pages. One advertisement offered a “49ers Specials” good for both hair loss replacement, as well as for treatment to enable you to be “the man you used to be.” There was only one advertisement on dental implants.

In a front-page article in the main news section, an extremely talented writer got carried away and likened the stadium to other well-known edifices noting that “every great civilization in history has relied upon monumental architecture to assert its power, from the Parthenon of ancient Athens to the cathedrals of France.”

Let’s hope that he was being facetious.

Print advertising in my daily newspaper is somewhat entertaining and acceptable, including those from companies who are trying to enhance my body and improve my health. 

I am truly grateful for the healthful commercials that run on the evening news on NBC, CBS, and ABC. They push products to better handle life’s true medical problems including indigestion, constipation, bladder control, impotence, incontinence, diabetic nerve pain, heartburn, eye problems, being overweight, and overwrought.

After each product’s benefits have been extolled, the viewer is then inundated with hurriedly spoken warnings on the usage. They make me wonder if it’s worth buying products that help pharmaceutical companies to increase their already massive profits.

Every little bit adds up.