Saturday, October 22, 2005

I get a new 'spouse'...

. . . along with about 1100 other people!

A few days ago, I decided to update my personal information in Baylor University's Alumni Directory and discovered that my spouse was no longer Sun-Ae Hwang but a certain "Benjamin Anthony Sowders."

Imagine my surprise.

I changed the name back to the spouse with whom I'm more familiar, then poked about in Baylor's Alumni Directory and also the internet to see if I could figure out how this happened.

I discovered two things.

First, I shared this spouse with another alumnus, "Benjamin Ramsey March." According to the Directory, Mr. March and I both had the same husband!

Second, as I learned from Googling, "Benjamin Anthony Sowders" is an uncommon name. Google found nobody with that name.

I took what little I had found and sent an email to Baylor's Alumni Association:

Dear Madam/Sir:

Greetings. I may not have the correct office, but this was the only related email address that I could locate.

I was just updating my profile in Baylor's Alumni Directory, and to my surprise, my spouse's name was listed as "Benjamin Anthony Sowders." I immediately corrected this to "Sun-Ae Hwang," but I am wondering how this man's name came to be entered into my profile as my 'spouse.'

I checked the name "Benjamin Anthony Sowders" in the Baylor Directory and found him also listed as the spouse of Benjamin Ramsey March. That also looks odd to me, so you might want to inquire if Mr. March really intended this, or if something similar has happened to his profile that happened to mine.

I wonder if "Benjamin Anthony Sowders" is even a real person. I have googled the name and found nothing. I did find one item for "Benjamin A. Sowders," but only in the cache site, the original no longer being on the internet.

It's all very strange.

Best Regards,

Jeffery Hodges

Within a few days, I received this grateful reply from Mr. Alan Bowden, Director of Operations at The Baylor Network:


Thanks for your email, you actually helped out a ton more than you know.

I had a similar complaint from an alum, but instead of telling me what the name was, he just deleted all the info, then let me know. I didn't have much to go on. What we discovered was that the Print Directory project that is going on at this moment gave that same spouse to about 1100 people. We have now deleted all that and hopefully will have the correct spouses out there soon.

Again, thanks!


Do note that my helpfulness can be measured in tons -- whether long or short tons is not specified. Either way, I guess that I have done my Scouting good deed for the day -- for even 1100 days! I can now take one of those "moral holidays" that William James defended and "let the world wag its own way."

Anyway, glad to have been of service and to have back my Sun-Ae, I sent an email to Alan:

Dear Alan,

Well, I'm glad that I could be of help.

The spouse of 1100 people! That's greater than Solomon with his wives! I wonder how many concubines . . .

Anyway, I'm sure that everybody will be glad to have his or her spouse back.


Jeffery Hodges

For the record, I do not doubt that Mr. Benjamin Anthony Sowders is a fine person and far happier without two husbands and 1098 other spouses.


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