Thursday, October 25, 2007

"The Baylor Proud Team"

Sic' em Bears!
(Image from Wikipedia)

Baylor is really helping me write my blog these days. Just this morning, I received an email from "Baylor Proud," an official 'brag' newsletter from "The Baylor Proud Team" at the University:
Two Baylor profs make ALA Top 10 books list

Posted by The Baylor Proud Team in: Baylor 2012, Research, Honors

Not one, but two books by Baylor professors made the American Library Association's list of the Top 10 Books in Religion for 2007.

The Listening Heart: Vocation and the Crisis of Modern Culture, by the late Dr. A.J. "Chip" Conyers, and Discovering God: The Origins of the Great Religions and the Evolution of Belief, by Dr. Rodney Stark, were among the list of 10 books that were honored in what the ALA noted was an exceptional year for books on religion.

An honor like this is nice recognition that Baylor professors are among the leaders in the study of religion -- one of the goals of Baylor's Vision 2012, and a status befitting the world’s largest Baptist university.

Sic 'em, Baylor professors!
I've never received one of these before, so the serendipity of receiving it precisely when I'm blogging about Baylor's "pride" is . . . well, serendipitous.

While I'm glad to hear that Baylor's professors are ranked so highly in the eyes of the world, I'd suggest that the tone of the email is wrong in this case.

The expression "Sic 'em" is a cheer used by Baylor sports fans to whip up support for the football team, but it's often used in other contexts, and that's fine with me. Yet if I read the email correctly, one of the two professors is "the late Dr. A.J. 'Chip' Conyers," which means that he has passed away and is thus in no condition to 'sic' anybody.

A less triumphalist email would sound better.

The website that the email links to is marginally better, for it adds a bit more about Professor Conyers:
Before his death from cancer in 2004, Dr. A.J. "Chip" Conyers was one of Truett Seminary’s first professors. A prolific writer, Conyers finished his final book not long before his death.
This confirms that Professor Conyers has indeed passed away, but the additional information only increases the pathos of the award and thus makes even more striking the inappropriateness of ending with the cheer "Sic 'em, Baylor professors!"

But thus does the pride of boosterism so easily hit a wrong note.

Just in case anyone's wondering, I am 'proud' to be a Baylor alumnus, for I have fond memories of the school, where I received a very good education and a very gentle transition in my passage from Ozark Hillbilly to Berserkeleyite.

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At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 11:21 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Eugene, you must be going to a lot of trouble to post your message in an effort to publicize the blog of Obadiah Shoher, for you had to type in the randomly generated sequence of nonsense letters to post.

I admire your chutzpah -- though I've recently read that in Yiddish, "chutzpah" is always used to label unadmirable behavior, i.e., crude cheekiness.

Usually, I delete such postings, but I'll let this one stand and also even take a look at the blog ... out of curiosity.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


This, too, is not about Baylor, nor is it about Obadiah - or even Jedidiah - but I thought you might like to know that Bobby Jindal did win the Louisiana governor election last Saturday.


At 3:49 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Michael, thanks.

I had noticed that news, even despite its having been overwhelmed by the tsunami of flames flooding across the southern California landscape.

Anyway, that's a bright spot in an otherwise bleak sky. I hope that Governor Jindal is able to reform the Louisiana political scene, but I have my doubts despite his brilliance...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This of course isn't readily relevant to any of the already posted comments but - I'd like to congratulate Baylors part in your hillbilly to world class scholar transition.

I don't know how they did it but it seems that only a Texas school could get an Arkie to come up with,

"passage from Ozark Hillbilly to Berserkeleyite."

I'm always trying to come up with situations for an unusual word to be employed in a sentence. Thanks. Uh, didn't I read that you are responsible for grading student essays?


At 6:49 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, you read correctly, and let no student of mine spell the word as "Berserkeleyeit"!

On pain of "F"...

Jeffery Hodges

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