We’ve Moved!

Dean Elmore’s blog has now moved to his new website – the Extreme Makeover-ed http://www.bu.edu/dos. Find his blog under the “Kenn 2.0″ section.

Update your links and RSS feeds appropriately!!!

Chillax — Rumors of Swine Flu on Campus are False

With smart phones, tweets, status updates, and e-mails, rumors spread faster than the W.H.O. can change the flu pandemic alert.  Word on the street has been that three students on the Charles River Campus have come down with the much-talked about Swine Flu (or H1N1).  I’m here to tell you: don’t believe the hype!

My colleagues at the U have a steady line to the Boston Health Commission and other State and local agencies that keep track of where and how this flu spreads.  The good doctors have confirmed only one case of H1N1 in a student studying within the Dental School on the Medical Campus.  The Student Health Service crew on Comm Ave is going pro-active – they’ve pumped up monitoring during finals week and into Commencement.  That means that we’ll keep a special eye out for any flu-like illnesses, including cases that are not suspected of being H1N1.  And, so we can limit the spread of the flu, we’ll reach out to students showing symptoms. (True story — they even put up a Web site on campus Swine Flu news!)

Bottom line – better safe than sorry.  Chill. Relax. Like Paul Pierce, this is the truth — there are no additional reported cases of Swine Flu on the Medical or Charles River campuses.

Here’s to mom’s legendary advice: stay away from sick people; don’t show up if you’re sick (even for the fun stuff); no one else wants your germs, so use a tissue; and, wash your hands.  Holler with questions and let’s keep an eye out for each other.

With washed hands, I wish you well on your exams and plenty of peace,

Kenn Elmore

BTW: Found an interesting post from a doctor (well, a Ph.D.) on Swine Flu’s impact.

Just started reading Steven Johnson’s The Ghost Map.  A timely read about the story of a of a cholera outbreak in 1854, within London 1854.  It’s also about ideas for treating disease — ideas that we take for granted.  Many people highly recommend this book. With discussion about swine flu and renewed concern about pandemic disease, I figured it was time to read it.  Here’s a cool introduction to The Ghost Map:

A timely read, given all the H1N1 hype.  I’m not sure how to handle the daily reports about new cases and the world shutting down, but I do know; that we work too much; and, that my mom deserves a shoutout for being ahead of the game about spreading a virus — stay home, cover your mouth, stay away from sick people, and wash your hands.  (Maybe mom was a secret minster of health.)

This is an early entry on my summer reading list. Hope you read the book.  If so, maybe we can start a discussion group.  (After a quick read, you might be cautious about public water supplies, but I think we’re okay.)

Read. Wash your hands often. Stay well.

Peace.

Love this! It’s a great announcement for Spring.

The Call to Action – Deliver Change

The President is expecting us to stand up and do what we can to serve our communities, shape our history and enrich both our lives and the lives of others across this country.  Here’s to making a difference.

Coffee & Conversation – Can we all have a green future, a job, and a home?

Van Jones is pushing us to make connections.  His work deals with links between sustainability, the economy, poverty, and race.  He now serves as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality – an unique voice at the table.  During this campus Earth week, O asked us to peep this video featuring Van Jones and the potential for green jobs in the construction of homes and other buildings:

This video shines the light on a diverse workforce in a residential, urban neighborhood doing its part for our future.  Is this the formula for a future successful economy and improved social conditions in this country?  Is this really the future direction of our economy?  Should it be?  If so, what are we willing to do to make it happen.  Can we make America and the world better by tackling problems of a struggling economy along with the environment, homelessness, and poverty?

Last Coffee and Conversation gathering for the semester,  I’ll see you at the Howard Thurman Center this afternoon, 3-5 p.m. with plenty of cookies.  It’s your conversation and I’m just trying to get a word or two in.  It’s your world, and I’m just living in it.  See you later.  Peace.

Coffee & Conversation – Tyranny of Virtue?

This weekend, campus teams of friends will camp out at the Track and Tennis Center and take turns walking or running around the track for this campus’ Relay for Life event – a 24-hour annual event for the American Cancer Society. This is a great opportunity to show love to survivors and to those who struggle; to remember our loved ones; and, to salute those of us who fight to eradicate cancer.

Young people and smoking is a topic that always comes up when I’m chatting with people associated with the American Cancer Society. The way I know of the organization is through one of its signature campaigns – the Great American Smokeout.  We know smoking and cancer are linked, but we still argue about smoking – second and third hand smoke; where we can do it; the ability to make a living selling the products associated with smoking; and, whether we should be allowed to do it at all. Why so much drama?  Across the country, I watch plenty of debate about the smoking bans.  In this country, states ban indoor smoking in places where we work and socialize.  Some companies will not hire smokers.  Some areas of the country prohibit smoking outdoors and in private apartments.  Have we gone too far? Don’t I have a right to smoke in private spaces where others agree that it’s alright?  Is this anti-smoking movement across the country advancing the same kinds of arguments to fight obesity, prohibit alcohol, slow global warming, and take away guns?  I thought we lived in a free society.

This afternoon, let’s discuss whether we have gone too far to make the society better.  Can we legislate for the good of us all – especially around issues like smoking.  See you in Kenmore Classroom Building Room 101 (notice the location change) from 3-5 p.m. I’ll bring the coffee amd cookies, you bring the conversation.

Peace.

We’re All Terriers Today

We can always get together and have a great time.  We also often miss the opportunities to pat ourselves on the back for the important, daily items in our lives that we might be able to call achievements. Today, we have a great opportunity to come together around great moments.  Today, we will come together around the achievement of some of our students.

I know we all “represent” every day.  But, the Men’s Hockey team just did it in large fashion.  They turned a 60-minute game into a once-in-a lifetime moment – the kind of performance that left me saying: “I was there!” Our team represented on a national scale.  Let’s show up to cheer for them and to cheer for ourselves — we showed up to give them great vibes and support.

We’ll start a parade at noon, today.  The vehicles roll out from the Deerfield Street parking lot at noon and
head up the Ave to Marsh Plaza.  Once there, check out the music, cake and macaroons, and highlight videos. Word is Hockey coach Jack Parker, team captain and Hobey Baker Award–winner Matt Gilroy, and the whole team will be on hand. Even the Mayoy of the City of Boston, Thomas M. Menino, is showing up with a proclamation. If you can’t make it, watch it on the Web.

Mark the date: Tuesday, April 14, 2009, officially, is Terrier Day in the City of Boston. Go BU!

Los Angeles alumni, Mike Metz, Mitch Campbell and Brian Rubin sent the wonderful picture of an excited Chloe

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

Coffee and Conversation: Can we afford to fix the world?

Today’s Coffee and Conversation blog post is exclusive to The Dean’s Blog by Raul Fernandez, Assistant Director of the Howard Thurman Center, who will be moderating this week’s Coffee and Conversation.  Take it away, Raul!


I have this week the unenviable task of filling in for Dean Elmore as the moderator of Coffee of Conversation. Well, as the great philosopher Eminem once said, “you only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow,” so here it goes…

Let’s face it: the United States of America is a nation drowning in debt. Our credit card is maxed and our collectors have us on speed dial. And if we had enough nerve to pick up the phone, we might be surprised by the voice on the other end – our own.

After all, can a nation profess to be the model of equality while disparities based on race and class persist in its educational system, while some citizens are denied the right to be their true selves in its military, and while pay seems to be based as much on ones gender as ones job performance?

And don’t even get me started on the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, much of which looks like Katrina hit it last week!

This week’s question isn’t whether we can financially support efforts to bring democracy, liberty and equality to the world, but rather, do we have the moral currency to make it happen?