Articles

The Bride Wore Her High School Graduation Cap and Gown

For some people, it takes a lifetime to learn that life is filled with surprises. For others, it may only take a year, a month, a week, or even a day, for life to teach this truth. However, for a very lucky few, like C.T. and Helen Burgess, this truth came as no surprise.
Without a doubt, the Burgesses have witnessed a few unexpected and unplanned moments during their 60-year marriage. But, none of those moments compared to the surprise they staged on the unsuspecting town of Wedowee, Alabama in 1950.

Clement Thomas, better known as C.T., was fresh out of college and in his first teaching and coaching job at Randolph County High School in Wedowee, when he met who he still says is “the most beautiful lady I had ever seen.” Her name was Helen Dodson, a young woman preparing to graduate from the high school.

A few months later, with the blessings of their parents, the assistance of the school’s principal, George Yarbrough, and the urging of Yarbrough’s wife, who was Dodson’s senior sponsor, the couple began to set the stage for their surprise.

“I resisted going along with this idea for the longest,” Helen recalls, “but Mrs. Yarbrough kept at me until I finally gave in.”

With Helen on board, the plan was finalized.

The location would be Randolph County High School. The date, Thursday night, May 11, 1950. And the setting, Dodson’s graduation ceremony.

C.T. remembers that night well.

Helen, a member of Randolph County High School’s senior class, walked gracefully across the stage and accepted her diploma, he says. Then several minutes later, but before the graduation exercise concluded with congratulatory hugs between proud graduates and their families and friends, the school’s principal informed the crowd that there was one bit of unfinished business.

That’s when Burgess, agriculture teacher Bevis Traylor, Mrs. Yarbrough, and Dodson’s sister Lucy, assembled in front of the stage.

“Only the people involved knew what was going on,” C.T. fondly remembers. “Somehow we managed to keep our surprise a secret.”

But that was only until the school’s music teacher began playing traditional wedding music and the Rev. Otis Fincher stepped forward.

With her graduating class in the background, half the town in attendance, and her twin brother, Clellan, there to give her away, Miss Helen Dodson became Mrs. Helen Burgess.

“Coach C.T. Burgess, Jr. and Miss Helen Dodson Are Wed In Surprise Ceremony” was the headline in the town’s local newspaper. “The bride was lovely in her cap and gown, traditional symbols of graduation. She carried a small white Testament showered with tube roses caught in white ribbon streamers,” the article went on to describe the blushing bride.

When the Burgesses’ family and friends came together to celebrate the couple’s 60th wedding anniversary a few years ago, the celebration was well deserved. It was a lovely, heartwarming, and blessed occasion. However, guests were warned not to be surprised if the couple’s oldest son Terry stood and announced, “There is still a bit of unfinished business.”

Luckily, there were no surprises

How to Make Money as a College Student

College, for some, is a time when they watch their bank accounts slowly dwindle. Worse yet, many people don’t even watch. Unintended costs can quickly pile up, forcing students to get jobs or, even worse, ask their parents for money. What should a new college student do in order to offset the amount of money he or she spends, while still retaining a maximum amount of free time for him- or herself? Here are three tips to help you stay out of the red in college.

Sell Yourself

No, not in that way. What I mean to say is capitalize on the things that you do well – having a skill or background in a particular topic can be profitable for you. If you are bilingual, you can advertise to proofread papers for language students or start a college essay writing service. If you are good at calculus, you can offer to tutor peers for a reasonable fee.

Remember – there will always be people who fail classes. Some of them legitimately do not want to fail. I’m sure that a handful of them would be willing to pay a reasonable price to get the help they need. Be aware of the fact that you must be proficient in your chosen area in order to retain your “customers.” Failing to adequately communicate information, misinforming, and being less than helpful will likely result in a low return rate. I cannot stress communication skills enough. No one wants to pay to have someone confuse them more than they are already confused.

Of the three methods I suggest here, this is the least reliable way of making money. Some departments have programs for “peer leaders” and undergraduate teaching assistants, which would be more a more stable income. At the same time, these routes are slightly more work. The attractive part of these jobs is that they can be put on a resume, but I will touch on that later.

To begin tutoring, post advertisements around the classrooms used to teach the subject you want to help teach. Talk to a faculty member you know in the department and ask if they would let you do a 1-2 minute advertisement for yourself before they lecture the corresponding course. Communicate!

Be a Research Participant

Soon after you arrive at school, start looking around for fliers and in the student newspaper. Depending on the size of your school and its major research departments, you will see a number of advertisements for research participants. Participating in research is a great way to make money. These studies often last just an hour or two, do not require much work on your part, and can pay much more than standard hourly wages for a “real” job. There are some studies that last several weeks, and the pay for these is often greater, due to greater commitment on the part of the participant.

To find these jobs, look for fliers, newspaper ads, and talk to people who have been on campus for longer than you (i.e. sophomores, juniors, even grad students). These individuals might have participated or be participating in studies that you could get involved in. These jobs can be considered somewhat stable, as you can often continue signing up for studies in a particular department after having signed up for one. There is usually a website for people who are registered where they can reserve spots in future studies. However, participants are usually not permitted to participate in the same study twice, so you may find that you’ve used up all of the studies in a department within a month or two. Likewise, many studies are looking for a particular demographic, such as females or smokers. Keep searching and you will likely find criteria that you fit.

Find a Job Related to Your Career Choice

“Find a job” probably wasn’t the piece of advice that you were hoping to find in this article. Regardless, having a steady part-time job is the most secure and highest paying way of making money in college. “Wait,” you might say, “I’ve had part-time jobs in the past, and there’s no way that I want to wait tables or work a cash register in college.” This is completely understandable.

For this reason, I suggest that you look for jobs that relate to the career you wish to pursue. If you wish to be a physician, a job filing medical paperwork at a nearby hospital or being a biological research assistant in a lab will probably be a lot more palatable than a job that has little relevance to your future plans would be. If you are intending on going into business, an internship with a local company would give you real-world experience. In these cases, the monetary pay is just one of the benefits of having a job. The others are building relationships with people that can write you recommendations and attest to your qualifications in the future, strengthening your resume, and networking with others in the industry you wish to enter. Finding one of these jobs and sticking with it will look great on a resume when you go to get a job or apply to graduate or professional school.

If you are interested in getting one of these jobs, start doing research before you arrive at school, or as soon as possible. If you have a connection with a faculty member at your school, ask them if they know anyone looking for an undergraduate researcher. Ask your grad student TAs. On the whole, be assertive and informed. If you are trying to get a job in research, have an idea of what you want to research. When you are asked what you’re interested in investigating, don’t say “Biology.” Be able to articulate a subfield that interests you personally. “Mammalian development” or “neurotransmitters” would be better answers, and an answer that reflects what you want to study will be much more likely to net you an enjoyable job. Your school will probably have a list of internships, but ask professors if they have any local connections in your field of choice. Other jobs will likely be available on campus. If you can’t find anything related to what you want to do, consider getting a job in a library, where you can do schoolwork and be paid for it.

*Important!*
If you find a job, remember that it should never come before your schoolwork. Don’t overwork yourself, as some are wont to do, and be communicative with your employer (if you have one). He or she likely has experience working with undergraduates and should be sympathetic to the amount of work they do, as well as individual needs. Remember that you are paying much more to go to college than you are being paid to work while at it.

Summary
To recapitulate, college is costly. Even if you don’t intend to spend much money, it is likely that you will go over your budget from time to time. If you don’t want to have a typical part-time job, there are several good ways of making money, including selling a service, being a research participant, and getting a job related to your intended career. These suggestions leave free time for you, your friends, and your studies. Remember to be assertive when looking for these opportunities and you will likely find a source of income that fits you as an individual. The above suggestions are in no way all-inclusive.

Top Three NBA Players from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst

The Minutemen men’s basketball team of the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a member of the NCAA’s Atlantic 10 Conference. Highlights from the history of UMass basketball include six consecutive NCAA Tournament selections in the 1990s and six players in the NBA. The top NBA players from UMass are Hall of Famer Julius Erving and active defensive great Marcus Camby.

Julius Erving:

Dr. J, Julius Erving is a Hall of Famer, an MVP, a scoring champion, and the greatest NBA player from UMass. Erving had two remarkable years with the Minutemen, averaging 26.3 points and 20.2 rebounds in his college career. He began his professional career in the ABA and spent five years dominating the league. In that time, Erving won three scoring titles and three ABA MVPs, earned five All-Star selections, and played on two championship winners with the Nets.

In 1976, when the NBA and ABA merged, Erving joined the 76ers of the NBA and was an All-Star in each of his 11 seasons with the team. He won the 1981 NBA MVP Award and led the Sixers to the 1983 NBA title. He was one of the most athletic and dominant players of his era and one of the greatest players in basketball history. Dr. J ranks among the all-time combined ABA and NBA leaders in points (30,026, fifth), rebounds (10,525, 32nd), assists (5,176, 47th), steals (2,272, seventh), and blocks (1,941, 21st).

Marcus Camby:

Center Marcus Camby is the only remaining active NBA player from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. As the Player of the Year in the NCAA, Camby led the UMass Minutemen to their first ever appearance in the Final Four in 1996. The Toronto Raptors chose him with the second overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft, beginning a fantastic career that is 14 years long and counting. Camby has been one of the top rebounders, shot-blockers, and interior defenders in the modern NBA. He led the league in blocks for the first time in 1997-98 with 3.7 per game for the Raptors.

Camby spent the next ten seasons in New York and Denver where he developed into one of the NBA’s leading rebounders. Since 2000-01, he has averaged double-digit rebounds nine times; he has career averages of 10.4 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game. He led the NBA in blocks in each of his last three seasons with the Nuggets and he is up to 14th all-time with 2,140 career swats. Camby has earned All-Defensive honors four times and in 2007, he was named the Defensive Player of the Year.

Al Skinner:

Former ABA and NBA guard Al Skinner was one of the best NBA players from UMass. As a member of the University of Massachusetts Minutemen, he averaged a double-double as a senior with 18.8 points and 11.0 boards per contest. Starting out in the ABA, Skinner teamed up with Julius Erving on the 1976 Nets as he averaged 10.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game on the ABA’s final championship team. He played four NBA seasons and averaged a career bests of 12.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists for the Nets in 1976-77. After his playing days, Skinner returned to the NCAA as a coach at the University of Rhode Island and Boston College.

References:

NBA & ABA Players Who Attended University of Massachusetts Amherst. Basketball-Reference.com

UMass’ Retired Numbers. The Official Athletic Site of the University of Massachusetts.