After hearing about "the biggest open house in Texas" for years, Katie and I finally managed to attend Explore UT. For this event, departments and colleges all over campus open their doors and show off the kinds of exploration and education that happens at UT.
Our first stop was "Get in the Endzone," which let us do just that!
While it was nice to see Section 1, our usual locale inside this stadium,
it was awesome to get to see DKR from the field! It had been 20 years or more since I'd been on the field, and Katie had never been.
We were able to get a close-up view of Godzillatron,
and we could inspect the field turf. (Really interesting material, by the way).
The field exploration was a fun way to start our day.
While there, we checked out the displays in the new Red McCombs Red Zone.
Across the street at the Alumni Center, Katie was attacked by some over-zealous Texas Exes. (Two workers asked, "Are you here for the homecoming?" and then both slapped stickers on her, one on each shoulder.)
Outside the center, Katie got to meet Hook 'Em.
From there we stopped by the Air Force ROTC table near Gregory Gym. Katie is interested in the Air Force, so we talked to a couple of ROTC members about the benefits of that program.
Of course, Bevo made an appearance to welcome us to campus!
Next up was the Harry Ransom Center. This wasn't Katie's favorite stop, but she indulged me so I could see all the artifacts from literary figures. Many authors have donated manuscripts, photos, diaries and other items to the HRC, but I was most excited to see Woodward and Bernstein's Watergate papers. Since our tour group consisted of me, Katie and another couple, the docent tailored our visit for us. It was neat to see the typewritten manuscripts and outlines for All the President's Men, but Woodward's handwritten list of phone contacts blew me away! (I found it interesting to see a number for "Felt," meaning Mark Felt, who turned out to be Woodward's secret source.)
The Ransom Center is currently having a special exhibition of Tennessee Williams' papers and photos. It was interesting to see the Glass Menagerie materials since I taught that play for years.
Before we left, we saw the Gutenberg Bible and the world's first photograph and got to make a cyanotype. Cool stuff!
From there we walked over to Calhoun Hall to see a printing press demonstration.
The professor began by explaining the metal type.
Each of these trays contains a different font.
The cast iron printing press in this little room dates back to the 187os.
Setting the individual type is a meticulous process. The prof had already set the bulk of that page we would be printing. Good thing since it was made up of thousands of tiny metal pieces!
First he had to align the block of type using wood blocks.
Then he inked the type.
Next we put the paper in the holder,
lowered the frame,
turned the crank to insert the whole tray into the press,
and pulled the lever to press the paper onto the inked type.
Katie wasn't nearly as enthralled as I was, but the fonk geek in me was in heaven!
It was incredible to me that this historic press was tucked away in this little room on campus, just one of the many treasures on display during Explore UT.
To be continued...