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Quote of the Week [09.02.00]
All summer, GX has been soliciting your nominations for the quote that most aptly describes the "there ain't no gain without pain" mentality we've all adopted during construction. This week, we reward two readers who found and submitted the same, very apt quotation from abolitionist, publisher and orator Frederick Douglass: "Without a struggle, there can be no progress."
Thanks, congratulations and a GX T-shirt each to Mohammed Yusuf Khan and Michael Sciscenti. And, hey, you can still enter for a chance to win a T-shirt of your own. See the "Enter our Quotation Contest" section at the bottom of www.jhu.edu/gx/funstuff/. Prior winners are listed higher up on the same page.
Two for the price of one... Charles Diggins is feeling good [08.25.00]
He enjoys getting out to walk on the lower quad. He likes what he sees on the upper quad. A good run of sunny weather is helping to dry out his mud-covered galoshes and his construction site. And he's thrilled to see students returning to campus.
In fact, he's so bust-his-buttons happy right now that he's going to name two winners this week in the Great Excavations quotation contest.
Both winners are undergraduates. And both submitted quotes from poets who were much more than just poets. One quote pays tribute to what's been done in GX, and the other to everyone who's worked so hard to do it.
Thanks to James Su and Shannon Shin for the winning entries. Each will receive a much-coveted GX T-shirt. You can still enter for a chance to win a T-shirt of your own. See the "Enter our Quotation Contest" section at the bottom of this page. Prior winners are listed between here and there.
"Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow" [08.16.00]
You know, we here at Homewood aren't the only ones who think you can do better, aesthetically, than pouring ribbons of asphalt all over the place.
Shel Silverstein certainly didn't have GX -- or even brick sidewalks -- in mind when he wrote "Where the Sidewalk Ends," the title work in one of his poetry collections. But this excerpt from the poem still has a lot to say to us now, as we're ready to step off the macadam into the first large completed area of GX construction:
"Let us leave this place where the smoke blows blackWe've had two Shel Silverstein entries in the GX quotation, and both deserve to win. So a GX T-shirt is on the way to Jenn Errick in Arts and Sciences Communications and Douglas Armstrong, a graduate of both the Krieger School ('96) and the School of Public Health ('8) who's been following GX over the Internet. Thanks to both!
You can still enter for a chance to win a GX T-shirt of your own. See the "Enter our Quotation Contest" section at the bottom of this page. Prior winners are listed between here and there.
GX vos liberabit [08.04.00]
Daniel Coit Gilman said a lot worth listening to at his official installation, on Feb. 22, 1876, as first president of The Johns Hopkins University. He predicted a lot that ultimately came true.
But could he really have been so prescient as to be speaking of GX? Here's what he said; judge for yourself: "Remote utility is quite as worthy to be thought of as immediate advantage. Those adventures are not always most sagacious that expect a return on the morrow."
Well, yeah, sure, he was a little frilly with the language. But there you have it, just what we've been saying all summer: "There ain't no gain without pain."
So the words of Daniel Gilman provide us with this week's winner of the Great Excavations quotation contest. And the winner is.... well, this is a little embarrassing, actually. The winner is the editor of this list. And he already has a GX T-shirt! (His staff says he's disqualified from winning another one in his own contest. Sigh.) All the more reason for you to get your own entry submitted. See the "Enter our Quotation Contest" section at the bottom of this page. Prior winners are also listed on this same page.
E=GX squared [07.26.00]
Let's see; so far, we've heard from statesmen, poets, writers and philosophers in the Great Excavations quotation contest. What line of work should have the next crack at describing our GX experience? Where do we turn next for a line as pithy, but a tad more elegant, than "There ain't no gain without pain?"
Well, how about a scientist this time? Perhaps Marie Curie, who certainly knew a thing or two (she was the first ever to win two Nobel prizes). "I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy," Mme. Curie once said.
Dead solid perfect, Madame, and especially fitting on a day when monsoon rains are holding up progress on a project with a tough deadline. Thanks to you for saying it, and thanks to senior Margaret Richards for finding and submitting the quote. A GX T-shirt is yours, Margaret! We'll be announcing winners all summer, and there's still time to enter. For details, see below.
Cogito, ergo GX [07.18.00]
Well, the philosophers are coming out of the woodwork now to have their say on the Great Excavations project and the fact that there "ain't no gain without pain." Last week's quote contest winner was a submission from Nietzsche. This week, we hear from Alfred North Whitehead: "The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order."
Well, that's the truth! Just ask the folks in the Greenhouse and the construction trailers. They're trying to preserve order (and their sanity) while effecting one of the more dramatic (and quickest) changes of their professional lives.
Professor Whitehead's comments come to us through Joy Mettee of Human Resources. She's submitted several excellent quote contest entries, but this one says it all. Thanks, Joy! Your GX T-shirt is on the way.
We'll be announcing quote contest winners all summer, and there's still time to enter. For details, see below.
GX, ergo sum [07.14.00]
In the first two rounds of our Great Excavations quotation contest, we've heard from politicians and poets, men of letters and even a Founding Father. But it's about time that a philosopher had something to say on the issue of delayed gratification or, as that still anonymous gym teacher somewhere first said, "There ain't no gain without pain."
The perfect entry comes from Patrick Deem, who found a right-on-target, even optimistic aphorism from celebrated sourpuss Friedrich Nietzsche. What but the summer of GX could Nietzsche have been thinking of when he said, "Pain is temporary; pride is forever."
Nice hunting, Patrick! You win a GX T-shirt. We'll be announcing winners all summer, and there's still time to enter.
Quotation contest: another winner! [07.05.00]
This week's winning entry in our Great Excavations quotation contest is perfect... and even better. Our winner dug up [pun intended] a quote that not only fits in perfectly with the "ain't no gain without pain" theme of the contest, but also has a connection with the inspiration for our Charles Diggins mascot.
The quote: "A thing constructed can only be loved
Congratulations, thanks and a GX T-shirt to Ron Fishbein, assistant dean for pre-professional programs.
We'll be announcing winners all summer, and there's still time to enter. See details below.
Quotation contest: Week One Results [06.23.00]
The exact origin of the unofficial GX slogan "There ain't no gain without pain" remains shrouded in mystery. But it's clear after the first week of the GX quotation contest that the mini-poem/sermonette used by sports coaches everywhere has a long, non-athletic pedigree.
For instance, Adlai Stevenson's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1952: "Let's talk sense to the American people. Let's tell them the truth, that there are no gains without pains." [submitted by John Partridge] (Of course, Stevenson's 1952 strategy worked about as well as Walter Mondale's honest discussion of taxation in 1984.)
Two centuries before Stevenson, another political figure, Ben Franklin, had the same idea. "No gains without pains," he wrote in Poor Richard's Almanac, 1745. [Submitted by Vincent Petrone.]
Somewhere in the same century, Lord Lyttleton (1709-1773), wrote (in the same vein, if somewhat more lyrically): Alas! by some degree of woe We every bliss must gain; The heart can ne'er a transport know That never feels a pain. [submitted by Darlene Townsend of the Eisenhower Library]
But both the earliest references come from Jim Fill, professor of mathematical sciences. He found a web site that refers to "Without pains, no gains" in John Ray's proverb collection of 1670, and, even earlier, "No pain, no gain" in Leonard Wright's "Display of Dutie" from 1589.
So far, however, no one has found the first addition of the critical "ain't" to the gain/pain pairing. So, strictly speaking, none of the above meets the criteria for the two T-shirt prize offered last week. But what the heck: Great detective work by all hands, so a GX T-shirt for everyone concerned. Thanks!
Soon we'll start announcing other winners of the quotation contest. There's still plenty of time to enter. For details, see below.
Enter our Quotation Contest
A certain English novelist who happens to be the inspiration for GX mascot Charles Diggins started off A Tale of Two Cities with the words, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Little did he suspect how well that infamous run-on sentence would apply to Great Excavations, the Homewood campus poster project for the concept of delayed gratification. Yes, Mr. Diggins... I mean, Mr. Dickens... we're suffering now. Later on, though, things will be good and we'll grateful for the gain if not for the pain.
All of which led us to wonder: What other literary lines or famous quotes might apply just as aptly to Great Excavations? So here's the deal: Find a quotation that deals with delayed gratification, or some other aspect of GX ("Follow the yellow-brick road" doesn't count. But have you heard anything on sidewalks as a metaphor for life?). Send it in (firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 410-516-5251). If it's chosen as one of our weekly winners, it'll be featured on the GX web site and you'll get a GX T-shirt. How's that for the best of times!
By the way, we already have our first winner! Jim Neal, dean of libraries and Sheridan Director of the MSEL, submits this gem from Henry Adams: "Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit."
Finally, we've always wondered: Who was it who first said, "There ain't no gain without pain?" Two T-shirts for whoever pins down the source of that line!
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