• Victor Ortiz is the new World Boxing Council welterweight world champion after winning the title from Andre Berto on Saturday. And, yes, those are Jayhawks on his trunks.
Robert Rodriguez is a boxing aficionado and a former director of KU’s McNair Scholars Program, which works with low-income, first-generation college students. Today, Rodriguez is working as a political science professor at Texas A&M; University at Commerce, but he knew Ortiz from his time at KU.
Ortiz has never attended school at KU, but he does have a great deal of pride for the institution and his Kansas roots, Rodriguez said. Many of his friends attend KU, and he hopes to attend the university after he gets done with his boxing career.
He is a Garden City native who had a rough childhood — to say the least.
“He’s a serious rags-to-riches story,” Rodriguez said.
Ortiz has gone from living in a “totally decrepit trailer in Garden City,” Rodriguez said, after both parents walked out on him, to being a few victories away from being a millionaire.
Rodriguez told me he has met Ortiz on several occasions and added that he is a very nice fellow, with a good sense of humor and a very down-to-earth attitude.
The welterweight title Ortiz now owns has been held in the past by boxing champions Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Oscar de la Hoya, Rodriguez said.
“He has a lot of potential to go really far,” Rodriguez said.
• Are you any good at registraring? Well, KU has the position for you.
Cindy Derritt, who had been the university registrar, is now working as the assistant vice provost for data analytics and technology.
And so, KU is hiring a new university registrar, the position that oversees enrollment, course scheduling and the academic records of the university.
Personally, I’m hoping they find a person who uses a middle initial in his or her name.
Fun because he talks about the KU professor Wallace Johnson, who taught East Asian languages and cultures at KU for 42 years before his death in 2007.
And also fun because he talks about Johnson’s Chinese typewriter, along with including some photos of Johnson using the extremely complicated device from in the 1970s.
To start with, the typist faced the enormous challenge of seeing the characters backwards and upside down. The main tray alone holds 2,000 characters, and many more can be retrieved if necessary.
“Add to this challenging orientation the fact that the pieces of type are tiny and all of a single metallic shade, it becomes a maddening task to find the right character,” Mair wrote in his Language Log blog post. “But that is not all, since there is also the problem of the principle (or lack thereof) upon which the characters are ordered in the tray. By radical? By total stroke count? Both of these methods would result in numerous characters under the same heading. By rough frequency? By telegraph code?”
Unfortunately, he added, “nobody seems to have thought to use the easiest and most user-friendly method of arranging the characters according to their pronunciation.”
Electronic input has made this process easier, he said, but I imagine it’s still a bit of a headache.
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