Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bring on the Chili, 2007

Last Saturday (October 6, 2007) we had our Annual Chili Cook-off here at UT-Tyler. It is part of the events for the week of Homecoming. Given I was the new guy, I was semi-drafted to be on the team. OK, I will admit I would have gone anyways. No way I was going to miss the fun and have some chili in the process. I should warn my two readers that, as a transplant to Texas, I may still be learning the finer points of chili (for example, for some reason, beans on a chili is an offense here). Part of the fun of coming together is doing a little trash talk with the other teams. But it is also a great opportunity for the campus community to come together, have some fun in the booths, and get excited about the soccer game later in the day. Plus visitors get to sample the various concoctions.

Our fearless leader was up and at 'em early in the morning. I think she got there by 7:00am. I did not get there until a little later. She had made sure that a lot of the prep work was done the night before, so that everything would be ready for our cook to start cooking. We also set up the tables, and we put up our decorations and giveaways. We made buttons to give out promoting the team and reading, and with the able assistance of our webmistress, I made some trading cards of Banned Books to give out as well. Reminds me I should probably add one or two of those images to the Flickr set I just made for the event.

When it comes to events like this, I always enjoy listening to people as well as watching the crowd. It is events like these that allow you to relax and have fun with the people you work with as well as meet other people on campus. Joanne, the webmistress, made it a point to introduce me to various people as they came by. I think I met a couple of VP's and other important folks. Just don't ask me if I remember all of them. Since we are a small campus, I know in time I will get to know those folks better. Our fearless leader, Jeanne, had promised that she would not interfere with the cook. As the saying goes, "promises, promises." It was clear that her penchant for stirring the pot as she saw fit would manifest itself anyhow, and sure enough it did. After all, as she said, "I am a bossy lady," and that was that. Eric, our cook (and Business Librarian, among other hats he wears) humbly cooked along. Eventually, the air was filled with the fine smell of chili that would be simmering in time. Jeanne did observe that we had more students in teams at the chili event, and that was a good thing, as it would help balance things from just mostly campus staff.

The morning also featured other activities, including the golf cart parade. I was wondering how could we get a cart so we could "pimp it up" next year. My director heard it, and what she wants is for us to make a bookcart drill team. I am sure those of you who are librarians have heard of bookcart drill teams (example here). Of course, guess who gets to plan that little detail. We'll see what I can come up with. I have a bit of time to plan now.

Overall, it was a pleasant day. A bit cloudy at first, but it was not too warm. I did take some photos, which I have placed on my Flickr for now. Here is the set for the event. I know our webmistress took a few more, so there may be some additions later.

And the chili? Well, we did not make it to the winner's circle this time around. But that's ok. We did get good feedback from those who visited our tent, and in the end, it was all about the fun.

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