office

‘Working’ From Home

Many Texans are out of work right now. Others continue with what’s deemed essential business. And others still are trying to maintain duties that used to be done in an office — but is now being attempted at home. That third category was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: April 23, 2020

According to an African proverb, it takes a village to raise a child. But what if the village is under lockdown? We’ll take a look at the challenge facing new Texas parents during COVID-19. Also, academics have long talked about the digital divide, but in a pandemic it’s having practical implications for millions of Texas students. And you’ve got questions about COVID-19, Dr. Fred Campbell of UT health San Antonio joins us again with some answers. Also, getting back to the office, or not. Our go to tech guy Omar Gallaga on how the workplace may never be the same again. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Sticky Notes

Sometimes you just need to write yourself a little reminder — or two — or two dozen. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: August 22, 2018

Guilty: two former top aides to Donald Trump. But what do the convictions mean for the presidency and American politics going forward? We’ll take a look. Also, a felon can’t hold public office in Texas according to state law, but a man convicted of voluntary manslaughter is on the ballot for Austin city council. The how, why, and what it might mean for Texas elections. And the UNT professor try ing to set a Guinness world record for the longest history lecture ever delivered…Texas history, of course. Plus the case for a Texas monument to two heroes in a bass boat. Commentator W.F. Strong explains his rationale. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 9, 2018

It’s a 12 billion dollar solution that could prevent many more billions of dollars in damage. So why can’t Texas put up a hurricane barrier? We’ll explore. Also, the frontrunners in Mexico’s upcoming presidential election have already emerged. How the many Mexican voters living in Texas could effect the outcome. Plus, Texas is taking steps to re-think and re-design state mental health facilities, we’ll have the details. And the views from outer space are quite literally out of this world. But many astronauts have vision trouble in zero gravity. Texas researchers are on the job. Also a 5 to nil vote shut down a plan proposed by U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry. We’ll take a look at why and what’s next. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: December 14, 2017

With new allegations of of an abusive office culture laced with sexually demeaning language, a Texas congressman says he’s calling it quits. The US congressman from Corpus Christi: Blake Farenthold pulls the plug on his re-election bid, but says he plans to serve the remainder of his term. The tipping point? We’ll explore. Also, in many offices, sexual harassment training is a requirement. But is it making a difference? And 7 universities from three gulf coast states, including who know where, teaming for a first of it’s kind institute for hurricane research. Also, an an unlikely mecca for espresso aficionados. Is that why they say Amarillo by morning? Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Ode to the Break Room Donut

Tupperware with leftovers, salads from around the corner, candy from the vending machine – office food can get boring. Some of us try to eat healthy, waking up an extra half hour early to prepare a midday meal, others go for the multi-snack approach. And every now and then, a magical thing happens in the breakroom: someone brings donuts.

What You Might Not Know About the Texas Constitution

If you want to hold public office in Texas, you have to believe in God. You cannot serve even as dog catcher – if it’s an elected office, you must believe in God.

Given the long history we have had of con artists, and scofflaws, carpetbaggers, and white-collar criminals holding public office around the state, this may seem hard to believe.

But it is right there in the Texas constitution. Plain as day.

Section 4 of the Texas Bill of Rights says that if you wish to hold elected office in Texas you must “acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”

There is no requirement respecting any specific religion. Nothing says a person has to be Baptist or Catholic or Mormon, but it is clear, “No atheists need apply.”

And this would presumably rule out agnostics, too, since they are eternal doubters and could not, with confidence, say that they believe in a Supreme Being. This is just one of the unusual dimensions of the Texas Constitution that few people know about.

Texas protects individual rights more than most states.

In Texas, credit card companies cannot garnish your wages to collect on a bad debt.

Texas is exceptionally protective of debtors in bankruptcy cases, too – especially if you actually own anything worth losing.

If your house is paid for – even if it’s worth $2 million – you get to keep it. If your house sits on 200 acres in the country, you get to keep that. If you have a big, bad, fully decked out pick-up, and it’s paid for, you get to keep it.

Finally, you get to keep two firearms. I don’t know why. I suppose to help you protect your property from pesky bill collectors.

Most Texans seem to believe that Texas has a constitutional right to secede from the U.S. when it feels like it.

It does not. This is a myth.

However, Texas does have the right to divide itself into two, three, four or five states. The only advantage would be to give us 10 senators instead of two.

I don’t know what advantage that would be, since eight more senators would be about as useful as a bucket of water to a drowning man.

But Texas would not be Texas if it were divided. Such plans have actually been discussed.

According to the Handbook of Texas, one plan wanted to divide the state along the Colorado River, with the new territory south and west to be called Lincoln and the part north and east to be called Texas.

Another plan proposed dividing us into three states. These would be called Jefferson, Texas, and Matagorda.

None of these plans ever made it out of committee. I suppose the legislators knew that had the good people of Texas gotten wind of it, they would have gotten a long Texas rope, and strung them up from a live oak.

W.F. Strong is a Fulbright Scholar and professor of Culture and Communication at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. At Public Radio 88 FM in Harlingen, Texas, he’s the resident expert on Texas literature, Texas legends, Blue Bell Ice Cream, Whataburger (with cheese) and mesquite smoked brisket.