School of Humanities

Music at Noon: The Logan Series Completes 25th Anniversary Season

Kay Logan (pictured) founded Music at Noon: The Logan Series in 1989.When musicians sign on to play in Music at Noon: The Logan Series, they commit to more than a concert.

Like Your Desk Chair? Thank A Human-Factors Psychologist

The human factors area of psychology developed at 30,000 feet: World War II pilots, under stress, too often pressed the wrong button, ejecting before they meant to.

Military scientists reconfigured the cockpits, placing related controls in clusters and shape-coding others. By adding circular or triangle-shaped knobs to control toggles, they helped pilots identify the controls by touch. That led to fewer mistakes, which meant fewer pilots dangling from parachutes.

Lake Effect, Spring 2015, Volume 19, Megan Thygeson, from "If I Were You, Honey, I'd Run, Not Walk"

Megan Thygeson, from "If I Were You, Honey, I’d Run, Not Walk"

My father’s stock response to every ill was, “If I were you, honey, I’d run, not walk.” The destination was understood: to the nearest psychiatrist.

Lake Effect, Spring 2015, Volume 19, Doug Ramspeck, "Of Crows We Dream"

Doug Ramspeck, "Of Crows We Dream"

When we first moved in together, we lived across
from a funeral home with its comings and goings,

the elongated hearse with its crow-black
countenance, the mourners with their heads bowed.

And in the field beyond the funeral home,
there was a broken jaw of light at dusk where the crows

kept the obelisks of their bodies. Then winter
darkened the sky where the birds were forming

Lake Effect, Spring 2015, Volume 19, Jane Hoogestraat, "Alt Country"

Jane Hoogestraat, "Alt Country"

How in Steve Earl’s music you smell the dust,
Texas in August, lawns long ago crisped,

a permanent Vacancy sign blinking wind,
an abandoned movie theater, stale taste

of time so old you could still smoke there,
dry headache lasting all day, red hibiscus

cloying afternoon glare, 104 degrees at 3:13,
I-35 unrolling an emptiness you thought

Lake Effect, Spring 2015, Volume 19, Tina May Hall, "Full of Grace"

Tina May Hall, "Full of Grace"

We go to a boxing match in the warehouse district. Two boys bloody each other’s faces. Only when a latecomer opens the galvanized doors does a breeze flow in. Otherwise it is all sweat and dust and prepositional phrases. Back of the knee, under the arms, top of the lip. Salt and sweet aluminum deodorant smell. Expelled whiskey and cigar smoke and garlic and corn grease. A tooth flies out of the ring and lands at our feet.

Lake Effect, Spring 2015, Volume 19, Gary Fincke, from "What Was Good for You"

Gary Fincke, from "What Was Good for You"

From November to March, as soon as you and your older sister Vanessa climbed the stairs and entered your Grandma Ruth’s bedroom, you could always see your breath.  Through the next door was Aunt Sophia’s bedroom, where it was even colder.  That’s where the two of you slept every other Friday night while your mother took what she called her holiday, gradually getting warm in Aunt Sophia’s bed under a thick down comforter.

Lake Effect, Spring 2015, Volume 19, George Choundas, "Island Grace"

George Choundas, "Island Grace"      

Every fifteen minutes, on the island of Manhattan, a woman runs into me. Actually collides with me. Invariably each of these women, at the time of collision, is caught in a kind of fugue—gazing down, transfixed, her eyes awash in the Svengali colors of a device she cradles in one hand and nurtures with the other. A city of eight million people, and these women run into me.

Lake Effect, Spring 2014, Volume 18, Erin Pringle-Toungate, from "The Missing Time"

Erin Pringle-Toungate, from "The Missing Time"

Thomas comes home from searching. His clothes are damp from night and dark morning, fields, windbreaks and the howling of coyotes and hope. He doesn’t let go of his flashlight. He doesn’t intend to stay long. Long enough to eat, long enough to stand in front of the kitchen cabinet and then realize that he hasn’t opened it or taken down a bowl. Long enough to remember why he’s staring, why he has to go back out. Because Sam went walking. Now he must walk, too.