Can’t Put A Price on Education

Stinkin’ travel agent.

“Anything to do around here?” I asked the woman at the front desk.

“Hah. You’ve got to be kidding,” she replied.

“Guess I’ll watch TV then,” was my reply.

“Nothing on TV,” she said. “You gotta eat. We’ve got a McDonald’s and a mall.”

Instead, this reporter opted for “Survivor: Amazon,” and a pack of cinnamon Pop Tarts from the hall vending machine.

Friday morning arrives, and it is clearly Heidelberg’s day. Everywhere you looked, there were representatives from the German press manufacturing stalwart. Both Greg Norris of Heidelberg Web and

Barbara Touchette of Heidelberg USA seemed very excited to be at the university which, aside from the prison-esque architectural style, is set off from the heart of Rochester in a serene, wooded setting.

The morning’s print symposium was headlined by Bruce James, who took the helm as U.S. Public Printer earlier this year. James also chairs the school’s board of trustees. “I’m impressed that any series of speeches would get you out of bed before noon,” James addressed the students.

James told the story of a typical flight he’d taken and the usual small talk that occurs between strangers. When asked what he does for a living, James gives the simple answer, “I’m a printer. And then eyes go directly to my fingernails to verify the statement.”

Reminiscing on his printer roots, James fondly recalled acquiring his first printing press at the age of 11, a 5×8˝ Kelsey hand press. Fast forward to the previous evening, where James was enjoying dinner in the company of students. One student told him that he was hooked “when he got his first computer at the age of 11 and learned how to use Pagemaker,” James related.

“We’ve come full circle.”

Gift of Knowledge

While the ways and means of producing printed product may have, and continue to change drastically, one aspect of the day’s events remained timeless and unchanged. Throughout the agenda—the print symposium, a celebratory luncheon, the dedication ceremony and a tour of the Web Lab and the beautiful, if monstrous, Sunday 2000 gapless press—one recurring theme was the value of partnership in education.

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