The Bridge Blog A dialog about our new bridge and these web pages
Overview. As a pointy-headed
university professor, my weekend project of bridge photography and
building these web pages generated many questions and introduced me
to just-in-time learning. I enjoy chasing my curiosity and
want to identify ways to encourage younger learners to also enjoy curiosity
chasing and learning.
Learning usually requires repetition while forgetting occurs when
I infrequently use information. Many young learners do not understand
the importance of repetition. Weekly visits to the bridge provided
the repetition necessary to detect changes in the bridge and
many questions and opportunities for learning. Over the course of the
bridge project, I had access to few experts for answering questions.
Rather than a liability, this became an asset and pushed me to improve
my search skills with Google. Soon, I found that answers
to questions encountered during my weekly photo shoots were often
only a Google-search away -
Restoring the Joy in Learning). Consequently Google + Internet became
dependable extensions of my memory.
In addition, I received more than my usual weekend share of email about
the bridge web pages. As many of you know, I love learning and enabling
others to learn. Among the weekend emails, Lewis Hudgins of Athens Georgia
related a delightful story about the early days of the project.
"I lived in Charleston for several years. I was Joe Riley's Executive Assistant.
I didn't think the nuances of the construction could possibly interest me as
much as the prolonged political intrigue which, happily, resulted in an
agreement to get the new Cooper River Bridge built. I was wrong. Your pictures
and narratives have been wonderful. It made all of us feel we were up there
with the crews. Also, it makes us want to know more about them and what
happens to them now. And, the awesome, technical aspect of the work was made
easier to understand because of you. (Who knew about the wax?)"
What we have all created with this web site, I believe, is a new sense of
community and being part of something that is remote from many of us.
As many of you know, many engineers and lay people have provided me with
particular insights and questions. PBC, SCDOT, Freyssinet, High Steel
Structures and the FHWA Bridge Division, have opened many
doors that gave me an insider look at things I never imagined (like injecting
wax into the cable anchors). Together we have built a learning site where
we are all able to contribute in many different ways. This is my time to
thank all of you!!!