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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 consequently generated 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 - (see Restoring the Joy in Learning). Consequently Google + Internet became dependable extensions of my memory.

The bridge story is a work in progress and is evolving from a simple collections of photographs to an experiment with Internet-centric just-in-time learning. Insights I gain from you will find their way into the learning centers of MUSC. Palmetto Bridge Constructors, a joint venture between Tidewater Skanska and Flatiron Constructors, as well as High Steel Structures, Freyssinet, the SCDOT and the Federal Highway Commission Office of Bridge Technology guided much of my learning. I also learn from many of you and from Google-linked resources. More important is the e-mail encouragement I receive from many of you.

Mon, 13 Jun 2005

June 13, 2005 Humorous stories

From time to time, I receive some humorous stories of past experiences with the Grace bridge. This seems like the best place to share them. To the right you see (right to left) the Grace, Pearman and Ravenel bridges. Note the steep incline associated with the older bridges. (Click the image for a larger format.)

J. LaVerne Ard, former mayor of Pamplico, SC and VP of Marsh Lumber Company - circa 1950 story (as told by Bette Cox, Florence, SC):

"As a high school teenager, he drove a flatbed truck during the summer. One trip to Charleston was for a load of fertilizer. Trying to come back across the bridge with the flatbed fully loaded, a traffic light caught him, and when it turned green, the truck simply wouldn't climb the grade. He sent his little brother to the back of the truck to lay sacks of fertilizer against the back wheels to keep from rolling back into the traffic behind him. Then, along came a policeman.

The helpful policeman stopped all traffic, had him back up about two blocks and rev the motor to get a running start, and cheered him on as the truck chugged up the hill and on across the bridge."

Terry Edmonds, Apex NC

"When I was 15, in 1963, and had just gotten my learners permit to drive, my father, sister and I drove from Wilmington, NC to Tampa, FL for Christmas. I was driving on Hwy. 17 when we got to Mt. Pleasant. The old 2 lane bridge into Charleston came as a very un"Pleasant" surprise. Dad just looked at me and said that I was driving. Two way traffic on that old bridge was terrifying. I must have left clear indentations on the steering wheel with both hands. Never will forget it. And, I have told my kids the story so often that all of them have reported back to me when they made their first trip across 'the bridge'. "

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