Chattahoochee Chatter: A little higher learning

December 18, 2013 

Let's start this week's Chatter with a littler higher learning.

At the Muscogee Educational Excellence Foundation's news conference Monday announcing the five teachers awarded grants to attend a summer program at Harvard University, the recipients were given Harvard T-shirts to symbolize their honor.

"When you walk on the grounds of Harvard," said David Lewis, the Muscogee County School District superintendent, "you just feel smarter."

MEEF chairman Lee Brantley added, "You wear that around Columbus, you're really going to feel smart."

•••

It's the most wonderful time of the year again -- the holidays that is -- and we in Chatterland just gotta know:

Are you still working for a scrooge?

More specifically, is your employer in a giving mood this holiday in terms of a bonus, party or gift?

If an online survey of U.S. employers is any indication, it's about the same as a year ago, according to CareerBuilder.com, with 45 percent of employers planning to give bonuses of some sort this year, compared to 46 percent in 2012.

As for parties, 59 percent will throw a bash for their workers, the same as the year before.

But, with an interesting twist, only 20 percent of staffers expect to show up at the company party.

And when it comes to giving a gift, 35 percent of businesses plan to offer one to their workers, very close to the 36 percent in 2012.

Meanwhile, 22 percent of employees will exchange gifts with each other this year, the survey found, while 21 percent will give their boss a gift.

While most of the workplace gifting will be standard fare, the survey pointed out some comical and, quite frankly, strange items that will be exchanged this Christmas season, including:

• 50 pounds of fresh Louisiana shrimp

• A picture of the boss's family

• A plaster cast of a co-worker's hand

• A half-eaten box of candy

• Homemade laundry detergent

• Eggs

• Camouflage toilet paper

• A unicorn calendar

• Stamps

• A hula hoop

With those nuggets of information out of the way, happy holidays, y'all!

•••

Ever wonder how Columbus promotes itself?

Inside the latest issue of "American History" magazine, the one with Comanche chief Quanah Parker on the cover, is an advertisement for Columbus that fills most of the page.

It lists reasons to visit Columbus, the main one being the city's Civil War Heritage as Columbus was the location of the last land battle of the Civil War.

Places of interest mentioned in the advertisement, some with a photo, are The National Civil War Museum at Port Columbus, the National Infantry Museum and Linwood Cemetery.

Other sites in the area include Historic Westville, the frontier post in Fort Mitchell, Ala., and Camp Sumter Military Prison in Andersonville, Ga.

"Whether it's a daytrip or overnight, come for our heritage ... stay for our hospitality" reads the advertisement.

Thanks for staying for all of the pre-Christmas edition of Chatter.

Those of us in Chatterland hope your Christmas is merry.

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