Pooyie! 12.02.2009

In this age of cuts to higher education, UL Lafayette is proving it is adaptable to the climate. A new online program, reported last week in The Advocate, is allowing registered nurses to upgrade their associate degrees to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The BSN to MSN track previously existed at UL as a traditional course offering in a brick-and-mortar classroom, but low enrollment led administrators to the realization that working nurses simply don’t have time to attend class — they’re working, after all. An online class offers them the flexibility to do course work on their own time — typically two semesters for the bachelor’s degree and another four for the master’s.

We so want the incarnation of the Louisiana IceGators to work, but so far, not so good. Yet another course correction in the front office was announced Nov. 23 when owner Danny Smith notified the media that Brent Sapergia was leaving — “effective immediately” — his post as general manager and director of hockey operations. Smith himself will take over GM duties. The announcement is the latest rotation in an executive carousel: In early November Sapergia was named interim head coach when Ron Handy moved from head coach to assistant general manager. Handy was eventually replaced by John Gibson. If this were a baseball team a “who’s on first” joke would be in order. But it’s no joke; this team, as Smith admits, is “struggling to find its identity.” In announcing the latest change, there was, of course, no mention of Sapergia’s early November meltdown against Pensacola, when he threw hockey sticks onto the ice in protest of a ref’s call (Google “hockey coach flips out” to see the video), which earned him an ejection and league suspension from all coaching duties. Catch the ’Gators in Blackham Coliseum Friday and Saturday as they host a two-game series against the Mississippi Surge.

Anglicans in Canada don’t have a great track record protecting their cultural valuables. They kicked the Acadians out 250 years ago, scattering a vibrant community like the tribes of Israel. (Fortunately, some washed up on the Louisiana coast.) More proof of their cultural dunderheadedness: Reports that an almost 200-year-old clapboard church in Nova Scotia will be disassembled and shipped to Abita Springs where it will serve as a Baptist church. The simple, elegant All Saints Church, built in 1814, was deconsecrated four years ago, one of nine Anglican-owned buildings set to be either demolished or sold by the parish. Cultural preservationists in Nova Scotia are screaming mad about the deal. On the flip side, Abita Springs will get what will become the oldest standing church sanctuary in Louisiana. An old saw about one man’s trash being another’s treasure comes to mind.