Monday, October 6, 2014


Click the strip to read it larger!

    Back when I was attending Carson-Newman University, I had the privilege and pleasure of being taught by many great professors. One of these fine individuals was William C. Houston. He not only taught many of the courses I attended, but I also was lucky enough to have him as my advisor. This past Spring, Mr. Houston retired after teaching at Carson-Newman for 38 years.

    Mr. Houston is the kind of person who really invests in people and really goes the extra mile to help them out. He is also known for being pretty hilarious. As a very small way of thanking him for his great impact on my education, career, and life, I made him this comic strip that refers to one of his more widely known ongoing jokes.1

   The tale goes roughly something like this, while at some sort of faculty get together or while sitting at lunch, many other professors were discussing how much they had to grade and how much work it was. One of them, whether out of genuine curiosity or sarcasm said something to the effect of, "How do you grade your classes?" Mr. Houston responded something like, "I just walk into the classroom. Look at all the paintings and say, 'NEEDS MORE BLUE!' and leave."2

   Of course, I can't tell the story as well as some. And he may have actually said, "More Blue!" in the story. But ever since then students, alumni, and teachers alike will occasionally comment, "Needs more blue," or shout it across the campus lawn when they see him. The whole thing stuck. Some fellow classmates and I even named the weekly art blog we used to run, "NEEDS MORE BLUE."

   So there's the story. Now maybe the comic strip above is even funnier? Be sure to check out the grand artwork of William C. Houston sometime. And THANKS MR. HOUSTON! God bless, everybody. Talk to you soon!

1 That's a lie. It actually refers to two inside jokes, one classic sci-fi film, his love of music, and his own artwork. You can see more of the second joke in great photography by another fine individual, Michael Alvis. 
2 I think he only graded this way on rare occasions.

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