Accordions

Every site on the base theme now has access to adding an accordion right on a page.  Accordions provide a good user experience to read lots of content in organized pieces.  With this update, every page can now have a content block at the top of the page, an accordion section, and another content block below the accordion.  It is possible to have any combination of these three content pieces on a page.  Below, find an example of an accordion.

How to use

1. Add accordion items

On the page edit screen scroll below the main content box to find the new Accordion area which also contains the bottom content box.

accordion_initial_screen

Click the blue button labeled “Add Accordion Item” to start adding accordions.  Every time the button is clicked, a title field and content box for the item appear.

accordion_add

The title will be what people will see when the content is collapsed and what they will click to expand the content.  Use the content box here like you would the main one at the top of the page edit screen as it has all the same features.

2. Order accordions

After entering several accordion items, it may make more sense to have them in a different order.  If that is the case, the items can be reordered by dragging and dropping.  To do this, move your mouse over the number on the left side of the accordion, and the mouse pointer will turn into a four-way arrow.  Click, hold, and drag the item up or down.

accordion_reorder

3. Delete/Add Items

Take a look in the screen shot above.  On the right-hand side, a minus and plus button are present for each item when the cursor is on top of the item.  Clicking the minus button will delete the accordion immediately, and there is no way to get it back.  Clicking the plus button adds a blank item above.

 

Breathe - Commencement 2015 Address

Commencement Address to the Class of 2015
By Nathan O. Hatch
May 18, 2015

The English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning once said that persons who get the most out of life are those who breathe the most air. So graduates, on this joyous occasion, with exams behind you, I want to encourage you to breathe. Your work is finished. You now can deeply exhale and inhale without glancing at your iPhone calendar to check for the next meeting, lab, paper or test.

This is a great occasion to breathe — to stop, slow down, and savor this very special moment, all you have accomplished. It is time to breathe — to relish the friendships that have been formed here, the good times, and the challenging times that you faced together. It is time to breathe, to be grateful and give thanks for all the opportunities that you have been given. It is a time to breathe and express appreciation to those who made this day possible, parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, and mentors.

Graduation is also a great time to breathe in another sense — to stop and think about the larger contours of your own life. This is a pivotal moment, one that calls for breathing room, space for you to reflect on the journey ahead.

More than ever, your generation needs to breathe in this way. Most of you have spent the last decade on a fast-moving treadmill of achievement. You have had tightly scripted lives with most waking hours spent scrambling to secure your future.

Doing well in high school so you can go to a premier college. Doing well in college so you can go land the right job or get into the right graduate school — or the right law firm, the right medical residency, the right teaching opportunity, the right pastoral assignment. Richard Kadison has depicted college life as a three-ring-circus with students as jugglers: “In one hand, they juggle the balls representing the demands of high academic performance; in another, they twirl the hoops of social relationships; and in the air, they spin the pins of their extracurricular activities.” Most of the time you have lived with pressure to achieve.

In coming days you need space to reconsider the grip that this achievement syndrome has upon you. Let me suggest breathing space in two areas, and in both I want to use a Wake Forest graduate as an example.

First, learn to welcome surprises and unexpected opportunities. Many of the best things in life will come as a bolt out of the blue, interrupting your best-laid plans. A door may be slammed in your face, forcing you to take an unexpected route.

The life of so many people who accomplish important things has not been a straight path. They have tried their hand at a variety of endeavors. They have colored outside the lines. Many were late bloomers. Others started and failed and then picked up again. The contour of their life is more a jagged arc than a straight line.

A good example is one of Wake Forest’s most successful recent graduates, James Beshara, class of 2008. Today James is CEO of TILT, a wildly successful crowd funding web site that has been used by 300,000 organizations. James was recently voted one of Forbes 30 under 30 in consumer technology.

Yet one of the secrets of James success is that his plans right after graduation went up in smoke. It was 2008 and the prestigious New York bank that had offered him a job canceled it, because of the financial crisis. Instead, James decided to go to South Africa with a service organization that did micro-financing. And it was on that detour, a world away, that he discovered an insight that was crucial in the success of the company he was to found.

In working with micro-finance, James discovered that the biggest motivation for repayment was social — reputation among friends and family. People paid up if their friends knew about it. They wanted to please and not be embarrassed.

That insight has been key to TILT’s success. TILT focuses on groups who know each other, and TILT makes public who has contributed and who hasn’t. This insight, gained in a most unexpected way, distinguishes TILT from its competition.

What can we learn from James’ experience? The lesson is to give yourself enough breathing room to welcome the unexpected. An experience that has little value at the time, later, in a different context, can offer invaluable insight.

My second word of advice is to stop long enough to ask: What is worth giving my life for? Are my aspirations big enough? Are they worthy enough?

The danger is that you fulfill what is expected, someone else’s definition of success, your peers, your university’s, or your parents. Have you stopped long enough to think of what you really want to accomplish in life? Are your plans neat, tidy, predictable — or are they expansive?

Another story from a Wake Forest graduate – this one from Killian Noe, class of 1980, who was honored this spring with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Killian grew up in Greenville South Carolina, was an English major here, and had a strong impulse to explore the world. She taught English in Israel and served as a volunteer in a hospital in the Gaza strip. There she became deeply concerned about those affected by violence and poverty. And when she returned to Washington DC, she took note of how much brokenness she saw on the street corners of our nation’s Capitol. It was the plight of those who had fallen through the cracks that got to Killian. “It felt like a sword had gone through my heart. That’s what I wanted to do with my life.”

Killian is a deeply caring person, contagious in her affection, and she believes in building deeply-connected communities. In 1985 she and others founded Samaritan Inns to provide treatment programs and transitional housing to those struggling with drugs and alcohol.

Later Killian moved to Seattle and founded “Recovery Café,” an amazing community of support that offers radical hospitality and a sense of worth to those battling drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, and homelessness. The café served more than 2300 people last year; and the Gates Foundation has supported it as a national model of healing and transformation. “No one gets out of a deep pit on their own,” Killian has said. “We need each other to get out of the pit.”

When she graduated from Wake Forest, Killian Noe could never have scripted the course of her life. But she gave herself space to experience the world and be called to do important work to make a difference. She stood back, took a deep breath, and asked, not just what I want from life? What does life want from me? What are my circumstances calling me to do? She stopped, listened and found work that became her calling, work that leveraged her own warmth and love for others to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable people.

Today, on this marvelous occasion, when you have achieved so much and before you plunge into your next challenge, stop and give yourself breathing room to think, to reflect, to take stock. When you inhale, give thanks for all that has been accomplished. As you exhale, make sure you are not just going through the motions, plodding along on someone else’s treadmill. Take a deep breath. Welcome the unexpected. Expand your horizons. Breathing deeply might just put you in touch with your own truest calling.

Swing - Commencement 2014 Address

Commencement Address to the Class of 2014
By Nathan O. Hatch
May 19, 2014

I recently read an inspiring book by Daniel James Brown, “Boys in the Boat.”   He tells the improbable story of how, in 1936, the eight-oar men’s crew team from the University of Washington came from nowhere to become the very best rowing team in the world.   They began their quest by besting their rivals from the west coast, The University of California, Berkeley, and then went on to humble the long-established elite of rowing from the Ivy League.

Against all odds, these lads from the Northwest became the United States Olympic team; and, in Berlin, they took on the best from Oxford and Cambridge, from Italy and Germany.  In front of Adolf Hitler himself and a crowd of 75,000 spectators screaming “Deutschland, Deutschland,” these young Americans, and their shell, the Husky Clipper, came from behind to win the gold medal.

This crew team was comprised of upstarts, nine working-class lads from dusty small towns in the Northwest, from logging camps, shipyards, and dairy farms.   Most of them had known the ravages of the depression.  One of them, Joe Rantz had actually been abandoned by his family at age 16 when they determined there were too many mouths to feed.  It is an epic saga; someone has said a kind of Chariots of Fire with oars.

It is a story of tremendous determination, of backbreaking hard work and of masterful and innovative coaching.  But most of all, it is a story of tremendous teamwork — and that is my theme today.

I drew my title from what crew teams call “swing.”  Swing is a kind of “fourth dimension of rowing” — hard to achieve and hard to define.  “Many crews, even winning crews never really find it. … It only happens when all eight oarsmen are rowing in such perfect unison that no single action by any one is out of synch with those of all the others. … Sixteen arms must begin to pull, sixteen knees must begin to fold and unfold, eight bodies must begin to slide forward and backward, and eight backs must bend and straighten all at once.  Only then will the boat continue to run, unchecked, fluidly and gracefully between pulls of the oar. Only then will it feels as if the boat is part of each of them, moving as if on its own.  Only then does pain entirely give way to exultation.”

Today I want to extoll the joys and the possibilities of teamwork.  I have only watched rowing at a distance, but I have experienced a different kind of swing, the deep fulfillment of a team really coming together to accomplish important things, where the whole does become greater than the sum of the parts.

As a young historian, I fell in with a remarkable set of colleagues working in similar fields.   We took on projects together and met in the summer —with our families — to read and criticize each other’s work.  This scholarly community produced numerous conferences, published a set of articles and books, and mentored a number of young historians — an impact we never could have had working by ourselves.

Some of you graduating today may have already experienced the power of a team:  in working on “Hit the Bricks” or “Wake and Shake,” in collaborating with a set of friends to build a student organization, in going all out in a club sport, or in finding a study group or laboratory team that really clicked.

On occasions like today, most advice is directed at you graduates as individuals.  You are counseled to follow your passion, march to the beat of your own drummer, follow your dreams.  This advice is certainly useful.  But today I want to hold up a complimentary ideal:  that as you pursue your own dream, you also look for those occasions to find, join or to build a team.

Finding a team with “swing” is rare and elusive.  Yet it is an ideal worth pursuing, an aspiration worth working towards.  The right kind of team can achieve things unimaginable for you as an individual.

Let me say four things about successful teams.

First, innovation is increasingly a group endeavor.  A recent study shows that teamwork is a defining trend of modern scientific research.  The most cited studies in a field used to be the product of lone geniuses, but no longer.  Given the complexity of modern problems, from medicine to law, from politics to business, it is teams that will make real breakthroughs.[1]

Second, teams are difficult to build and sustain.  Strong personalities have to come together and be willing to give up some of their cherished autonomy—and everyone doesn’t want to do this.  Teams don’t just happen.  They demand careful listening, constant adjustment, and resolving conflict.  They demand time and more time.   And the right kind of working spaces.   Shared places seem to have played an outsized role in the history of creative teams from 18th century coffeehouses in London to twentieth-century garages in Silicon Valley.  The best advice I can give is to put yourself in the right kind of place and think more about what you can learn from others than how you can display our own insights.

Third, teams are more about attitude and outlook than sheer talent.  George Pocock, a major figure in developing the Washington rowing team in 1936, had come to Seattle from England as a craftsman of exquisite racing shells. The shell that he built for the Olympics, the Husky Clipper, is hung with honor today in the University of Washington boathouse.

Pocock was also a great judge of character and motivation. He understood that, success had as much to do with spirit, will, and mutual trust as it did sheer brawn. What was extraordinary about “the boys in the boat” was not their physical prowess, but their melding as a unit committed to each other and to accomplishing extraordinary goals.  He called it rowing with head and heart.

This is something the Washington crew team had to learn.  Joe Rantz, the real hero of the book, was defiantly independent of necessity, having raised himself and having to work two or three jobs to pay his college bills.  Joe had talent, but was defiantly independent and thus erratic in the boat.  At one point George Pocock took him aside and told him, Joe, you row as if he were the only person in the boat. You attack the water as if the race were all up to you.  Pocock knew that it was not how hard he rowed but how well he harmonized with others.  “And a man can’t harmonize with his crewmates,” he advised, “unless you open your heart to them.”

He knew that great teams require trust in each other.  In a recent interview, Laszlo Bock, the Google executive in charge of hiring, took note the kinds of young people that Google is looking for:  those who meld into effective teams.  “You need a big ego and a small ego in the same person at the same time.”  They are seeking young people who have strong and creative ideas, but are also willing to defer to someone with a better idea.  In short, teams require a degree of intellectual humility, putting the larger good ahead of who gets the credit.

A fourth mark of great teams is that they are diverse and see conflict as essential.  Steve Jobs was a great believer in teams, but he feared the danger of “group-think,” an attitude of “don’t confront me and I won’t confront you.”

In describing a healthy team, Jobs told a story from his boyhood about a neighbor who invited him to put some common rocks into a rock tumbler.  The next day Jobs came back and found amazingly beautiful polished stones.  That became his metaphor for a team:  “talented people bumping up against each other, having arguments, having fights sometimes, making noise, and working together they polish each other and they polish the ideas and what comes out are those beautiful stones.”

Today, I have suggested four things about teams:  that they are seedbeds of innovation, that they are difficult to nurture, that they are based on attitude and commitment, not just talent, and they work best when they blend commitment and diversity.

There is one last reason to work towards being part of a great team.  It can be a sheer personal delight.  George Pocock wrote about the exhilaration that rowing teams found when they achieved the perfect harmony of “swing.”  He said, “I’ve heard men shriek out with delight when that swing came in … “It’s a thing they’ll never forget as long as they live.”

There’s nothing like being in a great team.  It can turn the rigors of work into a delight.  To bond with others, in pursuit of accomplishing great things, is a rare privilege and a worthy prize.  May all of you, at one time or another, come to know that level of commitment and that exhilaration which “the boys in the boat” called “swing.”