Thursday, June 30, 2005
Lagniappe: Tubal Irritant
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
AOS: Psychiatry; AOC: Psychopharmacology
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Lagniappe: Natalee 24/7
To follow this case most closely, Fox News provides the most "coverage." I hadn't watched this news much, having heard reports of its bias. Now I am convinced that the bias toward the right exists, but more noticeable to me is the utterly unreflective commentary on Fox about just about everything: Tom Cruise's appearances, the supposed guilty parties in the Holloway case, and many other topics. Some of these commentators say things that are, at best, appropriate to desultory banter among friends over a cup of coffee, not to a national newscast. Evidence for claims is often scant, and the language used is depressingly banal...but Greta Van Susteren sure knows how to dig and get interviews.
Amen, Phantom Prof!
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Lagniappe: Joe Dirt and the Two Johns
wow. if you ever need a confidence booster in the looks department, see a Mellencamp concert in Indiana. I mean, whoaaaaa, it HAS to be the most unhealthy state. Gastric bypass for like, 90% of the crowd a.s.a.p.
other than that - mellencamp is a genius. fogerty is a genius. old men with guitars and raspy voices rock my world.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Declining by Degrees
Right after the showing, I got on to write Merrow about it, and had three messages from one of my higher ed students, who pecked away enthusiastically during the showing. She had hoped that I was watching it...and provided these quotes (thanks, Kate!).
"What worries us is what happens when we look back 10 years from now. Will the higher education system have moved so far as to be something we don’t recognize, something that’s lost the public mission on which it was originally founded?"
LARA K. COUTURIER
Director of Research, The Futures Project: Policy for Higher Education in a Changing World
"You’ve got this mass of people—a substantial number—kind of sleepwalking through college. How can they do it?"
Director, Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)
"With respect to college, people have thought that there were two important issues: first, getting in and being able to afford college, and second, to finish and have a degree. But very few people have asked the question, What happens in the four or five years in between those two points? And we’re beginning to find out that what’s going on in that black box called college is less than we had hoped; that maybe the ‘higher’ in higher education is lower than we think."
RICHARD H. HERSH
Former President, Trinity College (CT)
Lagniappe: Writing for a Penny a Word...
-- Opening lines from "A Penny A Word," a bitter confession published in the April 1936 issue of H. L. Mencken's American Mercury. The anonymous author is now thought to have been Anthony M. Rud, novelist turned pulp writer, and my grandfather.
"Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."
-- L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Lagniappe: Batman Begins...
Now, must go see the Smiths, as daughter, a bona fide Brangelina fan, will pester me 'til I do.
Drepung Gomang Monks at Aquinas Student Center
The first comment made was by a woman in her 60s who is locally known for her fundy Catholic views. She took my undergraduate course last summer; I believe she needed it to get certified, as the local Catholic schools had required her to do that, I seem to dimly recall.
She stated that the first commandment had been broken today, presumably because 1) the monks had chanted in the basement of the Catholic student center; and perhaps 2) someone took down the crucifix on the wall in front of everyone and behind the monks shortly before the ceremony started.
The Canadian woman who is hosting the tour, who subsequently led a wonderful conversation, easily shifting languages as she translated questions for the monks and their answers for us, calmly said "I won't translate that" and several in the audience agreed. The woman who posed the comment then walked out.
The synergy between the audience and the monks was palpable, and they truly appreciated the interest and fellow feeling, as we all did. But my wife and I buzzed later about the first comment, especially since I had this woman in my undergraduate history and philosophy of education class last summer.
I would be interested to know, as the year long tour progresses (they go to Chicago tomorrow, then Bloomington IN, and elsewhere into 2006) of the kind of reception and activities that accompany the Sacred Art tour of the Drepung Gomang monks. Their comments about the oppression of Tibet and the life of the monks in India as political refugees were fascinating.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
(Via Nick Burbules).
Friday, June 17, 2005
Shrine to Shania
Reminded me of a fellow professor friend who constructed a Shania Shrine in his office. Funny when he tried to explain his obsession to a colleague, the kind of person who is impervious to popular culture (like that HS classmate of my daughter who didn't know who Michael Jordan was), and who arched his eyebrows to the stratosphere. Hahahaha, the Shania Shrine in the heart of Moo U.
Socrates with a backward baseball cap
--From a student journal in my summer class.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Lagniappe: Byatt on Potter
Invasion of the Blue Coats
The young men are in their (thick) blue coats, white shirts, black pants and ties. The young women, the same, though some have skirts up to there. FFA used to stand for "Future Farmers of America" but I have been told it stands for "nothing" now, as agriculture, agribusiness, take most FFA'ers to many other jobs than tilling the family plot. FFA is serious business in the cornbelt...where I grew up in western MA, it was vaguely acknowledged as a school club. Here the FFA state officers take a year off before college to meet their obligations.
Our "Ag Ed" faculty used to be housed in my college, but they lobbied successfully to alter their split formula with Agriculture, and now are primarily in that college, and moved their offices to that college too. Salaries are better in Agriculture too, though Ag Ed is pretty low on the totem pole there, as it is not considered a "science" like agronomy or biochemistry. Still, more money and a change of scenery. I miss seeing them around; their academic advisor gave us a rhubarb plant from northern Indiana that my wife prizes, and I always asked them tidbits of info about my surroundings here, such as what a "pole barn" is.
Well, this year, it has cooled off a bit, and is quite windy this week. Maybe the blue corduroy coat will come in handy!
Update, 6/28: Just watched Napoleon Dynamite last night, loved it, and FFA bluecoats figure in this funny, quirky film.
Monday, June 13, 2005
Lagniappe: Jacko Aftermath
Michael Jackson is a sad case of arrested development, IMHO. From what I gather, his father was abusive to both Michael and to Michael's mother. Joe Jackson is very odd, gives me the creeps. The mother seems like a Stepford wife. Michael has retreated to emotional territory at Neverland that is safer.
But what angers me is the press coverage of the verdict, especially this venomous, barking woman named Nancy Grace. I had to turn off the tube, especially being offended by the way she bullied the jury foreman and others. I don't know much about Grace, and want to find out more. Where did she come from?
Friday, June 10, 2005
Is it like being an habitual offender?
CONFESSIONS OF AN HABITUAL ADMINISTRATOR
An Academic Survival Manual
Paul T. Bryant
Friday Celebrity Table Tennis Blogging
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Court Jesters spouting pretentious jargon
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Gimme my A or I will speed dial you to death!
Monday, June 06, 2005
Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Century
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
The Long, Relatively Clean, Hallway
Our custodian, Rigo, from Mexico via California, does a great job. I use to see him coming down the long extended U shape of my floor, and would greet him when he got to my office. He said he hates Indiana weather, prefers California. What is good for corn (hot and humid) is not good for many in the summer.
Fortunately, it has been quite cool so far. I haven't donned my sandals for teaching (which one of my undergraduates told me looked "unprofessional" with a sportcoat on an evaluation a year ago...too bad, I say, I am HOT!).
My office sits on the very end of one of our hallways, five floors up. When I was an administrator, six floors up (seven is the philosophy department, that much closer to the Platonic forms), I had a view of a fountain, the airport (second busiest in Indiana due to all the students taking off and landing) and the Eli Lilly plant where they churn out Prozac (pray for the wind to bring the fumes this way). Now, I overlook the oldest building on campus, home to the History department, and slated for demolition unless someone coughs up R&R funds to fix it. Poor historians...a few years ago, right after the Alamo Bowl committee selected high flying Kansas State to play our upstart team, a ferocious wind came out of Manhattan, KS and blew the roof and cupola off this old gem. Water gushed down and ruined many a historian's office. Who could blame them for their later curmudgeonly response to the university librarian who was keen on going digital? The historians wanted to be able to continue to touch dusty paper and smell the bindings, and besides, their computers still spewed water.
Since my office is at the end of a long hallway, I keep my door closed. No matter, many of my colleagues are hardly ever around, even during the AY. Some say the building has bad air, others meet over coffee at Panera. There is no social area to meet, no cluster of offices, just a long hallway on either side. What were the architects thinking when they designed the building? That we shouldn't get together and talk in between bouts with the flickering screen?