August
14th 2008
Just what the doctor ordered roundup–shhh!

Posted under: American history, happy endings, jobs, students, women's history

There’s just too much good news out there to report on this week!  So just lay down and relax.  You might feel a little pinch at first, so just take an extra-big swallow of that mason jar-sized Pisco Sour, and it will be all over before you wake up!  Just tell yourself that the nurse on the right is holding a swizzle stick.

  • Senator Hillary Clinton will not only be a featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention, her name will be put in nomination so that her delegates can vote for her (h/t TalkLeft).  Senator Barack Obama said, “I am convinced that honoring Senator Clinton’s historic campaign in this way will help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong united fashion.”  Right on, Senator.  Imagine, if you will, how it would have looked for the most successful second-place presidential primary finisher in recent Democratic Party history not to be on the first ballot, when every other also-ran and his delegates had the privilege of voting for him at least on the first round?  Not good.  This is how the game is played, boys:  with malice toward none, and with charity to all.  It’s Barack Obama’s party now, and it makes him look more confident and in command when he embraces his former opponents and can recognize their achievements appropriately. 
  • Here’s an article at Inside Higher Ed by a dean who is both thoughtful and savvy.  While there will be malcontents everywhere no matter what you do, I think fewer faculty would immediately assume bad faith on the part of an administrator who had entertained them in his own home and served them food he cooked himself.  As he writes, “[d]irect eye-contact, open mouths and exposed teeth also have defined a few faculty meetings over the course of my career. What better way to convey shared governance than by sharing food with the director serving colleagues a lunch that he prepared?”  (See the recipies he includes at the end of the article!)
  • Also via Inside Higher Ed, a federal judge has ruled that the University of California gets to set its own admissions standards.  Here’s why:  “In a history course the university rejected, the text instructed students that “divine providence” is the source of all of history and that historical figures needed to be evaluated based on their “religious motivations,” in contrast to university expectations of the range of analyses high school students should learn. A science course was rejected for using textbooks that characterized religious doctrine as science and for failing to teach the scientific method.”  While I understand the frustration of the Calvary Chapel Christian School, which initiated the lawsuit, and its allies at the Association of Christian Schools International, I don’t understand why they’d even permit their students to apply to godless, heathen institutions like the University of California anyway.  Who needs their secular humanist indoctrination?  But seriously folks, as one commenter sympathetic to UC said, “[t]his is about quality and comparability and making sure students aren’t set up for failure.” 
  • Oh, and the nurse instead of the usual cowgirl to illustrate our roundup today?  Historiann.com friend and commenter Fratguy is having surgery tomorrow, so this pinup nurse is for him.  Feel better soon, Fratguy! 
  • Et vous, mes amis?  What good news do you have to share with the old gang at historiann.com as we glide gracefully into the last weeks of summer?  Did you win an award?  Did you get a book contract?  Did you read a good book?  Did you have a great vacation?  Share it!

13 Comments »

13 Responses to “Just what the doctor ordered roundup–shhh!”

  1. Indyanna on 14 Aug 2008 at 7:33 pm #

    I finished a book chapter, or at least will top one out in the next day or two, although it ended up covering about half (or maybe a bit less) the ground I thought it would, so it seems like the project that will truely never end. Academic travel was good, and plentiful, including the cool Berks event that Historiann co-curated. Not that much pure vacation, come to think of it, now that I face the drive back to Greater Bituminosia in a bit over a week.

    Best to Fratguy, and see you back on the blog soon.

  2. ortho stice on 15 Aug 2008 at 7:20 am #

    Hello Historiann!

    I read only two good books this summer: Mircea Cartarescu’s Nostalgia and Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland. I whole-heartedly recommend them to you and your readers.

    I spent a marvelous 2-week vacation in Romania. When you have the chance to vacation in Eastern Europe, I hope you will visit Romania — it’s breathtaking!

  3. GayProf on 15 Aug 2008 at 1:24 pm #

    Is it wrong that I want to wear that nurse’s outfit?

  4. Historiann on 15 Aug 2008 at 1:31 pm #

    No–you’d look good doin’ it.

  5. Knitting Clio on 15 Aug 2008 at 1:55 pm #

    I just got interviewed for the blog “New Books in History.”

    http://newbooksinhistory.com/?p=79

    It was really fun and I’d highly recommend it for anyone who’s interested in plugging her/his new book.

  6. Historiann on 15 Aug 2008 at 2:30 pm #

    Wow! You’re a star, KC! And very generous to share the link with us.

    I’m so glad you’re excited about speaking at the Little Berks. (I’m sorry I haven’t commented over at your blog, but my computer and my WordPress login info, are still in the shop!)

    I think the lineup, with Tenured Radical and with Clio Bluestocking, will work well. (The only thing is that it’s all U.S. historians–but, you’re all very different in subject matter and in whether you’re lightly pseudonymous (like you and TR) or totally anonymous (like Clio B.). I wish I could be a fly on the wall–but then, I’m *utterly confident* that you’ll all blog about your conversation, and link to each other, etc., so I can chime in after the fact!

    I feel like I’ve learned a lot in just the past 9 months or so, stuff I wish I had known or had thought about before starting to blog myself, but then perhaps experience is the best teacher considering some of the peculiar issues that each different blogs raise. (I’m sure you attract pervs because of your focus on reproductive health issues in history, which is probably why you moderate your comments, and TR has quite a gang of wingnuts who comment over there because she has taken public stands on some major controversies in academia (a.k.a. the Duke Lacrosse Team).

  7. Knitting Clio on 15 Aug 2008 at 3:12 pm #

    Thanks. I’m excited about the Little Berks too. Sorry you won’t be there, but it’s SO expensive. I’m actually not staying at the Inn because it’s only 45 minutes from home.

    re: pervs — no I don’t have any of those, surprisingly. The comments I’ve rejected are from spam-bots.

  8. Notorious Ph.D. on 16 Aug 2008 at 1:50 pm #

    Well, my big news is that the book MS is finished. It’s currently in the hands of two senior readers, who I desperately hope will have time to get to it before I need to send it off in time for my tenure deadline.

    Also, I moved back to Job City, and am currently surrounded by piles of random crap.

  9. Historiann on 16 Aug 2008 at 3:28 pm #

    Great news! But, you might consider sending the ms. off to your publisher now anyway, even before you hear back from the senior scholars. You can always incorporate their critiques along with the advice you get from the press readers. (If you’re on a deadline as you suggest, you might not want to wait, given the inevitable delays along the way to publication…)

    And, don’t you know that PORC (Piles Of Ranom Crap) is totally kosher for scholars!

  10. Fratguy on 16 Aug 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    Historiann, thanks for the get well card. With the ministrations of Mrs Fratguy, (minus the uniform, drat!)I am getting out from under the knife.

  11. Feminist Law Professors » Blog Archive » “Use your own rather than state or discretionary funds because nothing spoils a meal as quickly as an internal audit.” on 16 Aug 2008 at 5:55 pm #

    [...] Via Historiann. [...]

  12. Professor Zero on 16 Aug 2008 at 7:10 pm #

    On the food: socializing is great but I’m happier when it happens naturally. I’m yet happier when collegial relationships are formed in informal chats in the halls, the offices, and on campus. Otherwise you have departmental decisions made off campus without everyone present.

    I worked at a place where all meetings had to be over lunch or dinner and it was very coercive and exhausting. It put you eating with people you’d rather not spend that kind of time with, and the whole custom seemed to be designed so that we would think we were at a tea party and not at work.
    We all had to coo and agree, because you know serious discussion at table is not polite. It was also sort of rough on family life, having to be at so many working dinners.

  13. Historiann on 17 Aug 2008 at 9:05 am #

    Hi Prof. Zero–you’re right that decisions shouldn’t be made off campus without everyone present–but the point of that dean’s article (as I understood it) was that he invites everyone to his home just to have a good time and get to know them. So long as everyone is invited, then I don’t have a problem with the off-campus aspect.

    I’m sorry that your experience with meetings over lunch or dinner felt coercive–they do sound miserable, and take away personal time. But, I don’t think that going to the dean’s house once a year is a major incursion into personal/family time.

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