Historiann et famille are off to celebrate the holidays in our special, special way: with too much sugar, fat, a Jell-o salad or two, and “the airing of the grievances,” Festivus-style. And lots and lots of bourbon–you know, for the children. I hope all of you are somewhere you want to be this year, with people you want to be with. (And if you’re not, then I hope your travels will be short!)
What’s in this box? Salted caramels? An I-Pod? A NEW CAR??
While our wagon makes it way East, here are a few tidbits out there on the world-wide non peer-reviewed internets that just might keep you clicking back for more:
- Squadratomagico is back, babies, and is more interesting than ever. Check out this weird story courtesy of the magical technology for oversharing that is Facebook, and keep an eye out for reports on her experiment with a class blog next term.
- GayProf reports that American historians aren’t teaching a large chunk of American history–the scoundrels! When will U.S. historians figure out that there are a lot of non-English speaking people in American history? (About the time they learn to read and write another language, like any educated people who hold the highest degree in the university should? Think Santa will make that happen this year, finally?) Don’t miss his provocative throwndown about Atlantic World history in the comments, kids!
- Roxie reports that (GRADUATE STUDENTS STOP READING NOW–CAREER SPOILER AHEAD) “the declines in [job listings] in each of the last two years are the largest ever recorded by the MLA, since it started tracking the trends in the association’s Job Information List 35 years ago.” Sucktastic! For everyone–the lucky duckies who have jobs (and are doing more and more service work to compensate for their own dwindling numbers), the Roads Scholars and Freeway Flyers who are adjuncting and temp teaching, the Grad Students who are wondering what the heck they got themselves into, and the undergraduate students, who have more and more professors who have 100, 200, or 300 students a term (or more!) Does anyone really believe that this doesn’t affect the quality of education we offer our students? Seriously?
I’ve just finished teaching another big class (this time with 87 students), and another one with 31 students, and guess which students showed up more often, got called by their names (usually by the right names), did the homework more often, and got better grades? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? It’s really hard not to become cynical when we’re asked to do such a cynical job.
Peace on Earth. Good will to all creatures. Give thanks for what you have. Hang in there during these dark days and long nights–the Solstice is almost here, and we’ll be on the upswing again soon.