Archive for January, 2012

January 31st 2012
And their music? It’s just noise!

Posted under childhood & students

At Inside Higher Ed today, William Bradley offers a humorous and self-deprecating essay on his memories of college versus the conduct he observes in his students.  With every essay he finds cut-and-pasted from Wikipedia, with every mobile ringtone he hears during his classes, and with every complacent D student he meets, he wonders about the erosion of higher education in the United States:

“I had so much respect for my own professors,” I tell myself. “Yet these students seem to be mocking my efforts.”

It’s easy to understand why those who have been doing this for their entire lives might get frustrated, isn’t it? It’s depressing, to think that the college experience now is so degraded, compared to how we remember our own college years, a time of discovery and the excitement that comes with acquiring knowledge.

Continue Reading »


January 30th 2012
It’s hard to be truly evil when you’re just stupid.

Posted under American history & Gender & technoskepticism & weirdness

I was concerned last week when I heard about Google’s plan to share information across all Google accounts.  But then prompted by this story on NPR last night, I dialed up my “Ads Preferences Mananger Page,” and this was the extent of the personal information I found:

Your demographics:
We infer your age and gender based on the websites you’ve visited. You can remove or edit these at any time. Continue Reading »


January 29th 2012
Insert better headline here

Posted under American history & fluff & weirdness

President John Tyler, 1841-45

I clicked on this link over at Politico yesterday, as it was billed as “Tyler’s Grankid:  Newt’s a ‘jerk‘.”  Who the hell is Tyler, I wondered?  Surely not President John Tyler (1790-1862).  Could anyone alive today really have a grandparent who was born in the eighteenth century? Continue Reading »


January 28th 2012
The beatings will indeed continue until morale improves

Posted under American history & students & unhappy endings & wankers

First, go read Tenured Radical’s post from yesterday.  I’ll wait.

Doesn’t President Barack Obama’s speech at the University of Michigan remind you of the time that George W. Bush went to Notre Dame and Bob Jones and told them to stop being such one-issue whiners about abortion?  Or like that time he went to Haliburton and lectured them about keeping costs down, otherwise he would de-fund the National Security State?  Yeah:  just like that!

Personally, I liked this response–  Continue Reading »


January 26th 2012
Bipartisanship rules!

Posted under American history & unhappy endings & women's history

Wasn’t it a heartwarming and remarkable display of bipartisan comity to see the House of Representatives united in their support for the idea that U.S. Congressmen and Congresswomen should not be shot in the face when meeting with constituents?  Awesome!  (H/t to Fratguy for this observation.)

Although I have nothing against her politics, I’m glad that Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords finally resigned.  Her recovery appears to be remarkable so far, but it’s been apparent for months that she is not up to really serving her district in the way it deserves.  It’s monstrously unfair, and I still think her shooting and the deaths of so many others should be discussed in terms of a political assassination attempt, but still:  she can’t represent Tucson at this point in her life.


January 24th 2012
The Daily Stupid

Posted under American history & Gender & the body & wankers & women's history

I don’t know what is worse–the fact that The Daily Beast has published a press release for this fertility doctor as a news story, or the fact that this story recycles the completely unbelieveable trope that women in their 30s and 40s are truly surprised when they learn they might not be able to have children: 

Some bosses offer dating tips. Diane Sawyer counsels her colleagues on freezing their eggs.

The anchor of ABC’s World News has long been a sounding board for her famously hard-working staff on a host of personal issues, from dating to the more complex realities of a demanding career. A recurring theme with women: finding time away from the office to meet a partner and have kids before they hit 40. It doesn’t always happen, as Sawyer, who first married at age 42, well knows. When it doesn’t, Sawyer sends her workers to New York University’s Fertility Clinic.

.       .       .       .       .       .      

Three quarters come in because they aren’t ready to have children yet. Some are sent by their parents: I know you want to work, but I want grandkids someday. Many are furious their doctors didn’t tell them about egg freezing sooner. “I want to send Diane a basket of flowers for what she’s doing,” says one childless 40-something in the media.

The idea that one could be a woman in her 40s in the media and not be aware of fertility issues is just completely laughable.  Continue Reading »


January 23rd 2012
Cold weather fun: Hockey Monkey Monday!

Posted under childhood & fluff & happy endings

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January 22nd 2012
Ski season: Tebow 4 snow!

Posted under fluff

Snow sculpture at the top of the Super Gauge and Hi Lonesome lifts on the Mary Jane side of Winter Park Resort, Winter Park, Colorado, January 21, 2012:

Apparently, prayer finally worked:  the central mountains finally got a nice storm with several inches of fresh powder.


January 19th 2012
Teaching the history of sexuality: more men but less rape, please?

Posted under American history & Gender & GLBTQ & Intersectionality & race & students & the body & unhappy endings & women's history

Yesterday, I read the comments on the teaching evaluation forms my students filled out last semester for the pilot course in the History of Sexuality in America class I co-taught with a colleague.  (We covered just about 1492-2011.)  The comments were overwhelmingly positive with only a few outliers.  Even people who liked the course complained that there was too much reading, but I and my co-instructor always get that on our teaching evaluations.  (Here’s an easy solution:  read through the syllabus on the first day of class, and drop the class if you don’t want to read all that!  It’s win-win for everyone that way.)

We had one suggestion–and only one–from a student who suggested that next time we might consider offering the course with one man and one woman professor, instead of two women.  Right–because our male colleagues are just lining up to teach this course, and it will be soothing and more objective if a male professor is in the room.  Continue Reading »


January 18th 2012
Back to the old song and dance routine

Posted under American history & art & fluff

It’s the first day of classes in the second term for me, folks. Keep yourselves out of trouble. Continue Reading »


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