Archive for the 'class' Category
Did any of you see Tenured Radical’s post yesterday about the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue 2014, “Happiness is a Cold, Plastic Doll?” This year it features Barbie on the cover, but the same old soft-core porn inside.
The point of TR’s post was to comment on the cultural significance of SI’s annual swimsuit issue. She noted her confusion when she first saw it in the 1970s, a decade in which porn was pushing into the mainstream, and Playboy had come to her campus to take some photos for “Girls of the Ivy League.” (This was 1978; recall that most Ivies hadn’t admitted women until the early 1970s. Welcome to campus, ladies!) TR writes that the swimsuit issue wasn’t porn, but yet it “wasn’t not porn, because everything was exposed except, as Monty Python would say, the ‘naughty bits.’” And yet–
The women were definitely chosen for their porny qualities. No model was included who didn’t have (as they used to say back in the 1970s) a “great rack,” or was not able to spread her legs, tip her butt up alluringly for potential rear entry, or cock her head back in that time-honored fashion that says, “Come and get it, Buster Brown.”
But like those who reject changing the name of the Washington Football Team, the swimsuit issue is spoken of as a tradition. Hence it is harmless, right? Wrong. The swimsuit issue is the porn that gets circulated in public, as if it were not really porn, which to me – makes it more sexist than the tabletop magazines that just say brightly: “we’re all about porn!” It’s the porn that gets delivered at the office, and it’s the porn that people think it’s ok for little boys to have, like the Charlie’s Angels and Farrah Fawcett posters that were so popular back in the day, because it helps them not grow up to be fags.
This is not what all but four or five of us commenting on the post learned. Instead, several porndogs wanted to turn the comments thread on this post into a strange personal porny fantasy involving fetishizing women’s bodies and insulting feminists and feminism at the same time. This is a fair summary of their threadjack: Continue Reading »
Can we all just hold hands and shout “DUHHH!!!!” together? NPR reports on a new study this morning:
Today, some 800 of the roughly 3,000 four-year colleges and universities in America make SAT or ACT submissions optional. But before a new study released Tuesday, no one had taken a hard, broad look at just how students who take advantage of “test-optional” policies are doing: how, for example, their grades and graduation rates stack up next to their counterparts who submitted their test results to admissions offices.
. . . . . .
[Former Bates College Deanof Admissions William] Hiss’ study, “Defining Promise: Optional Standardized Testing Policies in American College and University Admissions,” examined data from nearly three dozen “test-optional” U.S. schools, ranging from small liberal arts schools to large public universities, over several years.
Hiss found that there was virtually no difference in grades and graduation rates between test “submitters” and “non-submitters.” Just 0.05 percent of a GPA point separated the students who submitted their scores to admissions offices and those who did not. And college graduation rates for “non-submitters” were just 0.6 percent lower than those students who submitted their test scores.
How now? It turns out that “high school grades matter–a lot:” Continue Reading »
Jonathan Rees at More or Less Bunk publishes CSU-Pueblo President Leslie Di Mare’s letter explaining that professors who teach a 3-3 now will be teaching a 4-4 load in 2014-15. He also links to this article in the Pueblo Chieftan which publishes Professor William Brown’s analysis of the situation:
“On this new 4-4 plan some of us would go from teaching nine (credit) hours a semester to 12 hours a semester and as a result, we would be paid the same small amount,” Brown said.
“If you do the math it turns out that we would be getting a 25 percent pay reduction.”
Brown said the school’s managers, who he said were responsible for the budget crisis, are not taking pay cuts.
“I don’t know why we as faculty members and teachers, who have had no part whatsoever in this financial problem, why we should have to pay the primary price,” Brown said.
Go back to that link at More or Less Bunk to Di Mare’s letter. It’s very strange. The almost exclusive use of the passive voice and the subjunctive tense is striking: faculty “are requested to teach a 12/12 credit hour load.” Requested, not ordered? Not required? She continues: “Contact hours relating to labs and clinicals should be taken into consideration in determining the 12/12 workload. Faculty may be assigned by their respective chairs to teach US 101, recitation sections, or general education courses, etc., when necessary.”
But wait–there’s still more indecision and doubt! Continue Reading »
And guess how I learned this? Through the Twitter machine, when I saw Jonathan Rees tweet a link to his contribution, “The Taylorization of the Historians’ Workplace.” (Regular readers will recall that Jonathan put together a panel on “How Should Historians Respond to MOOCs” at 2014 annual conference of the American Historical Association in Washington, D.C., last month.)
Our panel comments–slightly tweaked and edited–are now available at Perspectives. Many thanks to editor Allen Mikaelian for his patient editing and great title suggestions for my contribution, “Can Teaching Be Taken ‘to Scale’?” (Check it out–I quote William F. Buckley approvingly!) I also quote one of you I saw at AHA who said to me something like Continue Reading »
Howdy, friends, and as the sign says, “Welcome to Colorful Colorado!” Heck’sapoppin’ out here on the high plains, where the cold and the snow apparently will never cease this winter. Oh, well: I’ve got my horse to keep me warm–here’s hoping that you have someone to keep you warm, too. Some in-state news and views you can use (or at least laugh at):
- What the hell is going on in the CU-Boulder Philosophy department? Here’s a story from last weekend in the Boulder Camera; the Inside Higher Ed summary; and today’s op-ed in the Denver Post called “What Exactly Went On in CU Philosophy Department?” A brother-in-law yesterday alerted me to the fact that this story made it onto Gawker. Is anyone really surprised that alcohol may have been involved? Obvious advice for proffies: if you’re having more than one polite drink with a grad student or multiple grad students, you have a problem, which is that you’re a pathetic loser, in addition to whatever alcohol or sexual harassment problems you’ve made for yourself. Go find someone your own age and size to play with.
- What the hell is going on at CSU-Pueblo? (H/t Jonathan Rees @jhrees.) Apparently, no tenured or tenure-track faculty will need to Xerox their CVs anytime soon, but $290,000 of adjunct and VAP faculty will be cut, in addition to a dean of continuing education and a $100,000 security contract with the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Department (!). However, “[t]eaching loads of the current faculty members will be readjusted to cover the classes of the eliminated positions.” Naturally. Will they leave the SWAT team equipment and maneuvers to the regular faculty, too?
- Clive Thompson says Hello, Millennials, and welcome to Generation X’s former role in the media stereotype landscape. I’ve been saying this for years on this blog, but I’ll let Thompson speak for me as we’re exactly the same age: Continue Reading »
with Meredith Broussard, a data journalism professor at Temple University in Philadelphia. Get this: she bans the use of e-books in her classes although she teaches courses in digital journalism (h/t to commenter Susan.) As Broussard explains on her syllabus:
You must bring a print copy of the texts to class. While I understand that e-books are convenient, and I enjoy reading them myself, our class depends on face-to-face interaction. Print is the absolute best interface for what we do in this class. The myriad interruptions and malfunctions of electronic readers tend to interfere with class conversation and distract you from being able to refer quickly to a passage in the text. So: read on whatever you like at home, but bring a book or a printout to class.
Why? It turns out that in her experience, our so-called “digital native” students don’t always plan ahead. (Surprise! Or not, for anyone accustomed to working with late adolescents and young adults.) Also, as I have argued here in the past, she notes that codex technology is unsurpassed for her teaching style and goals:
I really do believe that print is the ideal interface for a classroom. I used to allow e-readers in class. For a couple of semesters, I patiently endured students announcing their technical difficulties to the entire class: “Wait, I’m out of juice, I have to find a plug.” “What page is that on? My Kindle has different pages, so I can’t find the passage we’re talking about.” “Professor, do you have an iPad charging cord I could use?” After a while, I realized that I was spending an awful lot of class time doing tech support. The 2-minute interruptions were starting to add up. E-readers were a disruptive technology in the classroom—and not in a good way. Continue Reading »
The Republicans–they just can’t help themselves! First, we hear of Two-Buck Huck’s “Uncle Sugar” comments, and then we see that other Republicans are accusing Texas Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis of dishonesty because although she lived in a trailer park with her eldest daughter, she didn’t live long enough in a trailer park; and because her second husband helped send her to law school, we shouldn’t buy her hard-luck tale of scrappy bootstrapping. Liza Mundy has some thoughts on the Davis fracas in Politico:
The kerfuffle began last weekend, with the publication of a profile in the Dallas Morning News that filled out gaps in her story, and continued all week as Davis was spun by her critics as a social climber, an ingrate, a neglectful mother. She has been chastised for starting out in her marriage as a dependent (golddigger!), and finishing it as a lawyer so financially successful that she was the one paying child support to her ex-husband (careerist harpy!).
The exact same things could be said about Bill Clinton and Barack Obama but no one ever writes this way about male pols because our culture presumes that men are entitled to claim the benefit of women’s labor and pretend that everything they accomplish belongs to their efforts only. Both Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton were the high-earning heavy-lifters in their marriages before their husbands ran for president.
[Davis] is being subjected to a double standard. Behavior that would be unremarkable in a man—leaving your kids for prolonged periods in the capable hands of your spouse, as Barack Obama did, as did zillions of other fathers who campaigned for public office—is somehow suspect, even unnatural, in a mother. Following your fundamental nature; learning that there is a whole big world out there; adjusting your aspirations upward; getting some help from people who believe in you, people whose well-being is entangled with your own: this is the stuff of the typical American success story, the American dream. It’s a story we fall in love with, except, apparently, when the dreamer happens to be female. Continue Reading »
Sorry to be out of touch over the long weekend, friends. I’ve been sick, and was made even sicker by this article forwarded by a colleague:
On Friday, many at Colorado State University-Pueblo nervously awaited word from administrators on exactly how many jobs would be eliminated there. Officials had warned that the number could be as high as 50 — a prospect that angered many students and professors at the university who dispute administrators’ assertions that the institution faces a deficit requiring layoffs.
Timothy McGettigan, a professor of sociology, sent out an email to students and faculty members in which he urged them to fight the cuts. His subject line was “Children of Ludlow,” referring to a 1914 massacre of striking coal miners in southern Colorado. McGettigan compared the way the central system administration was treating Pueblo to the bloody way coal mine owners treated their workers 100 years ago. He went on to say that, just like a century ago, those without power were being mistreated.
He said that the announcement that afternoon would reveal who was on Chancellor Michael Martin’s “hit list,” and said that the chancellor was “putting a gun to the head” of those who would lose their jobs, “destroying the livelihood of the people that he is terminating” and “incinerating the best opportunity that southern Coloradans have to earn their own little piece of the American dream.”
“On Monday afternoon, a spokeswoman for Colorado State-Pueblo sent an email to Inside Higher Ed saying that McGettigan had violated the policy on use of electronic communications. Further, she released a statement from President Lesley Di Mare, in which she invoked recent incidents of violence in education. “Considering the lessons we’ve all learned from Columbine, Virginia Tech, and more recently Arapahoe High School, I can only say that the security of our students, faculty, and staff are our top priority,” Di Mare said. Continue Reading »
John Judis lists his top ten American history books. “They’re my favorites; they’re not the best books, because I haven’t read comprehensively, especially in certain periods. It’s much heavier on the history of religion than on social history, and on the Progressive Era than on, say, the Civil War.” Everyone is entitled to her favorite writers and periods of history. Fair enough.
See if you can guess why Historiann has a problem with this list (aside from the fact that the latest publication date on his list is 1988!):
- Perry Miller, Errand into the Wilderness, (1956).
- William McLoughlin, Revivals, Awakenings and Reform, (1978).
- Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, (1969).
- Michael Paul Rogin, Fathers and Children: Andrew Jackson and the Subjugation of the American Indian, (1988).
- Herbert Croly, The Promise of American Life, (1909). Continue Reading »