Stemwinder

Rhetoric, Literature, Education, Social Networking, Memes

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Moving the Works...

I'm going to try WordPress, and a new blog name.

Find me here:

http://preoccupedia.wordpress.com/

Friday, January 01, 2010

NYT Fails to Explain the Adjunct Problem

Strategy - Faculty - The Case of the Vanishing Full-Time Professor - NYTimes.com

Just by aping the advice that students who dislike their adjuncts can go to the department chair and ask for a different prof, this article's author betrays how little she's thought about the problem of adjuncts in academe.  The chair hired the adjunct, often, so this is just saying, "Hey, if you don't like your prof, complain and get a new one!"  No matter if the prof has tenure-line status.  Chairs will love that, no doubt.  As for adjuncts, they can savor the way this piece suggests that their job makes them unreliable and suspect.  And they can love how every student who goes to the chair to ask for a tenured prof instead of them is reducing their chances of being re-hired for the next year.  (Because the message there is not "hire more tenure-line profs."  It's "fire this adjunct.")

Yup, there are big problems in the adjunct system.  Nope, this article won't do much to help you understand them.

Try again, please.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Ha Breaks Up

Here's an MTV.com link to the video for "Take On Me," a perfect piece of 80s pop.  A perfect piece of anytime pop, really.  And one of the defining videos of the early MTV era.

Of course, I know that hearing A Ha makes you want to hear this:


Or maybe it was this:




Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Triumph of Regulation over Humanity

The interesting thing about this story, addressing the expulsion of an elementary kid from school, is the way it veers away from the ridiculousness of the boy's punishment (45 days in reform school for bringing a Cub Scout mess kit utensil to school).  You can't make a rule that covers every situation the same.  You have to hire teachers and administrators who *can* make smart decisions and then *let* them make those decisions.  This is *less safe* than going nuclear on every kid who wields a pointy stick like a sword.  But it is also more human, and more prone to create an environment where kids learn human values and wisdom.  Maybe public schools need these kinds of rules to avoid liability, but that suggests deep, deep trouble in public school land.

Watch the story veer into the suggestion that a teacher needs law enforcement training in order to begin addressing a situation like Zachary Christie's:

It’s a Fork, It’s a Spoon, It’s a ... Weapon? - NYTimes.com
“There are still serious threats every day in schools,” Dr. Ewing said, adding that giving school officials discretion holds the potential for discrimination and requires the kind of threat assessments that only law enforcement is equipped to make.
Really? Really really? 

Friday, October 09, 2009

We're Shooting the Moon

The Associated Press: NASA to moon: Get ready, here we come
Two NASA spacecraft are barreling toward the moon at twice the speed of a bullet, about to crash Friday into a lunar crater...