Friday, February 04, 2005

Friday. The End of a Busy Week

What a week! Classes went well, meetings went well, and just about everything fell into place. I'm at home today, fighting off a SAD-related migraine, so this scant post will be a list of what has been on my mind this week.

1. Ward Churchill. An academic whom I'd never heard of until this week. As I wrote in an email to the TechRhet mail list, regardless of what he has written or said, the larger issue is academic freedom. His and ours. For other thoughts about WC, visit The Happy Academicand hear why even HA is worried.

2. Some new blogs. I was delighted to hear from timna and hope that she posts here in the future. All it takes is an email to clc, and you, too, can be posting here. While enjoying timna's blog, Timna: Contemplating Teaching, Writing and Driving Middle Schoolers, I found John Goldfine, another CC English prof, this time from Maine, and I enjoyed my time spent reading a Small Town Community College Writing Teacher Blog.

My colleague, VS, has put me on to Jeanne at Body and Soul, and a recent posting, "Turn Down Your Volume," smoothly braids topics like buying a gift for a little girl, the noise at Best Buys, talk radio, speaking up, finding your voice and a positive take on the voices of America. Did I say it was a satisfying read? It was. Jeanne writes clearly and profoundly about politics, war and "The Body Politic, the Human Soul, and Billie Holiday." VS and I will be giving the workshop on blogging at this April's conference of the Mid-Atlantic Women's Studies Association, and have been compiling a list of feminist bloggers. I'm still looking for feminists bloggers from other areas of academe (other than Lit/Comp/Rhet/Tech)and from other areas of life. Please pass along links to me if you know of anyone.

3. Jeff. This past weekend I made more headway through his text, and as usual, am wondering how to modify it to the very basic of Basic Writing levels. Over at EarthWideMoth, Jeff and Derek Mueller (and others) engage in a very useful discussion of technology and text production--in other words, should a blog ( or anything else) be used in the service of creating forms and patterns that we already know, or should we look to this new technology and see what forms and patterns come from it? "Retromediation and Novelty," has given me something to chew on as I begin to use blogging with my students.

4. Jocalo. Today Jocalo posts about a movement afoot in Colorado to remove Bless Me, Ultima from the schools because of, you guessed it, language. Having taught this novel last semester, I am saddened (okay, pissed, too)that anyone would want to remove that book from any student's grasp. Like other great books, you read not only about a young boy's passing from innocence into experience, but you learn about cultures, in this case, the pre- and post- colonial Mexican and the SW American, and about assimilation and resistance, religion, war and nature. Oh, and there are some of those, ummm, you know, "words" in it as well.

5. Mike. Mike is writing about class (economic) and class (academic)over at vitia. I've enjoyed following his thoughts along with those of others in discussing how economic class (background?) plays out in academics, and by that I mean us, not the field. Can you truly be said to be "working class" by the time you've gotten through two or three degrees and have a well paying job? And Rob points out that the terms we use to classify people with may not be relevant in these economic times.

6. San Francisco. I've found my hotel room. Have you? I won't be breaking the picket line, but will instead be staying at a B and B closer to the Moscone Center, Grace Cathedral (one of my favorite places in the world)and one of my oldest and dearest friends. And, it's cheaper than the Hilton.


At 5:48 PM, Blogger clc said...

Just found timna recently, too, and she's great. I'll have to check out Goldfine.

It always amazes me when I find a blog that's been out there, related to stuff I'm interested in, that I didn't know about. Makes me feel I've been seriously asleep at the wheel!

I, too, just learned about Churchill this week. He seems like a nut, but we all must defend to our deaths his right to be a nut and put it in print.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Rosa G. said...

I always feel like bloggers exist in concentric, adjacent universes--like one supersized Venn diagram. How many other circles of bloggers are out there? How many circles do we belong to?

When I was younger, I used to feel sad about all of the places and people I'd never visit or meet. Blogging takes some of the sting out of that realization, but it also fortifies it. Fortunately, I've got more important concerns these days than worrying about what won't happen!

At 6:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the kind welcome and invitation to write for this blog. As far as parallel universes are concerned, I am simple amazed that within 2 weeks of putting up my blog, so many people have come by.

I've been reading for over a year and felt more comfortable to comment lately, but I've really only had this email address and blog address 11 days!


At 8:02 AM, Blogger Rosa G. said...

Blog people are good people. ; )

At 6:47 PM, Blogger PR said...

I agree that academic freedom is an issue in the whole Ward Churchill debacle. But on the other hand, I find it astonishing that he was given tenure at all. His intellectual credentials are questionable to say the least: He has no PhD and his writings are, well, ideological, to say the least.

Academic freedom is a significant price that universities must pay in order to keep the best minds. Universities should give it away in the form of tenure more sparingly than they have in the past while.

At 7:02 PM, Blogger Rosa G. said...

I know. I vacillate between thinking that his career makes him the perfect or the most nightmarish candidate for this argument.
I've not read any of his work beyond what's been posted on the internet. Have you? I'm interested in knowing what you think.

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