Wednesday, May 27, 2009

gender in higher education

someone on facebook just posted this and it's fascinating:

here is a great quote in response to the article:

"This is an interesting piece and some of the responses are fascinating, and troubling, as well. To "Guilty": what institution has mandatory women's studies courses? And, to Kate: who is the "they" and who is the "we"? Initially, I read your response along gendered lines; that is, the "they" are male students while the "we" are female students. However, I, then, saw several references to race and nationality; is the "they" students of color, or those students with non-European heritage?

"In interacting with my male students, I definitely note a sense of loss. The lower-income white men with whom I come into contact are angry--not at any one group; rather, they astutely recognize the changing economic order, and many of them note that with this decline, so goes their guaranteed affluence. The majority of these men do not see other groups being privileged over them; instead, they perceive that living the so-called American Dream--a fantasy that was closer to reality for white men above all others--is not automatic. I live in a part of the country with a low cost of living; thus, many of my lower-income students come from economically stable backgrounds. These young men see that their parents did not have to go to college in order to live a life with lots of stuff; as such, they are frustrated that now, if they want stuff, they must go to college. Many of them do not see the cause-effect relationship of intellectual strength and prosperity; rather, higher education and stuff are intangibly related to material wealth. (This lack of recognition seems to be inherent in the majority of 18-year olds, no?) Many of my young male students also suffer loss because they realize that their prior successes in HS, which were, most often, athletic in nature, mean nothing in the world of higher education. They go from being celebrated and recognized in the small world of their high schools, to being just another body in a classroom whom no one knows.

"What I find particularly sad is that the majority of these young men do not realize that they can regain their power and autonomy by investing in themselves intellectually. (However, as any CC prof can affirm, the majority of our 18 and 19 year old students do not understand this.) To see "political correctness" (read: inclusiveness) as the cause of this identity loss in male is nonsense; rather, the changing economy, dependant as it is on the highly technical knowledge that requires at least a four-year degree, is a primary cause for identity loss among many young men, as it is the cause of distress for many Americans in general."


i have dreams lately that i am in strange houses, boats, and other enclosures, and i am moving swiftly through each room with increased excitement and apprehension, because in each room i am discovering something new, but it's not quite what i was looking for, and the search continues.

when i wake up, i'm deeply disappointed that the dream has ended, and i close my eyes, trying to recall the dream-journey clearly enough to keep myself moving to the next room. i know that spending too much time thinking about dreams, waking or otherwise, is bad for the psyche, but i can't help it. it's so exciting, the adventure of the dream world. sometimes i imagine that the doors that i can't open in real life, i can get to in my dreams, and they will be real. is that weird? don't answer that.

the thing is, i can't help believing that even though it's just a dream, what i see is real. what if our understanding of consciousness is completely limited? suppose that the capacity of the brain is such that, if we were able to tap into it, we could see what we imagine is impossible to know?

why only use 10%. that's what i'd like to know.

Friday, May 22, 2009

be kind

this is the best quote from our staff retreat, submitted by sarah:
be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

it is important to practice compassion, when we all have our demons to overcome.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

i wish there were a legend of zelda movie

old school, 1985 gray square box nintendo-style.

Monday, May 11, 2009


the other night i had a strange dream that i was on campus and standing in breidenbaugh hall. i felt a curious sensation all around me and i looked up and found that the building was dripping water from the inside. it wasn't raining outside, but inside the dripping seemed to be increasing, and as i dashed from stairwell to hallway, the drops fell more thickly, obscuring my vision everywhere i turned.

i wasn't afraid. i was anxious, but more out of the oddity of it all. i had an odd sensation of déja vu, a feeling of coming to a point again where i had been before–but not exactly a point in my past, not a point backward. like, here i am–remember this? yes.

and anyway, any memory of my favorite english building will always be welcome.

i tried looking up "rain" but couldn't find anything about rain happening in a building. but most sources seem to agree that to dream of rain is to dream of an opening of wisdom, love and personal wealth. since it was raining in the building with the english department, i will interpret this as a good sign for my future in graduate school.

rain. beautiful.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

mmm sleeping

i set my alarm for 9 a.m. today. at 9 a.m. my alarm went off, i hit the snooze, and went back to bed. i knew i should get up, i had big plans to go to the saturday morning market in town, and then to clean the house, and then to research graduate school programs. around 9:40 a.m., my phone rang. i pressed it to my ear and heard bx inviting me to go hiking with her and kara at catoctin mountain park. i groggily said yes.

then i slid the phone back beneath my pillow and shut my eyes once again. so tempting to sleep for another three hours...

at 9:52 a.m. i forced myself to sit up in bed, which even though i'd now slept approximately 9 hours, was still something of a miserable prospect. the cats meanwhile had been bothering me on and off for several hours, but i'd managed to snooze through most of it. they had tried everything in their tiny brains' power to get me to pay attention to them–knocking jewelry off my dresser, scratching my dresser, attempting to reach up and claw my padded bulletin board, rolling all over the bed and pouncing on my chest, etc.

by 11:15 a.m. i'd managed to get ready and head out to the market. i bought my tomatoes and goat cheese, and headed back, calling bx and telling her i would leave soon to join them. in the car ride down to maryland i listened to the last cd in my harry potter audio book, and cried at the part when harry brings his family back from the dead with the resurrection stone, and he tells his mom to stay close to him. actually, the whole last 3 chapters are tear-jerkers.

so anyway, i made it down to catoctin and had a lovely hike w/ bx and kara, only i am totally out of shape and as soon as i got back home, i lay down again in the recliner in the living room and passed out for a good hour and a half.

i think i may have a sleep addiction. yes, in fact sleep is sounding sooooo good right now.

it's not just for the classroom!