Feelin’ Crispy

I’m sympathizing right now with Clancy, who, a year-and-a-half into her doctoral work, asks, “Is this what burnout feels like? I have so much to do and no desire to engage any of it.”

Jan 13, 2004
Category: Debris

The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology

I am of two minds about The Meanings of Social Life: A Cultural Sociology. The argument that Alexander and Philip Smith lay out in Chapter 1 is intriguing, and Alexander’s application of it in his readings of the Holocaust and Watergate are refreshingly useful. The rest, to be perfectly frank, feels a bit like filler.

Dec 30, 2003
Category: Book Reviews, Words

Moral Empathy

Jeffrey Alexander and Ron Eyerman published a great piece yesterday in Newsday (also available at Common Dreams), in which they argue that the massive economic and social changes necessary to alleviate suffering on a global scale are dependent, finally, upon change of a more fundamental and personal nature

Dec 1, 2003
Category: Debris, Politics

Speaking of Gobbledygook

Today, after tracking down the last of those elusive Philip Roth essays, I gave into my craving and checked out Just Being Difficult? Academic Writing in the Public Arena, a new collection of essays edited by Jonathan Culler and Kevin Lamb. According to the jacket copy.

Nov 26, 2003
Category: Words

Friday Colloquy

On Friday afternoon I subjected myself to ninety minutes of critical scrutiny by a group of professional historians. And it ended up being a damn good time.

Nov 9, 2003
Category: Debris

Writing a Dissertation

A diary of my week.

Oct 28, 2003
Category: Debris

More on Teaching and Technology

I find myself stuck in an odd position: I want to be a classroom teacher, but the tight job market and the “business” of graduate teaching assistantships has left me working instead in Instructional Technology, a field about which I feel ambivalent, at best.

Oct 16, 2003
Category: Debris

A Few Good Reads

A few interesting education-related links passed through my desk today. The first is to “Rethinking Thinking” from the Christian Science Monitor, which attempts to look beyond the lip-service academics typically pay to the importance of “critical thinking.”

Oct 15, 2003
Category: Debris

Academic Blogs

I chased a link and ended up discovering a fascinating community of academic bloggers, most of whom are like me — insiders with an outsider’s (slightly disgruntled) perspective. If you’re considering graduate school, read the links on the right side of Invisible Adjunct before making any rash decision.

Sep 30, 2003
Category: Debris

Edward Said

Edward Said, who seemed to devote his life to the greying of a world that many would like to keep black and white, has passed away at the age of 67 from pancreatic cancer.

Sep 25, 2003
Category: Debris