Monthly Archives: May 2014

Can we create a culture that values good teaching?

How do you change academic culture? One reason that question gets asked a lot is that it’s so hard to answer. Another reason is that so much of academic culture needs changing. How might we create a culture that actually esteems effective teaching? The value of such a thing ought to be clear, if only […] … learn more→

Treatment, not trigger warnings

As an assistant professor of German literature at Princeton University, I once taught a class about how Germans understood World War II and the Holocaust in the postwar period. Several weeks into the course, an Orthodox Jewish student came to my office hours to tell me how troubled she was by the material, which she […] … learn more→

Jail for grade-fixing!

Mainstream news sure is a funny thing; questions don’t get asked, and you’re very lucky to get even the facts. Despite being a typical mainstream news piece, the following is well worth consideration: Guilty Plea in Grade-Fixing at Baruch The highlights are simple enough. A college administrator was changing the grades of students, turning F […] … learn more→

Treating gestational diabetes with a high blood pressure diet

A diet first designed to help treat high blood pressure has shown some promising results in improving pregnancy outcomes in women with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, affecting around 8 percent of all pregnancies. The high blood sugars from the diabetes can result in the developing […] … learn more→

Myths that have kept Thailand together now risk tearing it apart following military coup

For more than 80 years, Thailand has been struggling to build a stable and functioning democracy. On the afternoon of Thursday May 22, that process was set back again with the country’s 12th military coup. Once again, Thailand has seen its constitution torn up, and its political leaders detained. The military announced it was taking […] … learn more→

‘Origins Unknown’

It’s such an American thing, an impartial observer might say: taking pride in an unclear ancestry. But as lovers of words know, etymology, like genealogy, gets mixed up in interesting ways. Most words have traceable origins. Sometimes, though, we have nothing to go on, and so we get the dictionary’s best guesses: • from Wolof […] … learn more→

Will the UK follow Australia in ratcheting up student fees?

Australia’s decision to uncap university fees, announced in the budget last week, will for the first time expose Australian universities to unfettered market forces. It’s a decision that takes Australia’s higher education system into uncharted territory and precisely how it’s going to play out is difficult to predict. What we do know is that Australia […] … learn more→

Fun City

When a friend in his thirties came up to me at a party the other day and said, “I have a question about fun,” I knew he wasn’t going to ask about whether the word could be used as an adjective. That would be like asking if iced tea could be used as a beverage. […] … learn more→

Christian University creates digital chapel for online students

Campbellsville University, located in Campbellsville in central Kentucky, is a Christian institution founded in 1906. It currently has an enrollment of about 3,200 students. That enrollment includes students attending two satellite campuses, in Louisville and Hodgenville, as well as students enrolled entirely in online programs. Campbellsville has partnered with The Learning House, Inc., to offer […] … learn more→

My syllabus, with trigger warnings

Introduction to United States History Tu-Th, 2:15-3:45 pm J. Zimmerman This course will explore the main themes, trends, and dilemmas in the history of the United States. In accord with our college’s new policy on trigger warnings, I have affixed a cautionary note to each week’s topic. If the topic threatens to provoke feelings of trauma […] … learn more→