Monthly Archives: June 2014

This is a trigger warning

My earliest memory: I am a small girl, prone on a bed. Sunlight is streaming through the windows, sending streaks of gold and amber across the pinewood floors of my family’s brick house on a country road. The floor is so clean that it shines. My mother mops the floors of the house in the […] … learn more→

How to stop those unhealthy thoughts

Doing a PhD can be a stressful and challenging experience. At times, you can find yourself feeling overwhelmed… depressed… anxious. I experienced a gamut of emotions whilst writing my thesis, and occasionally I struggled with poor morale and low self-esteem. At such times, my internal thoughts were my own worst enemy. However, having done my […] … learn more→

Disruptive innovation in education

A new study, The Innovative University: What College Presidents Think About Change in American Higher Education, sponsored by Blackboard and The Chronicle of Higher Education, has this to say about disruption: Well over half of all presidents believe that at least a moderate amount of disruption is needed in higher education. Years ago disruption to […] … learn more→

Students are horrible in every way

Students these days. Take it from me, I teach college. They barely read. Can’t write a coherent sentence. They have no attention span. Or respect for authority. Or for knowledge. All they do is eat, cheat, sleep, sleep around, sleep through class—texting and sexting the whole while. They are worse than all previous generations of […] … learn more→

The overworked Bachelor\’s Degree needs a makeover

The 1.7 million students who graduated from American colleges and universities last month, their newly minted bachelor’s degrees in hand, face bleak prospects. Their average student-loan debt is some $33,000. The underemployment rate for recent graduates is 44 percent, meaning the jobs many get won’t require the bachelor’s degrees they just earned. And since many […] … learn more→

Presidents, do right by athletes and adjuncts

Dear College President: A disturbing pattern in higher education has come to my attention, and that of my colleagues on the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Our committee has been examining recent efforts by both adjunct professors and college athletes to organize and bargain for better working conditions. Colleges and universities should […] … learn more→

The (melo)drama of English grammar

I’ve been browsing through 19th-century grammar books. Yes, on purpose. On my desk is an 1846 copy of The Principles of English Grammar; Comprising the Substance of the Most Approved English Grammars Extant, With Copious Exercises in Parsing and Syntax; and an Appendix of Various and Useful Matter, a popular text by the Rev. Peter […] … learn more→

Government regulations killing education?

Higher education is expensive, far too expensive for many people to afford. The big reason I advance is higher education is ruled by a ruthless, plundering class of highly paid administrators, eager to suck up every dollar; this is facilitated by the student loan and grant scheme, providing vast sums regardless of the quality or […] … learn more→

Should Faculty be able to speak English?

By now it is a cliché, the math or science professor whom no one can understand. If one complains one might be accused of being culturally insensitive or racist. Or told to be open-minded and listen more carefully (I suppose the mind and ear are connected). Or worse, and commonly, “Well, we couldn’t find and […] … learn more→