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Showing posts from April, 2015

Some Thoughts on Academic Disciplines: A Meditation on Methodology, My Entry Into the Humanities, and Experiencing a "Pedagogy of Discomfort"

Those of you who know me know that I'm a perpetual student, addicted to lifelong learning (and the pieces of paper that certify I accomplished something). In September 2014, I started work on the Ph.D. in Mythological Studies, with an emphasis in depth psychology. As I finish the readings for the first session of my third semester in my latest academic endeavor, I find myself thinking about the different ways of knowing in academic disciplines.

I've had a lot of experience as a student. (I remarked to a class the other day that I've been doing homework for 30 of my 35 years. And then I nearly cried. They looked a mixture of horrified and awed.) At the undergraduate level, I overloaded my schedule each term (requiring the Dean of Students' signature) and did significant work in international relations and political science, economics, Spanish, and foreign language study (Spanish, Italian, French, German, Ancient Greek, and Japanese). At the Master's level, I've s…

The Teaching Librarian: FJS 340 and Teaching Full-Credit Courses

To my great delight, I've been invited to teach in the Freedom and Justice Studies minor in Fall 2015. I'll be teaching the three-credit upper-division interdisciplinary general education course FJS 340: Exploring Freedom and Justice on Thursday afternoons in fall 2015. The course description as it appears in the catalog is:
Starting from philosophical understandings of identity, community, and democracy the course focuses on themes such as slavery and emancipation; migration, exile, and diaspora; violence and reconciliation. Using an interdisciplinary lens that engages fields as wide-ranging as economics and literature, students will engage in trans-historical, cross-cultural exploration of freedom and justice and the various ways different peoples have attempted to put them into practice. Students will engage tools to analyze the relationship between these concepts and the structure of identity and its material effects.
Effectively the course chooses a wicked problem and explo…

Spring 2015 Faculty Accomplishments Celebration

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Each spring semester, the CSUCI Broome Library throws the gala of the year, the Faculty Accomplishments Celebration.

The Library hosts the faculty accomplishments database, where you can go ogle our faculty and their work. The celebration is a chance for faculty to get together and see what each other are working on, and discuss interests over delicious foodstuffs. Not only does the library host the shindig, but the planning happens months in advance. This was my first chance to attend, as a newbie, and what a wonderful time it was! The library hands out awards, celebrity-roast-style, such as the Golden Bookend, the Golden Clicker, and the Golden Key to the Library, with concomitant descriptions for why each faculty member won. There was much laughter, and it was just the point in the semester where I think we all needed that to lift our spirits. We played Cards against Faculty (a slightly more PC-version of Cards Against Humanity) as well as mad libs where nouns and verbs were removed…

Barreling Toward the End of My First CSUCI Spring Semester

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In order of importance, the things going on as the semester careens to a close:

On the library front:

Finals are coming, finals are coming! Students are feeling the pressure, which means we at the library do, too. ALL OF THE PRINTING.  On an admittedly less-than-superior printing setup. And the last papers of the semester, so we're seeing some hail-Marys at the reference desk;
This will be my first finals where I take lead on the end of semester feedback. We set up "graffiti" boards with giant post-it's on whiteboards asking what we're doing right, and what we can improve, and collect all that information. We also have a student survey, and a faculty survey. My colleagues all tabulate and organize the data, and we'll see what we can do to improve for next finals season;
The 24-hour library. The week before and the week of finals, we stretch the library and its staff to 24 hours for our students. Thank goodness for the folks who work the overnight! I'm picking…

What's In A Name? Academia, Name Changes, and My Experience

Today I read a piece that hit close to home. The Chronicle of Higher Education published a piece by Andrea N. Geurin-Eagleman on dealing with academia, divorce, and name changes. The article does a good job of relating the concerns of many female academics I've talked to--namely, that changing your name may effectively erase all of the name recognition we've been building in our fields since we started out into the hallowed halls of higher ed.

Fabulous Husband and I are approaching our second wedding anniversary at the end of this month. Both before and after our actual wedding, we talked long and hard about what we wanted to do with our names. Our conversations covered a lot of territory, and these are some of the facets of the issue that came up:

I already had a significant number of publications under my maiden name, and was concerned about the academia/continuity-of-recognition factor;
We were both over 30 years old when we married, so each of us had significant years behind …