Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Homeless Person or Graduate Student?

Never has any money.

Always complains about never having any money.

Always asks to borrow money.

Yet always keeps a Steel Reserve around for the morning after.

Has no way to secure a steady income.

Has no real job prospects.

Is easily excited by the idea of receiving anything for free.

Is especially excited about offerings of free booze and free food.

Has facial hair growth that is inversely proportional to head hair growth.

Considers showers to be an unnecessary luxury.

Maintains a healthy addiction to cheap tobacco.

Has little knowledge of common etiquette and social customs that are outside of his or her immediate environment.

Offers lengthy conversations about convoluted and entirely incomprehensible topics.

Never gets tired of vulgar jokes.

Relies exclusively on secondhand clothing; is always at least two fashion trends behind the times.

Is attracted like a moth to a light to businesses that are open 24 hours.

Reeks of booze, vomit, urine, and despair.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Work Email Exchange


I was wondering if we could reserve a Bellamy classroom that holds 40 people for a class dance workshop to be held...

Wed, June 8
9:30 – 10:45 a.m.

I believe all classrooms in Bellamy have laminate / tile floors; that was one request that the instructor had.



Justin...A couple of questions before I say yes. Will there be music, dancing, etc? If so...a room in say Montgomery Hall would be more appropriate. The class instructors adjacent to the "dance workshop" might not understand and probably would have a very low tolerance for an event of this nature. Now if this is just a seminar on dance...I don't think there would be a problem, but the request for laminate/tile floors makes me suspicious. See if you can find out exactly what the room will be used for.


Upon further inspection of the matter, the instructor said that there will only be a short demonstration during the class (about 5 minutes) by one dancer, and the floors are needed only so that the dancer’s shoes can properly slide. Music would be kept at a level no louder than (and most likely quieter than) a movie that would be shown in class. The remaining time for the room reservation will be spent lecturing.



Justin...I am still a little reluctant to allow the music and dance routine. I seem not to have good experiences with reservations of this type. I usually end with a call from an instructor that the group next door is having a Broadway Play with music, instruments and dance! If it's what you describe...I guess it will be okay.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Higher Ed & Healthcare

Two issues that I've become increasingly interested in and vocal about are the state of higher education in America and the state of healthcare in America.

As a 7th-year student of higher ed (through two bachelors programs and smack dab in the middle of my second masters program), I feel I'm an expert on the student side of things. And as an administrative worker at a large public university, I feel like I'm reasonably well-informed on the other side of the fence too (I probably know more about the tenure process than some current faculty do). Speaking from my somewhat narrow experience at this one large public university I've attended and worked at, it seems that I can reasonably generalize that at every level of higher education there are some severe problems that will likely lead to a significant downward spiral in terms of the quality, affordability, and sustainability of higher education in America. (Some are saying the spiral is already happening and that there's no quick fix available.)

I recently read the following Nation article, which presents a number of the problems that higher ed has been having and also gives a good summary of recent (shocking) news of the budget cuts and the extreme measures that some universities have been taking.

Faulty Towers: The Crisis in Higher Education
By: William Deresiewicz

The article was actually emailed out to the department I work in by a fairly prestigious tenured professor, who, by simply sending out the piece, was doing his part to increase awareness of the problems that graduate students and professors face (especially those in the humanities). It is a long read, but well worth the effort (even though it only marginally addresses student loan debt, which is a major issue that can essentially debilitate students who cannot find proper employment, and even many of those who can find proper employment).

Secondly (and not entirely unrelated; both problems are directly related to the upper echelons of society screwing over the lower classes), today a friend of a friend on Facebook posted an excellent essay he wrote on the state of healthcare in America:

Fire, Feces, and Healthcare
By: Reg Darling

I think everyone in America should read this. It artfully presents a view I've formed of American healthcare: How can we reasonably enjoy life and liberty and pursue happiness in America if at any moment all of our financial security could be swept away by one unpredictable disease? I've had enough personal experiences and I've read enough of other people's personal experiences to know that American healthcare can completely debilitate people. For rich politicians to insinuate that universal healthcare is socialism or that it is tantamount to enslaving physicians makes me really concerned that American capitalism, which in many respects has enriched humanity, has ultimately left Americans as greedy opportunists who feel no empathy for their compatriots.

I personally would jump at the chance to pay higher taxes so that anyone in a medical emergency or anyone with a disease whose treatments or medications are now not financially feasible could receive healthcare free of charge. A friend of mine complains that it's not fair if he (as a healthy person who takes care of himself) would have to pay taxes into universal healthcare so that his fellow cheeseburger-loving, pack-a-day smoking Americans, could reap all the benefits of his (my friend's) hard work. I say (like the link above) that it's simply the cost of living in a civilized society. And the healthier the people around you, the healthier you are. It's something that's been scientifically proven in various arenas. (Sorry that I do not have the proper citations here. If you're interested, maybe start with this: Happiness Is 'Infectious'.)

It's all too easy to ignore these problems when they're not directly affecting us. But, in a way, by affecting our fellow Americans on a daily basis, these issues are indirectly affecting us on a daily basis. Food for thought.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Wilco - Live at the Saenger Theater, Mobile, AL, May 3, 2011

Ashes of American Flags
Bull Black Nova
I am Trying to Break Your Heart
At Least That's What You Said
Handshake Drugs
One Wing
A Shot in the Arm
Country Disappeared
Impossible Germany
When You Wake Up Feeling Old
Airline to Heaven
Jesus, etc.
Spiders (Kidsmoke)


The Late Greats
Red-Eyed and Blue
I Got You (At the End of the Century)
Hate it Here
I'm the Man Who Loves You
[New song, Lady Madonna-esque riff, guitar duel]