Walking an abandoned campus

Since the stay at home order, I take long daily walks, often around my campus. It's the place that I'm used to visiting every day, and frankly, I miss it. The construction workers are still actively working on the new humanities and social sciences building, the on-campus food garden if flourishing, and the Canada geese …

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The Declining English Degree

I was interviewed for an article for Inside Higher Ed a week ago. It appeared today in Slate: Major Exodus By Colleen Flaherty Humanities advocates sometimes dispute data about declining numbers of majors in their disciplines: They don’t always reflect double majors, or overall enrollment in courses, or the diversity of majors now available to students …

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Student Tuition now supports Higher Education more than State Governments

From the Washington Post: It used to be that attending a public university all but guaranteed graduating with little to no debt. State governments funneled enough money into higher education that families could send their kids to a local school without worrying about taking out a second mortgage or private loans to pay their way. Not so anymore. …

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Why I am working so much?

"Respect the sanctity of the snow day," said one of my wise colleagues earlier this year.  As a department chair, I make every effort to remember her advice, but usually not for myself.Today our university is closed in response to the Titan winter storm, but I'm still working, grading papers, reviewing dissertation drafts, and the …

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The Rising Cost of Not Going to College

For those who question the value of college in this era of soaring student debt and high unemployment, the attitudes and experiences of today’s young adults—members of the so-called Millennial generation—provide a compelling answer. On virtually every measure of economic well-being and career attainment—from personal earnings to job satisfaction to the share employed full time—young …

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On Creativity: by John Cleese

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AU5x1Ea7NjQ Fantastic overview of how one can develop their creativity.  The video (about 35 minutes) is worth you time.  Creativity is not an ability (like IQ), it is a way of being. It is something that can be developed. Space (“You can’t become playful, and therefore creative, if you’re under your usual pressures.”) Time (“It’s …

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Avoid the Passion Track (repost)

This post, published by Deb Werrlein in Inside Higher Ed takes a provocative look at the idea of following your passion as a reason for pursuing a Ph.D. in the Humanities in a time when very few successful Ph.D. recipients will find jobs in academia. Given the dismal academic job market described by numerous writers, …

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Why Study English: To Triumph

I’ve tried to suggest that at least a portion of that pursuit can have gratifying economic results. (Plus it will not plunge us into an endless recession!) But that’s not really the point. The point is truth and beauty, without which our lives will lack grace and meaning and our civilization will be spiritually hollowed …

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