Over the past decade, I have taught only online. Students in my classes are far-flung—two from Alaska this term among the others from the lower 48…I have had students from assorted countries; they bring a diversity, a richness of perspectives to classes that I never experienced previously. I taught [online] in the summer of 2011; we had students in 70 countries. Engagement and interaction came through “meet-ups,” such as the group in Christchurch, New Zealand who met weekly at the McDonalds (free wi-fi, don’t you know) to engage and discuss the future of learning. Brazilians tolerated our English language panel discussions and then met in their Portuguese language wikis. Still others engaged in Google Hangouts. The social constructivist principles of what scholars of education call the “community of inquiry” thrive online through teaching presence, social presence, and cognitive presence. Those are the very same principles that led to success the liberal arts college experience decades ago.
I kept thinking that if this were a movie, the extras would never have been cast with this much diversity. Yet here it was in real life…Wharton is arguably releasing the world’s future CEOs and other business leaders into the world. This is a group often identified as coinciding with Republican party ideals, and yet, as seen in the 2012 election, the GOP has a long way to go in attracting the votes of nonwhite citizens and women who are swayed by concerns other than their tax liabilities. If the Wharton graduation is any indicator, the face of business in America might be changing, and political powers would do well to take note.
…if I really reflect on how I, a Latina from Las Vegas, was able to become a scientist at an elite university, it wasn’t my own curiosity. It was the influence of a blackjack dealer who also happens to be my mother.
Mary Ann Vecchio [is]…the girl in the haunting photo—crying, kneeling over the student’s body. That was Kent State University, May 4, 1970, a few days after Richard Nixon, who’d campaigned for president on an implicit promise to end the war, widened it by invading Cambodia…At Kent State, where two days earlier the ROTC building was burned down, National Guardsmen fired into a crowd and killed four unarmed students, the closest of whom was nearly a football field away
There are middle-class women who grew up in Europe or the U.S. which…ideologically indoctrinated them in elite universities to believe that the west implicitly led the world in progressiveness, even if in a rather tragically flawed way. (But hey, with basic liberal-democratic good intentions.) These are women who act or acted out the final and last phases of what Africans with amused indulgence define as the umlungu auntie complex: bossy white women engaging with black and brown women in the imperative, rather than the questioning and inquisitorial. Mostly they don’t recognize their insensitivity and political confusion. Due to a combination of European parochial cultural ignorance combined with the fact that under western capitalist patriarchy they are themselves second-class citizens, they misrecognize their own power—just like black and brown men misrecognize the imbalance between their powers as colonized or racialized subjects as excusing them from perpetuating oppressive patriarchy.
Unamuno, the Spanish philosopher, says we have to have a tragic sense of life…Think of the good things we’ve achieved in California in terms of our architecture, our social institutions, our university system, the digital revolution, the whole creativity of our culture…But…if you have a tragic sense of life you also look at the complexity, the chiaroscuro, the light and the dark of the past. You’ve got to deal with that material in such a way that you don’t focus just on it, but on the other hand, not to ignore it either…When you’re dealing with things that were lost, thing that were destroyed, people who were ruined, that’s the burden of the past.
In conjunction with other conservative groups attacking the “liberal” judiciary and the press, they continued to shore up the movement’s populist credentials by identifying an elite to which conservatives could stand opposed — a task that grew in importance as populist elements within the Republican Party gained even more prominence. They continued to provide a vocabulary for conservative college students (and their parents) to express frustration with their higher education experiences. And they helped to call into question the credibility of academic knowledge, which made the growing number of conservative intellectuals in think tanks working on topics like taxes or energy policy or financial deregulation seem more reliable and trustworthy by comparison.
more, from an excerpt, here.
As Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer, Diggins has the creative flair of the new school of point guards who look for their own shot as aggressively as they look to pass. “The thing about Skylar is that she plays with so much swag,” [assistant coach Niele] Ivey said. “She makes everyone around her believe that they must play to their highest potential.”