Sunday, August 22, 2004


An update of sorts.

Since I'm going on a full month since I last updated this blog, I figure I should post something.

The move took up most of the end of July and on through the middle of August. We've only been in our new home for a week now, and there is still a great deal of organizing left to be done. At the same time, I have less than a month to submit a completed draft of the dissertation to my advisor, and while it's almost finished, what little is left to do is some of the hardest work of all: getting the whole thing to come together as a unified whole. The next three weeks will be some of the busiest of my academic career.

The new term starts next week, and I have already attended some meetings for the Freshman Indoctrination course, meetings which confirmed my fears that the course was designed primarily with an ideological agenda in mind. It's amazing what people will say when they assume they are in a room filled with like-minded comrades. I am definitely expected to use this course as a means by which to "liberate" my students from the conservative thought of their parents. For some reason, it is assumed that all students have conservative parents, and that their high school cirriculum was likewise conservative. Frankly, I'd love to know which high schools are still presenting a positive reading of Christopher Columbus. According to many of the teachers in the room, he remains a hero in most American history textbooks. Uh-huh.

I can tell that the coming term will provide a great deal of blog-fodder, as J.V.C. over at J.V.C. Comments has pointed out.

Also, a preview of things to come. J.V.C. and I have agreed to have a blog-to-blog discussion on what it was like to be a lower-middle-class student in the humanities. We're both of the opinion that our distaste for theory and the far-left are in part the result of our respective upbringings. For my part, I would also like to bring up what I have perceived as definite classism amongst my "colleagues." We'll probably start this in a week or so. I'm not sure who will be firing off the first salvo. I'll be working on a draft of my initial comments on the issue over the course of the next week, but will definitely have a few things to say next week about Freshman Indoctrination 101.

Welcome back and good luck with completing your final draft. I look forward to your reports from inside the belly of the beast!

One quick correction: By the time I came along, my family had stopped being lower-middle-class and was probably closer to being middle-middle-class and was aiming even higher. Which is fine for the purposes of our forthcoming conversation, because it ensures that we'll both bring different perspectives to bear.

I'll admit, I'll be glad to think critically about my own opinions regarding class issues in academia, so I'm looking forward to your opening salvo. :)
I just found your blog and wasted 1/2 the day reading it. Love it.
I am a neuroscienctist and would recommend that route since I don't seem to have a lot of the problems you and my friends in the humanities have. Although it is still populated with the same type of people it doesn't really affect the day-to-day stuff (research, classes, etc.) just more of the Happy Hour conversation.
"Neuroscientist". Apparently I'm not much of a speller.
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