The fabulous New Kid on the Hallway tagged me as a Thinking Blogger a few days back, and although delayed by the Memorial Day holiday (I was in the Catskills with no internet connection — nay, as a visible sign of connection to actual people as opposed to blog people, did not even take my computer) I am now ready to do my bit. The deal is, as I understand it, that you link to the person who tagged you and then name five other bloggers as Thinking Bloggers. And then it goes on….part of what I like about this is that it is an activity that really demonstrates the colleagueship of the blogosphere in its happiest form. After all, we mostly get our readers from each other. So here goes: each of you now has the right to display the Thinking Blogger award (at left). Wear it with pride.
1. Flavia, at Ferule and Fescue. Flavia’s was one of the first blogs I stumbled across, and I have been hooked ever since. If I have no time to read anyone else, it’s her that I check. Flavia is the mistress of the short post — a couple of neat paragraphs that can get a serious idea, a funny moment, an ethical problem, or a teaching issue into your head in a way that can make you turn it over all day. She is a sound thinker, and I would say some of my own posts that have captured other people’ attention have been the result of Flavia making me think.
2. Sivacracy.net. This is actually a group blog, informed by the Spirit of Siva. Siva and his pals are interested in mass communication, intellectual property, and the various means by which information, ideas, art and culture are passed around the world, regulated, sold and/or restricted. I met Siva years ago when he had just finished a dissertation on copyright (your first response would be, “Uh…copyright?”) And our conversation (I was hiring him at the time) convinced me that he is one of those rare intellects that is way ahead of the curve about what is culturally and politically important, the kind of mind that is a great argument for the American Studies Ph.D. as a path to becoming a publicly engaged thinker. And if you read his book, Copyrights and Copywrongs you’ll see what I mean. One small gripe: Siva, I am not going to make it through another Stanley Cup season with you. I understand you warned us it would be all Sabres, all the time, but omigod.
3. Gayprof, at Center of Gravitas who, even if campy, incisive critique of the academy, the world, and broken relationships is not your style, will never bore you because of the endless number of Wonder Woman covers he uses to illustrate his posts. Gayprof’s adventures this year have included time away from his job, which has allowed him to get away from Liar Ex (Who Told Many Lies) and acquire a new job that will allow him to really start over — perhaps not entirely away from homophobia and racism, but certainly away from the Super-Sized Texas variety that makes you think of Paul Newman eating eggs under the watchful gaze of Lee Marvin. Gayprof is among the people who I would like to have living next door, mostly because I know that if I were to gasp weakly, “You wouldn’t treat me like this if I weren’t crippled!” he would pause uncertainly, then smile brightly and cackle: “But ‘cha *are*!” If you don’t know what this refers to, start reading Gayprof before it’s too late.
4. My thinking blogger list would not be complete without Dean Dad at Confessions of a Community College Dean (the picture is actually of Dean Martin, not Dean Dad, but whatever.) At a small college like Zenith, faculty and administrators are constantly rubbing up against each other and wreaking all kinds of havoc: sometimes one regards other places with “faceless” administrators as restful, so often do conflicts become unnecessarily personal. Dean Dad is, I think, on the youngish side, but is committed to a part of university work that needs smart, compassionate people who care about integrating all their constituencies: students, faculty, staff and administrators. He looks up, down and across with equal skill and displays a genial common sense that makes you want to revisit and rethink relationships to your own deans for what they might offer. Or maybe print up bumper stickers that say: “Have you hugged your dean today?”
5. Boy, this is tough, because there are so many good ones. But I’m going to go to the younger set, and send you to Notes of a Neophyte, who sometimes refers to herself as Mouse, and with whom I think I must be acquainted, but I’ll be damned if I can say who she is. Mouse just spent a lot of time in France, and is now applying to graduate school and, whether it is her basic personality or hanging out with the Motley Blogging Crew on line, has a refreshingly wry take on the whole project of higher education. Not to mention politics. Mouse is also author of a number of unforgettable phrases, one of which I have adopted: “Jesus lapdancing Christ.” This is to be used as an exclamation. Best of luck in your quest, Mouse. Don’t lose your sense of humor.
So now you guys are up: I’m getting back to my book. Good luck, and good reading.