Category Archives: it gets better

December 31, 2011, 1:51 pm

Living In The Middle; Or, What I Learned At My First Job

Today is the day I go off the payroll of Zenith University, the institution that gave me my first job. Tomorrow I officially go on the payroll of another university in Metropolis, the city where I went to graduate school.  If all goes well, we will move in mid-summer.

OK, so Zenith wasn’t actually my first job.  I had a fair amount of work experience before I began my twenty years there in July 1991. Prior employment included: aluminum can recycling; substitute receptionist at Philadelphia’s CBS affiliate; popcorn stand attendant at a neighborhood movie house (the summer Jaws was released, no less); stringer for the Hartford Courant; administrative assistant and general dogsbody at a boutique public relations firm; writer/editor at an advertising agency; bicycle messenger; teaching assistant, research assistant, assistant to the Dean of the College; proofreader at the SoHo

Read More

December 19, 2011, 1:05 pm

History and the Politics of Scholarly Collaboration, Part I: Or, Why Anthony Grafton Is a Rock Star

Meet Anthony Grafton, the AHA's Jonathan Swift

Have you followed American Historical Association president Anthony Grafton’s serial meditation on how graduate schools might respond to a bad academic job market? A market that has, since the the 1970s, been either stagnant or getting worse? A market with whose effects the blogosphere is obsessed?

If you haven’t, you need to catch up.  For “No More Plan B” (October 2011) and “Plan C” (November 2011), both co-written with Jim Grossman for the AHA newsletter Perspectives, go here and here. For an article about “Plan B” by Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed (October 3 2011) go here; and for a response by graduate student Dan Alloso (UMass-Amherst) go here. (more…)

November 2, 2011, 9:56 am

Q: Can You Be A Sexual Harasser and Still Be President of the United States?

I have to give you the short answer, because my internet is still in and out due to the Halloween Nor’easter:

You betcha.

For all the women who wanted to have sex with the prez pictured at left, how many do you think pushed away a groping hand? Or went along for the ride, whether they wanted to or not, at a moment in history when any man could have a job for which a more skilled and intelligent woman would not even be interviewed? At a time when one of the best political jobs most women could hope for was running Jackie’s schedule? (more…)

October 14, 2010, 8:09 pm

Straight People, Listen! Part II: The Homophobia News Of The Week In Review

Carl Paladino campaigning in New Paltz, NY after
his ill-chosen homophobic words.  Photo credit.

There is a lot going on in the gay world nowadays.

Following the suicide of Tyler Clementi at Rutgers, the straight world has discovered institutionalized homophobia and is “shocked, shocked!” that gay youth are not only routinely bullied in school, but that teachers, principles and coaches stand around and watch while it happens.  They are even more shocked that to be the recipient of repeated homophobic bullying is so isolating and devastating to a young person’s self esteem that death seems like a good option.

Before you decide to hang from the highest tree those Rutgers students who posted to the Internet a video of Clementi kissing a boy (the event that precipitated his suicide leap from the George Washington Bridge) or make your own “It Gets Better” video, consider this.  What if Clementi …

Read More