Category Archives: Mr. Do Bee

April 17, 2012, 11:16 am

When Is Competition a Positive Force?

Thomas Eakins, Max Schmitt in a Single Scull (1871), Metropolitan Museum of Art

Yesterday morning I was gliding down the river in my single scull. I was ten to fifteen minutes from the dock, workout complete, leg muscles burning slightly, warming down and starting to think about the rest of the day. After I navigated the last turn, a long bend that can make you or break you in the annual 3.5 mile race our rowing club hosts in October, it would be a straight shot back to the boat house.

Then I noticed another sculler on my port side: I was about a half length ahead.

I don’t wear my glasses on the water (more than one rower has sent an $800 pair of specs to the bottom of the river) so I identify others by how they row and the color of their boats. It was Jackson, a 70-something masters’ rower who…

Read More

October 6, 2011, 5:12 pm

Ask The Radical: Are You Clocking Too Much Overtime?

As we were sorting our mail at the end of a long teaching week, we came upon a little cry for help.  Missouri Marv writes:

Dear Tenured Radical:

It was my dream to get a tenure-track job.  However, I am only in my second year in a humanities department and my dream has become a nightmare. The semester is not even half over and I am exhausted.  My classes are over enrolled by about fifteen students. I am behind on my grading:  last week my students asked when they would get their papers back and I heard myself saying that I had left them on a bus and that the Transit Authority Lost and Found was closed for Rosh Hashanah. I barely have time to review the reading I have assigned my students.  Confession? Sometimes I don’t even read it.

Every time I think I have protected a little free time someone schedules a meeting:  worse, our university now uses Meeting Maker, so I get a…

Read More

September 29, 2010, 2:04 am

Do Bees and Don’t Bees: The Radical College Tour

For all you know, Tenured Radical has visited your campus recently.  Yes, that’s right:  an anonymous member of La famille Radicale has been looking at institutions of Higher Education, and I occasionally facilitate the journey.  This means I get to take a Busman’s Holiday and go along on the College Tour.  This little ritual is something I only see glimpses of at Zenith.  In fact, I try to avoid tour groups since the day, years ago, when one of my students got a wicked look on his face when I was innocently returning books to the library and said in a happy voice to his group: “Ooooooh!  Look!  A real college professor!”

I can only boast a little insight into this arcane practice, but here are a few do’s and don’ts, aimed at different audiences.

If you are a parent:  There only needs to be one of you on the tour.  I am told by a native informant that it looks “geeky” to be accompanied by …

Read More