January 24, 2013, 11:05 am
Nothing like unwinding in the pool after physics class.
A recent Wall Street Journal article titled “Resort Living Comes to Campus” highlights the “increasing appetite for luxury living” among students.
Splashy photographs of private housing developments designed for undergraduate living near Michigan State University, Texas A&M, the University of Central Florida, and Arizona State show lagoon-shaped pools, fireplaces surrounded by overstuffed leather chairs, and sandy volleyball courts framed by carefully manicured landscapes.
As unlikely as it might seem to those of us who lived in cinder-block shoebox quarters as undergraduates and thought ourselves lucky, this story about student digs was on the front page of the Journal section called “Mansion.”
We get plenty of details about amenities…
November 6, 2012, 11:56 am
If I didn’t like the enthusiastic talk and lively conversation of young people, I would not have chosen to be a college instructor. If I didn’t like the nervous energy, relentless vitality, and shimmering intensity of college students, I’d have chosen a livelihood more valued by today’s culture, such as horse racing or fire eating. (Horse racing and fire eating are considered more dignified, and usually offer better retirement benefits, than academic positions.)
I pride myself on enjoying my profession and my time in the classroom. And that’s only one reason I’ve rarely complained about over-ebullience of students.
I am particularly immodest about the way I deliberately encourage young women to find their voices both literally and metaphorically. My students have gone on to become scholars, teachers, journalists, writers, editors, attorneys, physicians, and politicians,…
October 2, 2012, 2:05 pm
Oh, don’t get huffy. Every academic I know has stolen a book from a library—kept it, didn’t return it, or deliberately lifted it. We felt ownership over the work, somehow. We felt it belonged to us. To see it in circulation was to see it sullied or mishandled. It was unbefitting that others should have it in their hands, in their rooms, in—heaven forbid—their beds. We were rescuing the book, giving it a proper home where it would be appreciated and safe. Safe from what, exactly? Certainly not theft.
Almost everybody still has a book from an ex. A smaller number have shoplifted directly from bookstores. A few, I was more surprised to discover, have even taken volumes directly from the libraries of their friends.
I still have a clothbound Fay Weldon novel I took from my college’s library at the University of Cambridge. The copy of Female Friends sits on the shelf above my…
August 27, 2012, 8:18 pm
Recently I’ve heard academics say the kind of thing I once heard only from wildly amateurish writers: “I don’t want to reveal too much about my work, because I’m worried about people taking the premise/title/idea/template for themselves.” I’m worried that scholars are being encouraged to be hoarders of ideas.
The academic version of Hoarding: Buried Alive goes something like this: You had a terrific, groundbreaking idea for a conference paper in 1997. Let’s call it the “Vortex Theory of Sexual Innuendo,” or V.S.I. for short.
That’s how you imagined others would refer to it in their dissertations and footnotes once the theory manifested the intellectually scorching, cross-discipline “wildfire” effect you knew it possessed. The V.S.I. was destined to establish you as one of the leading scholars of your generation.
You still remember the heat with which you wrote…