Category Archives: Tweed

Taking academe a little less seriously.

by

Sweet Briar Closure Prompts Comparisons to Invasions of Iraq, Rohan

The sudden announcement last month that Sweet Briar College would close provoked shock among students, faculty, and alumnae who protested that an institution with an $85-million endowment couldn’t be in financial straits dire enough to warrant shutting down. The Board of Trustees’ decision was misguided and irresponsible, they claimed.

That argument has persisted (as has the institution’s answer that closing was the most responsible option), but it has also gotten more elaborate. Consider the fo…

by

Watch a Professor’s Elaborate April Fools’ Joke Slay His Lecture Class

April Fools’ Day can be treacherous, especially in academe (I’m looking at you, student newspapers). But I’m happy to report that pulling off a good, wholesome joke — one that doesn’t make light of both racism and genocide — is possible in an academic setting.

Cue Matthew Weathers, an assistant professor of mathematics and computer science at Biola University, who on Wednesday delighted his students with an impressively choreographed — and exceedingly nerdy — piece of pedagogy:

It’s worth notin…

by

Loved Your Nanny Campus? Start-Up Pledges Similar Services for Grads

Every year, legions of college graduates move to the big city full of hope and imbued with the belief that their best days are on the horizon. Then, adulthood happens.

Nothing can really prepare you for the touch-and-go Craigslist bidding wars, vein-popping dates with the cable company, and entire days of your life spent waiting in a line at Trader Joe’s that could stretch halfway to the moon. Postgraduate lessons in personal responsibility come with the territory.

But must they?

A start-up comp…

by

Which Marvel Superhero Could Run a University?

Marvel Comics this week announced a new slate of superhero movies to be released over the next several years. You’ve got plenty of time to decide which ones you’ll see, so in the meantime let’s address the question on everyone’s mind: Which Marvel character would make the best college president? Let’s limit the search to all nonmutants who have starred or will star in a Marvel movie.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 3.56.34 PM

Right off the bat, you can count out Robert B. Banner, otherwise known as the Hulk. While Mr. Banner has three P…

by

Finally! Academics Describe Their Research in Terms We Can Understand

A few weeks ago, The Chronicle Review published an essay by Steven Pinker that took academics to task for their incomprehensible writing.

“In writing badly,” wrote Mr. Pinker, “we are wasting each other’s time, sowing confusion and error, and turning our profession into a laughingstock.” The implication is that academese could use a grand stroke of simplification.

What follows, however, might be taking things a little far.

Researchers took to Twitter over the weekend to rally around the hashtag …

by

College Republicans’ Ads Compare Politicians to Wedding Dresses

The College Republican National Committee on Wednesday launched a 16-state advertising campaign that compares politicians to wedding dresses, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The ads, which cost nearly $1-million and parody the popular TLC television show Say Yes to the Dress, chronicle a young woman’s quest to find the right wedding dress. She is fond of the Republican model—proven, no frills. But her mother likes the Democratic model—flashy and costly. Six nearly identical ads are viewable…

by

If You’ve Dressed Up as a Polar Bear in Front of Reindeer, Read This

You’re on a research expedition at the North Pole to study reindeer while dressed in a polar-bear suit. You’re hungry, so you pull out a piece of toast you’ve packed for the day. Lo and behold, its shape is the spitting image of Jesus Christ. You rush back to base to tell your research partner (stopping once to let your husky defecate, though he can’t settle on an orientation in which to do so, which is strange). When you get back to base, your partner is unimpressed and says, “That’s not Jesus….

by

Think College Rankings Are Useless? Use Your Imagination

Year after year, college rankings maintain their hard-fought relevance. The leader of the pack, as every admissions officer knows, is U.S. News & World Report, whose annual rankings are due out next week.

Colleges have long maneuvered to improve their standings on the hallowed list, changing various policies (and sometimes cheating) to jibe with the magazine’s methodology. U.S. News’s stranglehold on colleges needs to end, writes Vox’s Libby Nelson in a post published Friday morning. While colle…

by

The U. of Missouri Would Like to Wish Beyoncé a Happy Birthday

Fans of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter take her birthday seriously, and among their ranks, apparently, is the person who runs the University of Missouri at Columbia’s Twitter account.

The celebration of the pop superstar by the Twitter account appeared to begin with this tweet by a Missouri student:

The university answered with a link to this .gif:

beyonce gif 1

The account then broadcast its love for Beyo…

by

College Freshmen Never Age (and 3 More Surprising Things About the Passage of Time)

You are getting older. You are older now than you were at the moment this page first loaded. And now you’re even older! Ha. You can’t stem the tide of time.

Such is the immutable law that underlies the Beloit Mindset List, an annual production of Beloit College that seeks to unpack the minds of college freshmen by reminding us, for example, that they were in kindergarten on 9/11. Or that Hong Kong has, for them, always been part of China.

Feel ancient yet? I don’t, but I’m 23.

Every year, you wi…