University of Venus

University of Venus

GenX Women in Higher Ed, Writing from Across the Globe

September 9, 2012 - 9:05pm
I have a confession to make: Until recently, I have not known how to ride a bike. Some 6 years ago when a Belgian friend of mine found out that I did not know to ride a bike, he asked me the following question in shock: “OK, so you did not ride a bike, but then what did you do as a child?”
September 5, 2012 - 7:45pm
I remember that, as a child, I loved to copy in a notebook the best parts of the literature I was reading.  I would taste the words in my mouth as I was transferring them from the page of the book and jotting them on my little pad, thus enjoying them even more. I must admit that secretly, I wished it were I who authored those pretty phrases, I who had found those brilliant and unexpected pairings between adjectives and nouns. But even if I was just the scribe taking down the notes of the divine inspiration of others, the activity of repeating the path of their pen was pleasurable and, later on, inspirational.
September 3, 2012 - 9:05pm
This summer I was in Bali, conducting another of my social entrepreneurship trainings for a group of Balinese students and students from my university. In the past this program has been a real struggle for me and for my assistants, caused by personality conflicts, cultural misunderstandings, and less than helpful  “partners” on the ground. And my own attitude, it turns out, is a huge indicator of how much I will enjoy the (sometimes) grueling six weeks of the program, but, more importantly, how my students will experience my class.
August 30, 2012 - 8:17pm
As a feminist educator, my academic and political training influences my popular culture consumption and my assessment of what I have consumed. “Girls,” a dramedy written and directed by Lena Dunham, who also stars in the HBO cable television series, is no different than any other popular culture artifact in that I do not have the ability to turn off my feminist educator lens.
August 28, 2012 - 9:20pm
I finished reading Just Kids last night - Patti Smith's incredible memorial to her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe. I am grateful that she let me into her world and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in the social nature of creativity.
August 26, 2012 - 9:21pm
A hug. At its best it communicates affection, love, respect, admiration — a spontaneous expression of (positive) emotions. At other times, it’s an obligation — a turned cheek, a sloppy hand over a shoulder, a quick pat on the back and we move on, relieved to have put the encounter behind us.
August 22, 2012 - 8:07pm
At the end of July, my husband and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. This year, it really feels like a celebration for having survived. This year has been a really hard one for me, mentally and professionally, and thus hard for him. There have been intense highs followed by deep lows. My husband has been there every step of the way with me, with our children, while making sure he stays on track to earn tenure.
August 20, 2012 - 7:20am
One of the great things about the ASA Annual meetings is the Film/Video Screenings. While I missed the one showing of Jessica Valenti’s The Purity Myth, I did get to catch Erik Santiago’s Five Friends, which was very moving. The film focuses on male friendships and centers on a 65-year old man named Hank. (While watching the film, I couldn’t help but think of my husband and 7-year old son who were participating in a Father/Son weekend at a boy’s camp on Squam Lake in NH (aka the On Golden Pond lake)).
August 18, 2012 - 8:16am
I’m at the American Sociological Association’s Annual Meeting in Denver through Monday and I’ll be writing up short dispatches and posting them here at UVenus.
August 16, 2012 - 9:27pm
I’ve spent the past two years researching and teaching social entrepreneurship, what works, what doesn’t, and how we can help the world’s poor. I’ve beat the drum against the abuses of neoliberalism, and tried to help my students see the links between their actions and the impact they have on the rest of the world, particularly the bottom billion. Own two or more cellphones? You’re increasing the global demand for Coltan and possibly contributing to human rights abuses. Eat meat that was raised on corn? You’re decreasing the world’s food supply and damaging the environment. Etc. Etc.

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