University of Venus
GenX Women in Higher Ed, Writing from Across the Globe
January 16, 2011 - 9:15pm
I see the change in some of my first-year college students as the semester progresses. The once energetic, curious, wide-eyed faces start to develop dark circles around their eyes. They come and tell me they’re staying up late, that they feel overwhelmed, under pressure, uninspired, alienated. What kind of students are these? Contrary to what you may be quick to conclude, they are some of my best! And I’m lucky enough to have some fantastic students.
January 13, 2011 - 7:30pm
A familiar truism about academia is that the battles are so big because the stakes are so small. Academics will fight over anything, from journal rankings (and which journals “count”), which department can use the word "rhetoric" in course titles, to who gets the credit for a big idea. For the most part, I've kept out of such battles because I need my energy for other things.
January 12, 2011 - 8:45pm
This is the first in a series of posts from our archives. We will be sharing posts that we published prior to partnering with Inside Higher Ed in July 2010. Why Do We Write? was originally published at http://uvenus.org on 4.12.2010.
January 11, 2011 - 9:15pm
After two decades in the academe, I have purposely avoided being nominated to any administrative position. This came from an earlier conviction that I would rather be a serious scholar than a paper-pushing bureaucrat. Because the pool of would-be university administrators seems to draw disproportionately from a handful of PhD holders, I thought it was a great disservice to have such expensive education wasted on the banality of managing. Besides, being tied to a desk job is the antithesis of my desire to travel abroad.
January 9, 2011 - 8:30pm
The Economist's 16 December issue opened its article on why doctoral degrees waste 21st century students' time and money with a vignette about Martin Luther. The Economist longed for the days when theses were short, sweet, and revolutionary. I began my own academic life as a historian of Lutheran education and could not avoid seeing the deeper parallels between 16th century and 21st century crises in education.
January 7, 2011 - 12:00am
The end of the year offers some time to review the previous year and think about teaching. I am thankful for all the students who are engaged and generally want to learn. These students fill my cup and make teaching a real blessing. I am also thankful (at times) for the students who just are not sure about the material and this entire “college” thing. These students make me work more to catch their interest and attention in the subject matter and in the discipline of Political Science.
January 4, 2011 - 10:00pm
I am at the end of a long and tough professional and academic journey. While preparing to embark on a new horizon, I had the benefit of thinking a great deal about the priorities of my medium-term schedule. One of the first tasks on the list is writing a book on the subject of my PhD in history, about the inter-ethnic relations in Romania after the fall of communism. On the same list, I have other ideas of articles and essays that have haunted my mind over the last 12 months or so. More or less, my near future will again be directly preoccupied by the acrobatics of words.
January 2, 2011 - 6:45pm
One year later… Last year at this time, we met in a cozy little cafe in Roxbury to finalize our plan for launching a blog together. After way too much coffee, sweet lemon scones, and lots of animated discussion, we decided to soft launch the blog at the end of January and to give our project a name, a brand: University of Venus.
December 22, 2010 - 9:15pm
A couple of weeks ago, Lee pitched an idea for bringing several of us at UVenus together around a single question and Meg and I thought it would be a great way to end 2010 as we take a break for the holidays in the USA. We'd like to make this a monthly feature at University of Venus and we want our readers to participate! If you tweet your answer, one of us will post it on the blog for you.
December 21, 2010 - 9:00pm
My 200-level students last semester proposed or redesigned a university-level course for their final assignment.* They were allowed to make it in any subject, at any level. It wasn't my most tightly conceived assignment, so I wasn't sure what to expect from them. The results were understandably uneven, but revealed a great deal about what undergraduates think an undergraduate degree should be.