In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.
It’s the end of the semester, and you can see it in the exhausted, pinched expressions on campus. The trick to this time of year is not to sneak up on anybody. Or to make any sudden movements. Or to attempt irony in any way, shape, or form.
It happens every May. June is just around the corner...
The Boy’s baseball team has really struggled so far this Spring. This week they had an especially long and ugly game, during which he rode the bench for the first couple of innings. (They have more than nine kids on the team, so they have to rotate.) It was one of those games in which the catcher’s throw to second -- attempting to catch a base-stealer -- rolled into the outfield, and the outfielder’s subsequent throw to third wound up in the bleachers. Everything went wrong: at one point, the umpire even called a strike on a pitch that crossed the plate on the first bounce. I’m not kidding.
On the ride home, TB had a bit of a hangdog expression. I asked him what was wrong. He responded, and I am not making this up,
“It’s hard to sit there and watch other people suck.”
Who says baseball doesn’t teach life lessons? I want to copyright that and put it on bumper stickers.
On the other hand, this is also reception season, when we celebrate the things that went right on campus.
This semester we had our first implementation of self-paced developmental math. Making that happen required cooperation among faculty, deans, financial aid, the registrar’s office, IT, and facilities, among other folks. And we did it.
Early feedback is encouraging. We’ll have actual numbers after the semester is over, but in the meantime, I’m thrilled at the level of cooperation that happened to make the model work. The reception for the math working group was modest, but probably the most fulfilling I’ll have all Spring. Making cultural headway while making academic headway is the best kind of win.
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