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July 12, 2009
“Suzanne” posted a thoughtful response to last week’s column, objecting to my use of the term “victim bashing” to describe ridicule of women whose traditional career-related choices have backfired. I don’t want to put words into Suzanne’s mouth, but the argument, as I understand it, is that referring to such women as victims of their upbringing and our shared culture denies them agency and competence to make their own choices, and thus status as full human beings.
July 10, 2009
A few weeks back the family dishwasher went on the fritz. First, it started making horrible shrieking sounds. Then, whatever it was complaining about apparently gave it a stroke, because the brain (processor chip) gave up the ghost. So, for a couple of weeks, we did dishes by hand. The traditional division of labor -- one washed, one dried, roles loosely rotated among family members.
July 9, 2009
Is there anything more frustrating than wishing you could play too? My little Wolfie, who's three, spends a lot of time watching big brother Starbuck, seven, and wishing he could get in the game.
July 9, 2009
While on vacation a few weeks ago, we had lunch at a unique restaurant just off the beach in Newport, Rhode Island. It is called “Flo’s Clam Shack”. Founded in the 1930s, the building looks as weathered and wind-beaten as the name implies. While there was no sand on the floor that day, there often is, as people saunter in off the beach to enjoy the seafood. Flo had been one of the first to try frying the tasty clams found off New England, and had thus brought a delicious treat to everyone who lived there.
July 8, 2009
On June 28th I found myself picking up my two teenagers in New York City to spend the rest of the summer with me in Chicago. It happened to be the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and a big Gay Pride weekend. My friend, community activist Isabel Grayson, and I decided to take our kids up to Greenwich Village to see the parade.
July 8, 2009
BSR, the global consortium of over 250 businesses for social responsibility, just issued its second global report.
July 8, 2009
I have no budget for photos or illustrations for this nonfiction project I’m working on, and I don’t qualify for subventions—departmental, college, or campus subsidies—since it’s for a general readership and isn’t a peer-reviewed work of scholarship. I’m trying to work smart, but sometimes it means making hard choices over things I’d really like to include.
July 7, 2009
We celebrated the last day of school and report card day at our house not too long ago. I know that one day I’ll get over this living vicariously through my son’s school experiences, but I still relive the trepidation I felt at opening up my end of year grades. There was one I always feared: my gym class grade. I was the quintessential anti-athlete and the slowest runner in my classes. Most of my grades would be S’s or S+’s (Satisfactory or Very Satisfactory)…and then the glaring S- (Less than Satisfactory) in gym.
July 7, 2009
First steps towards carbon neutrality on virtually any campus fall in the realm of building operations. And, while it's been hard to communicate convincingly, one of the results of improving the way we operate buildings is that the people who work in them get measurably more productive.
July 6, 2009
Dean Dad’s recent blog post about lunch on the lam struck a chord for me. I may not the need to get away for lunch every day, as he does, but I do recognize the need for a mid-day break. There was a time when I used to lunch with colleagues most days I was on campus. We went off campus, shared stories about our teaching or our families, then headed back in for a productive afternoon of work.



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