1. Procrastinatory is a real word, but Webster’s online dictionary is now subscription based. WTF? 2. My kid has a cute wave, with large smiles and much enthusiasm. I am stealing it. It seems to be going well. 3. Instead of trying to explain in simplistic language why we don’t call Asian people “Oriental,” it goes much better with a map of the world “upside down.” 4. Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in the same movie? Way too much hawtness in one movie. 5. My fifth post today. Obviously I’m feeling chatty. 6. Ben Affleck is a better storyteller than he is an actor. KevinRead More →

Today has been an interesting lesson in stereotypes. Lesson one: A guest speaker from Deaf Services in BR come to the Interpersonal Communication class. He was dynamic and interesting, and the students loved him. The capital D is important to people in the Deaf community, by the way. Deaf culture is fascinating, particularly as it illustrates major concepts from communication studies. I’ve been fascinated about it ever since a friend of mine demonstrated the way that sign language is not a literal interpretation, but a more poetic one.  She did this by signing a song. Audre Lorde once said that it’s good to educate yourselfRead More →

After a challenging semester of public speaking in the fall, it seems that faith indeed gets rewarded. This semester, public speaking classes are simply awsum! There is no other way to describe it. EVERY SINGLE STUDENT was ready to give speeches today. Early on, our discussions were great, the students were responsive in class, and things were going swimmingly. Today confirmed these sentiments with something objective and observable. See? On days like today, work does not feel like work. *happydance*

One of the biggest problems faculty complain about is student absenteeism and late work. I’ve been whining about this problem all year, so I decided to turn to the POD list for advice. The community offered many creative suggestions, but the most compelling one made the point about connecting with students on an individual level to find out what was underlying their performance. The issue is why the student isn’t attending or submitting work Answering this question raises the difficult concern about balancing accommodation and spoon feeding. But it also made me reconsider something I’ve long thought to be a bane: Bonus points. The oldRead More →

The end of the semester is drawing near, bringing the closing blues. This semester started in such chaos with all the campus changes. I hope Christmas break brings its usual re-energizing rest (a little under a month away). I have excellent students this semester, which carries me through the weekly grind. Here is a random list of changes for next semester’s classes: 1. A service learning component to the interpersonal class. The project will be designed around a new “conversational partners” program on campus to help international students learn English. To that end, I joined this semester and met a great partner. She’s Chinese andRead More →

This semester seems to show an increased number of Hispanic students enrolled in my classes, a reflection of the changing demographics of Baton Rouge. Perhaps the 2010 census will reveal similar changes in BR demographics. One neat thing about my college is its diversity. The campus is a much more wheel-chair accessible campus because it’s new. There are many students on the GI bill. This is just a speculation though. There are many newly immigrated students there too, especially Asian students. Perhaps the school is more welcoming and English is easier learned there. As a result of all this, the students in my classes areRead More →

I’m going to Ireland tomorrow. I’m very excited about the trip. Anyway, here are some 3’s. Three Ireland Tours I plan to take 1. Mary Gibbons’ Tour of Newgrange 2. Viking Splash Tour of Dublin 3. Hop on Hop Off bus of Dublin Three things I bought for the trip: 1. Rain ponchos 2. Batteries for my mp3 player 3. Wetwipes to wash up with in the airport. Three things I hope to see while in Ireland: 1. The Book of Kells 2. Dublinia 3. The Dublin Castle Three things I’m grateful for: 1. Loritabs for a slightly pinched nerve 2. Chiropractors 3. Tiger’s balm

Well, we are going to Dublin, Ireland for spring break. The Labor Process conference is there this year. And all three of our spring breaks coincide with the conference, so it is our destiny to go. And, St. Patrick’s day is right smack in the middle of break. I’m so psyched. We have already purchased the plane tickets and made reservations at a B&B for us. Here is the link to the B&B: http://www.flyoveronline.com/

So I had lunch with the chair of my area, and he told me that what I’ve experienced with my students not showing up is the norm, not the exception. That made me feel relieved in one regard. I have always believed that students vote with their feet and that low attendance was a reflection on me. He said it was a big problem for the school. I am experiencing culture shock, I guess. I need to come up with some creative ways to reach the students. I’m open to suggestions.

I had to write a statement of my teaching philosophy for my portfolio, which my school uses to evaluate the faculty. I just used the statement that I wrote while I was at my previous institution, but I have a strong feeling that this statement is going to change in the next year. It sounds too abstract. I found a helpful site called Confessions of a Community College Dean, by Dean Dad, which I’ve been enjoying. Unfortunately, I found it AFTER I submitted my teaching philosophy statement. Dean Dad says to be specific and use examples. I didn’t do that at all. In any case,Read More →