21 October 2008
Off to Chicago
Today I get to fly to Chicago for my fellowship conference -- I'm excited and a bit nervous (the whole "presenting your research for senior scholars" thing). I love Chicago and it'll be great to meet other folks researching education, and of course, it's always fun to pal around with terrorists. One of the senior scholars is that guy who's been in the news a lot lately -- in addition to all his anti-American ways, he's now a well-respected education reformer and professor in Chicago, so it's a no-brainer for him to attend. I look forward to the awkward introductory jokes made at the various receptions and dinners this weekend. (I guess my presidential hopes are shot now though, drat!) Wish me luck with the schmoozing!
In other recent news, the annual corn maze adventure went off fantastically -- that is a lot of fun to be had for a mere $12. Spooky! And I've been trying to wrap my mind around the class I'm grading for this fall, on war, but I just can't do it. It's not that it's too complex for me, it's kind of the opposite. That sounds snotty and "elitist," I know, but if social history, culture, gender, race, capitalism and religion as categories of analysis and interpretation are all virtually useless and entirely secondary to examinations of tactics and weaponry, I've got to say, you've lost my interest. The students say things in their papers like "there were a lot of whores." That's the extent of their "social history." Then it's back to cannonballs. And I'll stop my complaining there, because I've been doing a lot of it lately. At least I can appreciate that it's an easy part-time job for me this term, but I have to say I've never used my brain less in a classroom, even, I think, in high school. And it's one of the most popular classes we offer -- I'm not sure what that says. Students prefer if they never have to do any critical thinking? Shocker!