Monthly Archives: August 2012

Shouldn’t You Be Flipping My Burger? The Big “D” in Academia

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My student is Hispanic.  Correction, he’s El Salvadorian.  I’ve discussed him before. He’s awesome.  No matter his skin color, he is one cool kid.  He and his mom arrived on the bus with all of his stuff at 4:30 a.m., went to my house, slept for a few hours, and then we made our way to campus with his belongings to check him into this dorm, get his financial aid done, check with the bursar, head to a big box store for random school supplies, and get his mom back on the bus back to NYC at 2:30 p.m. Trooper doesn’t describe these two people.  His mom wouldn’t get back to the city until the next afternoon.  My student and I finished the day by unloading/unpacking the rest of his room and I think we both crashed like the Exxon Valdez that night in our respective houses/dorm room.  I checked in with him the next day to see how he was and he was making friends, writing cover letters for part time jobs, and was on his way to get his computer set up for the university system.  He is a champion. Not for doing these things independently, but for enduring his move in.

While moving him in, we went to the lounge to set up his computer system and a man (a parent I assume) popped his head in and asked us, “aren’t you supposed to be flipping a burger for me?”  He made a point to walk through a closed door just to cause trouble. That takes balls. Big ones. With a giant helping of idiot on the side. I hope his child doesn’t model that behavior. We were shocked, I didn’t even respond and my student merely smiled and waved at him. Who the eff was that guy?  Why would anyone make a point to enter a room just to throw a racial slur?  I’m sure we could wax on this all day and I’m sure it would be a waste of time.  Needless to say, I was furious and I could not believe that within an hour of moving this student to campus, someone was throwing racist prose his way. Since he clearly came in to cause a stir, saying nothing was the best course of action in this case.  You may disagree but in that moment, arguing wouldn’t have accomplished anything, this man wanted to get a rise out of us. Not giving him one was the smartest thing to do at that time.

Discrimination in academia is something that I’ve been plagued with. In real life, I’m 100% Korean and was adopted when I was six months old.  I am an American citizen.  I can speak English.  I have a name you can probably pronounce and no, I don’t need to renew my I9 to be in this country.  My teeth are the same as anyone else’s and in case you were wondering, I am supposed to be here (although in blogger world there’s really no ‘here’ but that’s here nor there at this time).  Why the qualifiers?  Because since moving to XYZ university I have been asked on more than one occasion if I’m American, if I can speak English, if I have a name you can pronounce, and yes boys and girls, I was refused service at a dental office because of my skin color.  I overheard the hygienists in the hallway bickering about who was going to look at my perfect, white, not a cavity in sight teeth and they so nicely used the descriptor of “the yellow skinned lady.”  I left immediately and no, I don’t have jaundice.

What is happening in this country?  I feel as though we’re going backwards instead of forwards.  Without making it too political we’re arguing about abortion rights, women in the workplace, and now race.  Is it over sensitivity?  Is it just plain stupidity?  Is it a life force bigger than you and I?  I continue to struggle with my own skin color and identity and have never had more trouble than I have in the past four years.  Why is this?

Academia is an area where there should be no discrimination.  We are all here for a few things:

  • Ourselves (if we’re being selfish and brutally honest)
  • The field we’re studying
  • The benefit to the knowledge base
  • And once in a while you make some money

That’s it.  Simple things.  You could throw tenure into the mix but I feel like the vast array of colleges, universities, and other educational institutions all do the tenure thing differently.  They ARE in business to teach, educate, transform, research, publish, mentor, and maybe even build a retirement fund.  No where in that previous sentence is there any tone of “let’s be mean because you’re not the same color, religion, value, moral, or any otherwise silly predictor different” but for some reason, this country is worse than ever about differences.  The slices are so small. Silly things are getting in the way.  It’s oozing out of my tv every day, nit picking, back biting, it’s like two old female hens having a pecking fight in the barnyard.  It’s trickling down to our younger generations, it’s making our older generations look foolish, and most of all, it’s discriminating against people who are just as smart and deserving as anyone else.  I know my student deserves to be at this university.  He is one smart cookie and it doesn’t matter what kind of cookie, he’s really effing smart.  He’s a baller and I mean that in the best sense of the word.

When did discrimination get back into the drivers seat?  Some would argue that it’s always been there, but from where I’m standing right now, it seems to have become much more amplified and I think some tolerance should be on everyone’s grocery list.  Even my own family member was watching the Olympics with me and said, “those athlete’s don’t look very American.”  My reply, “what does that even mean, we’re American and we’re Asian.  I can’t believe you just said that.”  Their response, “I guess you’re right.”   So, what does an American look like?  If we lined up 100 people of different races, ethnicities, religions and so on, what would they look like?  In my mind, all 100 of those folks would have been American’s but not everyone thinks so. I believe that we have the right to have an opinion, but at what point does that opinion become more damaging than good?  While it might not be my place to judge that, discrimination in academia is something that can get it in grave and get buried anytime.

As a faculty member, I struggle with discrimination, I feel the side effects of it, and it breaks my heart to see my students be treated like lesser humans for things they cannot change about themselves.  I seek out mentoring opportunities for minorities, I go the extra mile for them, but I know as an educator, I cannot save them all.  If I could, I would, but the best I can do on most days is support the ones I do come in contact with.  I try and nuture them, mentor them, and give them concrete life experiences they can grow from.  I hope that as you go out into your own classrooms you are aware of discrimination in academia.  It’s still happening between races, religious beliefs, and everything in between.  Educate yourself and your students. I had to have a long talk with my student about the incident and help him make sense of it.  His final comment to me, “does this happen a lot?”  For his sake, I sure hope not.

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Poverty in academia: the new frontier of an advanced degree

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Talking about money makes everyone uncomfortable.  From the very poor to the very wealthy, money is something we all stay pretty tight lipped about.  Until the last few years.  The new economy has forced all of us (state side and international) to think differently about money. For most of us, having less money means being more cautious about basic purchases (no, a porsche is not a basic purchase) and budgeting tighter and tighter each pay check. Did spending get out of hand earlier?  Yes.  Is this what we should have been doing?  Perhaps.  Did the crashing economy help matters? No. What do we do about it now?  Let’s explore.

I am a victim to those plights as well.  I have spent a great deal of time reading up from the article on the Chronicle to numerous posts from the professor is in, and various other news outlets. My situation is certainly not as dire as others.  Maybe I’m lucky that in this instance, I don’t have a partner, children, or any major medical ailments.  It’s just me and that’s fine. I did land a job upon completion of my advanced degree. I’m very thankful for that.  Is it what I wanted to make money wise?  No, but it’s a job.  I’ll get there. I was doing ok, making my bill payments each month, having enough left over for groceries, and living very strictly but my needs were being met.

Then my loan consolidation happened.  I chose to consolidate because the paperwork said it would help me get a better interest rate, I would only make one payment a month instead of who knows how many, and I could get a more manageable payment schedule this way and by doing an ‘income based’ plan, meaning my payment is based off my tax return from the previous year.  I took all of this advice, filled out all of the paperwork, and sent it back. I’m going to be proud on blog and say this: I cannot afford the payment that is over  1/3 of my take home pay after taxes and insurance. Yes, I have other expenses. Rent, utilities, car, insurance, credit cards, etc….I know, the credit card debt is my responsibility, just like my loans.  I invested in my education and for earning my degree have been rewarded with 6.8% interest and an almost $900/mo. payment which I cannot make.  Can I pay something? Yes. Will I? Absolutely. Do I think I should have bought another house instead?  YEP. 😀

All joking aside, this is a heavy burden for anyone and while we could argue that college is not for everyone (trust me, it’s not), I invested in my education to better myself.  I will still be paying off this loan balance for years to come. I will be paying it off (probably) when my currently unborn children head off to college if they choose to seek higher education.  I am not alone in this and NPR ran a unique piece that resonated because I think it’s what my generation and the generation behind me will soon be facing as the new normal.  Increased pressure to perform, go to college, earn a degree, and strap yourself with mounting debt at the age of 18 seems to be the standard and it shouldn’t be. Why do these universities charge so much?  Trust me, it’s not to pay these perceived “giant” salaries the faculty are earning.  Most beginning faculty fall into my “box” and face similar struggles.  In a non-scientific poll of my colleagues who completed PhD’s and have debt, we all felt the same pinch and have managed it in different ways.

Here’s the bottom line.  I’m not in poverty but I feel like I am.  Based off of national averages, I’m doing fine but I feel terrible.  Some critics will say ” it’s your own fault, you didn’t need this degree” but in my mind, becoming a college professor was something I always dreamed of and getting a phd was one of the major ways to get closer to that dream.  Reading the headlines each day and hearing that Congress is ‘fighting’ about raising interest rates has me appalled.  6.8% isn’t enough?  They want to double it???  Good grief! This generation will NEVER get out from debt based off of educational choices that (in theory) is supposed to help them get ahead in life.

Every phd’s situation is different. You may have read this and thought, ‘what a whiny baby’ or maybe you thought, ‘this sounds like me.’ I don’t think anyone with a phd is asking for a free ride but some sensitivity to the fact that our field is flailing right now (even our whole economy still) and it’s going to take time to bounce back in order for us to be able to afford the cost of living.  I applaud and am green with envy those folks who have been able to complete any degree with no debt.  I wish I was one of those people.  I know that if I was, I would have other worries in life, but it’s also hard to talk to people (like the one I live with) about these things because then you receive feedback that ‘you complain too much, what’s the big deal?’ from them. It’s frustrating.

Would total loan forgiveness solve these problems facing our generation and ones to come?  No.  It would help but it’s the easy answer.  Our system has problems that root deeply from decades of greed, poor leadership, and perceived rising costs.  Is capping tuition the answer?  Perhaps one of many.  Is ending the big push for college the answer.  Yes, it can help.  Encouraging students to seek vocational training, trade apprenticeships, or other hands-on professions would help our workforce immensely.  There are 1,000 solutions but no answers it seems in this day and age.

As a new faculty, I applaud folks who have landed TT jobs, gotten the package and salary to reflect their degree and the value of it, and are able to balance their budget.  I hope to be one of those people some day, but until then, I will continue to plan carefully because I was taught to do so, try and save for emergencies (not a porsche), and work to repay my debt to society for earning my education.

How are you managing the student loan issue? How will you advise your students, family members, and own children about the debt they may have to assume to earn their college education?  Would you be bold enough to tell them that college isn’t for everyone?

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My hiatus from social media

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I needed a break.  A big one.  I was thoroughly annoyed with social media.  Mostly facebook.  Between the bitching, ranting, and general complaining about jobs, politics, and random crap, I had had it up to “here” with it.  So, I ran away and shut that thing down.

The two weeks were a nice respite.  It gave me time to think about how I needed to start managing social media instead of social media managing me.  I let it make me angry or upset and why?  I have no freaking idea!  I let it consume me instead of me consuming it. I over posted. I was neglecting real people sitting right in front of me or next to me with no good excuse.  I needed to turn it off to tune into life again.  It also happened that it fell in a lull with work and projects so I could focus on my lovely life, take some time off, and get re-energized for the upcoming academic year. Fast Company ran a clever submit page about social media and the post that resonated with me said, “if you’re bored with social media it’s because you’re trying to get more value than you create.”  I don’t know who Tim O’Reilly is but he is a smart man. I finally get it though.  My frustration was because my value on it was too high.  Instead of taking it with a grain of salt, I was taking it with a big spoonful of it instead of sugar. I was my own worst enemy. Learning how to tame the social media beast took a few weeks away from it.  Unplugging was the only to truly get my head wrapped around it and I’m glad I did!

On the positive side, it gave me a chance to build my blogs, do some work on them, create pages that I liked and work to create an identity that is much more solid.  I have no future goals of making money off of my blogs, but picking a direction has been helpful in creating a solid foundation. I also realize how much I do enjoy social media if it’s filtered properly for me.  By incorporating more things I like versus people who are just nuts in my view, I can be more at ease with it.  A friend suggested I just unfeed those crazy people from my life and I’m going to take her advice once I open my proverbial floodgate again.  I do love checking in with life long friends, I don’t mind babies and kittens, and for the most part, I find feedback rewarding in the positive and negative sense.  I think my senses were just on overload and I was generally being quite pissy about it.

So, here’s what I’m going to do in order to work on controlling the beast called social media and not lose my mind as this article suggests:

  1. Thou shalt use with caution
  2. Thou shalt be not afraid to block, unsubscribe, remove from social media life or ‘hide’ them forever
  3. Thou shalt not log on or keep the window open
  4. Thou shalt filter out or put people in lists
  5. Thou shalt remind myself: it’s JUST social media
  6. Thou shalt use it to my advantage. Promote my brand, my ideas–I’m sure I annoy other people so they can delete me as easily as I can delete them.
  7. Thou shalt lighten up. Take it with a grain of salt.
  8. Thou shalt have the clairvoyance to shut it down again closer to the election.  Everyone is getting pretty sensitive about every. little. thing.
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The art of listening-incoming & returning students

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In exactly one week over 5,000 freshman will move into our quiet college town and the beauty of summer will be gone for another 365 days.  I look forward to new students, returning students, and getting back on a schedule.  As I’ve reflected on the summer (it was an excellent summer), I found myself talking to many future students about what they would “need” for college.  Besides a laptop, a dining plan, and some awesome study skills, I started thinking about the other things new and returning students needed.  If I could offer one piece of advice to a new freshman or a returning undergraduate student, it would be to close your mouth, open your ears, and LISTEN.  Listening appears to be a lost art in our society and I can share with you that the times I learned the most, I was listening, observing, and not talking or the center of attention. Let me explain….

As I began this post, I was in the middle of a week long camp on STEM that my office is hosting.  It was interesting to see how different kids are now versus just a few years ago when I left the classroom.  Listening has become a skill that seems to be lost and only holding on by a string, not to mention other basic skills like typing.  With such demand and reliance on computers, it’s amazing to me to know that these kids cannot type properly (not chicken pecking) and when asked to even find the ‘shift’ key, many could not. I realize that this issue is a funding problem, any electives in many schools have been stripped due to funding and budget cuts and unfortunately, it does not appear to be improving.

Chronicle ran a nice article on the art of listening that I read closely and took to heart.  I also saw an interesting article from the New Yorker on why American kids are so spoiled and it compounded my affirmations. As I write this, I’m watching two very capable undergrads work at facilitating one of our sessions and the students in the camp are having trouble with a very basic skill.  Communication.  Listening is an act of communication that seems to be failing this group of young people.  They all want to speak, yet they don’t want to listen.

This excerpt from the article really resonated with me: “”Listening” is at the center of an education: It takes many forms (visual, auditory, sensory), but is the only way to understand another’s life and experience. But my students—and probably yours—have been taught the opposite. They have been raised in a culture that constantly reinforces that what is important about an education—and a life—is to express your opinions, to tell the world what you think. All day long, they text, they tweet, they post updates on their Facebook pages—all centered on them.”

While on one hand, communication is important, my observations of this group of students found them always trying to talk, always trying to be the center of attention, but when someone else was called on, they could not control themselves.  They could not sit and listen to their peers.  Some of this may be due to their age, they are in middle school, they have more energy, they don’t like to sit still. Even after only about five minutes, these students could NOT physically control themselves from speaking.

When our facilitator asked for a volunteer during camp, almost every hand in the room shot up, the students cheered for the student who ended up being chosen, and immediately, students asked the undergrad why THEY had not been chosen.  You could say that the opposite would be a pain-no hands, no volunteers, but it seems the balance is gone in kids.  Another student even went so far as to continually yell, “hey, hey, hey” and when he was not chosen, he turned to his peer and said, “I had my hand up, what’s the big deal?”

The New Yorker article said, “American kids may represent the most indulged young people in the history of the world. It’s not just that they’ve been given unprecedented amounts of stuff—clothes, toys, cameras, skis, computers, televisions, cell phones, PlayStations, iPods. (The market for Burberry Baby and other forms of kiddie “couture” has reportedly been growing by ten per cent a year.) They’ve also been granted unprecedented authority.” Why is this even an issue? When did parents stop parenting in the U.S.?”

The New Yorker also shared, “the French believe ignoring children is good for them. “French parents don’t worry that they’re going to damage their kids by frustrating them,” she writes. “To the contrary, they think their kids will be damaged if they can’t cope with frustration.” One mother, Martine, tells Druckerman that she always waited five minutes before picking up her infant daughter when she cried. While Druckerman and Martine are talking, in Martine’s suburban home, the daughter, now three, is baking cupcakes by herself.” I don’t know how I feel about baking cupcakes, but I do know that growing up, I was left to my own devices, engaging in the act of play. I would get frustrated but I knew I couldn’t ask my parents for the quick answer, I had to work on it myself before I broke down, admitted defeat, and asked for help.  Today, it seems to be backwards.  Instead of even trying, kids just give up because they know someone will help them out.

Out at restaurants is another great example of our child centered culture. I grew up with the mindset and discipline that going out was a privilege and children were meant to be seen and not heard unless you needed help cutting your food.  Today, I see kids dominating meals outside the home.  Parents no long her the opportunity to chat, have an adult conversation, or exist as an adult for even a few moments.  While I admit that it’s good to engage your kids in conversation and an excellent way to communicate with them, is there a reason that every second of every day is dominated by a child?  Parents have become so critical of other parents, that they turn them into the authorities if they witness a child receiving a spanking from their own parent in a grocery store.  If a child misbehaves in school, parents now rush to the aide of the child instead of letting the school do its’ job.  When did this backwards culture creep into everyday life?

I encourage you to help your students learn the art of listening and hone your own listening skills.  As your new students flock to your office, fill your classrooms, and you answer their endless questions via email, it’s sometimes easy to get annoyed or be brusque in the defense of not having enough time.  Besides teaching them the content, we have become responsible for teaching them so many other things and now I would like to add listening to the list.

As I observe, facilitate, teach, and work with students in my every day life, I find it to be one of the most rewarding and most frustrating ventures I choose to undertake.  As a new faculty, how can we help our students learn the art of listening, learn to be more patient, be less concerned about being in the spotlight, and understand that the world may not always revolve around them?

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Winning in academia

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I love the Olympics.  I love the pageantry, the sportsmanship, the beauty of sport.  I have been glued to my TV like a 5 year old to a Dora marathon since the games began.  It’s been great. As PIC and I have watched event after event, we started thinking about the notion of winning.  Our culture seems to be obsessed with it.  We have a whole generation of kids who have been raised to feel like winners but now are lagging behind in so many other areas.  They can’t keep jobs, their job skills are poor, their emotional intelligence is low, and as a generation, they need some more help. We raised them always winning a ribbon, but it seems we missed out on some pretty important steps along the way.  The Olympics is much the same way.  While this is the worlds competition, we’ve become so obsessed that we’re doping our bodies, throwing matches (badminton-really?), and pushing ourselves without taking a moment’s thought about what it took to get there.

Is it because we’re obsessed with winning?  When did we stop to think about the athletes and the stress they put their bodies under, the sheer amount of training, discipline, and sacrifice.  Isn’t getting to the Olympics ENOUGH???  Most of these athletes can’t even drink legally yet we hold our nations pride meter on their sometimes tiny, sometimes wide shoulders.  When did we forget about what the journey involved? One athlete after another bursts into tears if they don’t win, apologizing to their country for not performing. While this show of respect to their home nation is to be admired, I also can’t help but wonder where this pressure came from? Was it all within?  Was it more than just their home country?  Did they know they were destined for labor camps like the North Koreans?  I hope not.

I met with a student who wants to pursue graduate school and was concerned about her GRE score.  She, like me, suffers from ‘terrible test taking tyranny’ (TTTT) as I like to call it.  I could not score over 1000 on my GRE’s either time I took them and look at me now, I earned an advanced degree.  With no great measure of intelligence, these and other tests our society is forced to take are making a mockery of our intelligence from the people who design these tests, to the people who take them, to the folks who make what they believe are informed decisions based on them. On the other side of the coin, we’ve become so obsessed with ‘winning’ at these tests that we’re willing to cheat, lie, steal answers, and commit crimes in order to have the chance at getting in to a college, enrolling in a program, or getting our name at the top of the list. I worked with my student to share with her my terrible test history and she said to me, “you just made me feel a million times better.”  By simply sharing with her my dismal history of tests, she knew she could still be equally successful in her own mind.  When did this happen?  (the beginning of time i’m sure)

Now, don’t get me wrong, some tests, like a drivers test is a necessary test.  Quite frankly I don’t know how some people pass it judging from their road etiquette or lack thereof, but the tests we are subjected too based on our subject areas is a daunting task and not for the faint of heart. Standardized tests could be much more useful if we would learn to read beyond the ‘pass/fail’ rate and really dig into the data of why kids are or aren’t learning but we don’t take the time too.  We’re too busy racing to the top that quite frankly, doesn’t really exist.  Our society is learning some hard lessons about competition.  Penn State is an excellent example of sacrifice for the sake of winning.  I feel terribly for that community because they are paying the price of poor leadership, terrible morals, and with the notion they promoted that winning games and dollars was more important than saving boys who were helpless children. My heart bleeds for their community, not for the terrible acts, but for the lying, concealment, and lack of good judgment all of those involved did not use, only to leave someone else to clean up the mess and bear the brunt of the storm.

Our system of win or be considered ‘the loser’ and the longtime thought that “second place is the first loser” has got to go.  Do I think healthy competition is necessary in life? Absolutely. I encourage my students to go for the big scholarship, but instead of just saying, “oh, you didn’t win” and walk away, I’ve learned to take the time and ask them, “what did you learn from the experience?” Even without the ‘win,’ students and all humans have power to reflect and improve themselves for the future.  It’s not the ‘we’re all winners’ culture I’m promoting, but instead to think about losing as an equally valuable mind set we can all grow from.  I’ve lost big and small in life and each time, I manage to bounce back.  Losing has forced me into depression but I didn’t go back for more of the same, I figured out how to cope with those feelings and manage them for the future.  By building these skills in our students, we can help them be successful in jobs, with relationships, and on the playing field.  If we continue to ignore them and only recognize them when they ‘win’ we will continue to raise a generation who dope, lie, throw matches, and do other things that are less than moral so they can feel the recognition.

As I prepare for a new academic year, I hope you will join me in thinking how to help students build skills they will need for life.  I did not realize at the time how much my simple statement about my own GRE experience could help another student.  How do you work with your students?  How do you teach them about the game of life and teaching them it’s a marathon, not a sprint?

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A domestic academic needs some space

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I don’t need a piece of wood to whittle, but I do need some space.  As I’ve worked to get my technology habit under control, I found myself slipping ‘off the wagon’ this summer.  It wasn’t pretty.  I was checking my phone before bed, in bed, while PIC was trying to have a conversation with me, and at 100 other inappropriate times.

I was reading an article and incidentally, it started around the same time that I started swimming. I really enjoy swimming and luckily, the weather here has not let me down, it’s flaming hot. What’s nice about swimming is that while it’s not the act of doing nothing, it’s an activity that mandates there is no technology involved to distract me.  Yoga is much the same way.  The meditative state has become a luxury when it should be a priority in life.

So, I had faith in the Internet and took their advice. I made an iced coffee, left everything in my life inside of the house and went and sat outside.  It was barely 9 a.m. so it was still relatively cool, the sun was not shining on the patio, and I had a giant iced coffee.  And nothing but my thoughts…..

It was not hard to sit outside and enjoy the delightful morning.  I took the time to notice that mowers were busy in the distance, a back up sound was being made in the distance, and that I could hear people going through their morning routines as well.  I could smell oatmeal, hear spoons hitting bowls, and hear a vacuum running.  I rent a townhouse with PIC in town to be close to the action and my townhouse row backs up to another living community, hence all of the extra people noise.  In my previous life, I rented a house on the top of a mountain (really) and it was pretty silent.  I had a huge “L” shaped porch where I did spend a lot of time on the swing sipping drinks and enjoying the peace and quiet.  I hope to return to that state of living sooner than later and will happily sacrifice living 2.3 miles from my office for some more quiet.  When I lived in the ‘motherland’ I owned a home and would often find myself out in my gardens first thing in the morning.  Weeding, picking, harvesting, and general maintenance was soothing to me.  Taking a half hour to sit with myself without distractions led me to a realization: it seems I have got myself stuck without any space.

It’s a start.  Carving out some time to just sit with myself.  No technology, no distractions.  Yoga helps because they treat it like life should be treated.  With ease.  There is no rush in yoga, there is only the mind to contend with. You recognize your thoughts and then allow them to enter and exit without too much worry.  All of the instructors I have ever had all say something similar during class, “watch your thoughts, see them come in, acknowledge that they are there, and then let them go.” Why can’t all of my days be like that?

I know the answer, but it seems like we could train ourselves to be content from time-to-time.  The over-stimulation of technology has made us all a little grumpy with ourselves and each other. Maybe it’s the election year or the awful shooting in CO, but people are getting downright nasty.  Abrasive, aggressive, combative, with that train of thought that one tiny statement identifies a whole culture.  It’s too much.

I did take a few drastic measures recently to help with this journey.  I shut down my facebook account. With all of those ‘friends’ it had really made me quite grumpy about social media.  I have a second fb account, a much smaller friend list account and started a page for my blogging escapades.  Please hit me up if you choose to and give me one of those “likes” at Domesticated Academic.  I’ll still be cooking, taking photos, and thinking about education, but I hope to not get annoyed with myself or anyone else as a result of social media. I’m taking a one month hiatus from the ‘large friend’ account.  Let’s see how it goes!

So, as I slide into a little down time B.S. (before students) I’m going to do the followings things:

  1. spend some time with my bad self–the good, the bad, and the morning breath ugly
  2. unplug more–quite frankly, i’m becoming pretty disenchanted with social media and could use a break
  3. focus more on creating my own space–swimming, coffee, laying in a pile somewhere, i have to find it
  4. work on my summer reading list.  three books down, one to go.

As a new faculty, what do you do to try and create some space in your own head while managing all of the other voices pulling you?

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