Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Seuss

Sunday Afternoon

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* ICYMI: Dr. Seuss Explains Assessment, Metrics, Administrative Blight, and Pretty Much Every Aspect of the Contemporary Education System.

* This is, I think, literally the first time I have ever heard of university budget cuts impacting administration. Meanwhile.

* Meanwhile meanwhile, Congress talks adjuncts and adjunctification. I’m sure they’ll come up with a good solution soon.

Tressie McMillan Cottom on race and adjunctification.

* Yo novel so staid and conventional, it’s taught at over 50 MFA programs.

* Submitted for your approval: An OCR of the MLA JIL list, 1965-2012.

* For some reason I’m seeing a ton of links to Bousquet’s “Tenured Bosses and Disposable Teachers” this weekend.

*  Bérubé’s last post on MLA 2014.

Harvard, MIT Online Courses Dropped by 95% of Registrants.

Inside a for-profit college nightmare.

* Inside the “longform backlash.”

How Student Activists at Duke Transformed a $6 Billion Endowment.

* “Income inequality” has proved a very successful framing for Democrats discussing a massive social problem, so of course the Obama White House is rolling out a much worse one.

* Pope Francis Is Drafting An Encyclical On The Environment.

cold* xkcd explains climate.

* Demographics is destiny: Latinos overwhelmingly want action on climate change.

* How nonviolent was the civil rights movement?

It’s 1968, and Esquire is interviewing James Baldwin.

* Chris Christie says no to dashboard cameras.

* The coming Common Core meltdown.

* The headline reads, “Chinese restaurant owner told to pull down two gigantic 50ft naked Buddhas from establishment’s roof.”

Highly Educated, Highly Indebted: The Lives of Today’s 27-Year-Olds, In Charts.

* America’s nuclear corps are a mess. Dr. Strangelove was a documentary.

A journey to the end of the world (of Minecraft).

* Science has finally proved that sex reverses cognitive decline in rats.

This World Map Shows The Enormity Of America’s Prison Problem.

* The New York Times has the tragic story of a man with a million dollars in his retirement account struggling to scrape by on just $31,500 a month. Truly, there but for the grace of God go we.

Bucking trend, Wisconsin union membership grows.

* Fox to strand reality show contestants on an island for an entire year.

Woody Guthrie’s daughter wants to preserve Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital.

* The “okay, fine, let’s abolish all marriages” response to marriage equality is so strange to me. I know things like this happened during the civil rights movement — and one might argue that precisely the same thing has been happening in slow-motion to public education over the last few decades — but it still seems like such a strange, uniquely twenty-first-century temper tantrum.

* Behold, the 90s! The Most Impressive Costumes from Star Trek: TNG’s First 3 Seasons.

Life as a Nonviolent Psychopath.

We Didn’t Eat the Marshmallow. The Marshmallow Ate Us.

* And Stephen Hawking wants to destroy all your silly, silly dreams.

Dr. Seuss Explains Assessment, Metrics, Administrative Blight, and Pretty Much Every Aspect of the Contemporary Education System

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From Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?, way back in 1973:

Oh, the jobs people work at!
Out west near Hawtch-Hawtch
there’s a Hawtch-Hawtcher Bee-Watcher.
His job is to watch…
is to keep both his eyes on the lazy town bee.
A bee that is watched will work harder, you see.

Well… he watched and he watched.
But, in spite of his watch,
that bee didn’t work any harder. Not mawtch.

So then somebody said,
“Our old bee-watching man
just isn’t bee-watching as hard as he can.
He ought to be watched by another Hawtch-Hawtcher!
The thing that we need
is a Bee-Watcher-Watcher!”

Well…

The Bee-Watcher-Watcher watched the Bee-Watcher.
He didn’t watch well. So another Hawtch-Hawtcher
had to come in as a Watch-Watcher-Watcher!
And today all the Hawtchers who live in Hawtch-Hawtch
are watching on Watch-Watcher-Watchering-Watch,
Watch-Watching the Watcher who’s watching that bee.
You’re not a Hawtch-Watcher. You’re lucky, you see!”

And friends, I’m here to tell you, it just gets worse from there. On the very next page:

And how fortunate you’re not Professor de Breeze,
who has spent the past thirty-two years, if you please
trying to teach Irish ducks how to read Jivanese.

beewatcher_lg

Jivvanese

All the Sunday Night Links

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tumblr_mwcdieFONm1rl1rfao1_500In the light of such an absolute and irretrievable failure, I think we need to revise the slogan about it being easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. It’s as though we collectively were given a choice of which we would choose, and we chose to end the world. See, you know, also.

Student Debt & Wall Street By The Numbers: State-By-State Factsheets. Here’s Wisconsin.

* More Wes Andersony than Wes Anderson: Cosmonaut survival kit.

Zizek, Toilets, and a Defense of the Humanities.

* Crazy story: Princeton weighs whether to offer meningitis vaccines.

* Wheeeeeee: Wisconsin GOP pushes new voting restrictions.

A Day In the Life of an Empowered Female Heroine. Male novelist jokes.

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: His alcoholism was different, because someday he was going to die.

Like Reinharz, many other college presidents across the country are negotiating huge exit packages when they step down, which critics say is emblematic of schools’ unrestrained spending on everything from administrative salaries to elaborate new buildings that drive up the cost of higher education.

MOOCs were supposed to be the device that would bring higher education to the masses. However, the masses at San Jose State don’t appear to be ready for the commodified, impersonal higher education that MOOCs offer without the guidance that living, breathing professors provide to people negotiating its rocky shores for the first time. People need people.

Game Play Has No Negative Impact on Kids, UK Study Finds. 11,000-kid, decade-long study.

* Dr. Seuss’s Stalin cartoons.

Exxon’s Fine For Massive Tar Sands Spill Is A Mere 1/3000th Of Its Third-Quarter Profits.

Judge Slashes Sentence For Alabama Man Who Raped Teen To Probation With No Jailtime.

‘Like Being in Prison with a Salary’: The Secret World of the Shipping Industry.

* Well they closed down the video store in Philly last night… Requiem for Blockbuster in the key of Springsteen.

* Laugh and cry in a single sound: San Francisco turns into Gotham City for Batkid.

* They kept a quantum computer working for 39 minutes.

* The flowchart of J. Alfred Prufrock.

* Stephen Colbert destroys Richard Cohen.

* The real ending for Breaking Bad has finally leaked.

* And communists seize Seattle! Could Portland be next?

Thursday!

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It seems likely to me that at some point in the postwar era, the world had actually collectively created something like “the material conditions for full communism” — but powerful people made choices that led to a voluntary continuation of the logic of scarcity even when we were no longer physically constrained by actual-existing scarcity. The result has been a squandering of those resources in such a way as to set up environmental catastrophes that will almost certainly return us to a condition of real scarcity.

Adjunct Professors at Tufts Organize with SEIU.

Dumb, pointless boondoggle halted after obvious thing happens.

What’s going on in Colorado is an outstanding case study in what happens when a black market becomes a legal one, and it’s something we probably won’t see again in any of our lifetimes.

America’s three biggest jail systems, with more than 11,000 prisoners under treatment on any given day, represent by far the largest mental-health treatment facilities in the country.

* The United States of Shame: What Is Your State the Worst At?

Choose Your Own Adventure Books Based on Breaking Bad.

* Seusstastic Park, A Jurassic Park/Doctor Seuss Mashup.

ObamaCare List Hits 313 As 54 Colleges Cut Adjunct Hours.

* At the University of Toronto, students have created their own exchanges where they can pay students who are enrolled in a class which is full to drop out, thus opening space for themselves.  In other words, a secondary market in class spaces has spontaneously emerged (as markets do).

* Marissa Alexander has been awarded a new trial.

What happens when calling 911 could cost you your home.

* Randolph County Board of Education backs down.

* Doctor Who minisodes: 1, 2.

* ABC teases exciting Agents of Shield post-credits gimmick.

* And even Joss Whedon thinks his work for Marvel is kind of a bummer.

Tuesday Links

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* “‘The best way to interview is nonpregnant and ringless,’” that respondent said, adding she was only able to land a job after she kept her family secret during the interview process.

* Cheating on a quiz I can understand, but cheating in a quiz bowl? Oh, Harvard.

* Mad Men characters reimagined as Muppets.

* Ideology and fact-checking at the New Yorker.

As I pointed out in “Anderson Fails at Arithmetic,” this allegation misleads the reader in two ways. Inequality has been reduced enormously under Chávez, using its standard measure, the Gini coefficient. So one can hardly say that in this aspect, Venezuela remains the “same as ever.” Making Anderson’s contention even worse is the fact that Venezuela is the most equal country in Latin Americaaccording to the United Nations. Anderson’s readers come away with exactly the opposite impression.

* The Jobs Crisis at Our Best Law Schools Is Much, Much Worse Than You Think: At some top tier schools, more than a fifth of students are underemployed.

Investigators say Wilson County Deputy Daniel Fanning on Saturday was showing his weapons to a relative in a bedroom of his Lebanon home when the toddler came in and picked up a gun off the bed. Sheriff Robert Bryan says the weapon discharged, hitting 48-year-old Josephine Fanning. She was pronounced dead at the scene. 

* High school students in Newark will walk out of classes today at noon, marching to Rutgers Law School to attend a State Assembly budget hearing on education funding.

* NCAA heroically prevents influence of money from corrupting college sports, bans Louisville men’s team from flying to see women’s team.

Marvel Phase 3: Ant-Man and Doctor Strange.

* The Argument from Batman.

* Dr. Seuss’s Evil Dead.

* The end of Bobby Jindal.

* Pink vs. Blue.

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All the Midweek Links There Are

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* My media empire: I have a piece on climate change and science fiction in the new New Inquiry issue on weather, which has gone out to subscribers but isn’t online yet. I’ll let you know when you can read it, though for a mere $2 you could read it this very minute.

* “It’s one of those situations where everybody says it’s an issue but the people who have the most influence and the most ability to do something about it are not acting on it,” said Gary Rhoades, professor of higher education at the University of Arizona’s Center for the Study of Higher Education and director of the Center for the Future of Higher Education, a virtual think tank supported by faculty and labor groups. He called the adjunct issue a “widely acknowledged challenge” with deep, interwoven roots – many of which pit administrative prerogatives against labor concerns and educational outcomes.

IRS Says Colleges Must Be ‘Reasonable’ When Calculating Adjuncts’ Work Hours. What if the adjuncts shrugged?

* Yesterday marked the 202th anniversary of the largest slave revolt in US history.

* Game of the day: run from Michel Foucault. Do not become enamored of power.

* Another great rundown of science fiction in China. Via io9.

* zunguzungu is gathering notes towards a canon of post-9/11 literature. I contributed Wells Tower’s “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned,” as well as the inevitable science fictional treatments: Battlestar Galactica, District 9, Nolan’s Batman…

* Warmest Year On Record Received Cool Climate Coverage. It’s so hot in Australia they’ve had to add a new color to the weather map.

* This paper uses annual variation in temperature and precipitation over the past 50 years to examine the impact of climatic changes on economic activity throughout the world. We find three primary results. First, higher temperatures substantially reduce economic growth in poor countries but have little effect in rich countries. Second, higher temperatures appear to reduce growth rates in poor countries, rather than just the level of output. Third, higher temperatures have wide-ranging effects in poor nations, reducing agricultural output, industrial output, and aggregate investment, and increasing political instability. Analysis of decade or longer climate shifts also shows substantial negative effects on growth in poor countries. Should future impacts of climate change mirror these historical effects, the negative impact on poor countries may be substantial.

* The Seven Lady Godivas: Dr. Seuss’s Little-Known “Adult” Book of Nudes.

* io9 celebrates the classic tabletop role-playing game Paranoia.

* The American Prospect considers the legal hyperformalism the GOP has embraced in the face of longterm demographic crisis and declining real power.

What all these efforts have in common is that they are all perfectly legal,  and yet they all violate the norms of how American politics had been practiced for decades or even for centuries. All of them exploit some loophole in the law or the Constitution to give Republicans some immediate advantage in the basic ground rules of how political issues are contested.

* National Geographic’s photographs of 2012.

original

* The great moral question of our time: On heckling.

* The Superhero Delusion: How Superhero Movies created the Sad Perfect Badass Messiah, and what that says about America.

* Television as narcissism.

* Installing the blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History.

* Science catches up to what the poets always knew: Our perception of time changes with age, but it also depends on our emotional state. Research is steadily improving our understanding of the brain circuits that control this sense, opening the way for new forms of treatment, particularly for Parkinson’s disease.

* Debating that rape viral infrographic.

* Great moments in advertising: the UC spends $4.3 million to attract a single student.

* The forever war on women: Under Obama, a Skew Toward Male Appointees.

* And Mitch Hurwitz teases the new Arrested Development. I am…optimistic?

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

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* Inside Pantone HQ.

* Muppet Fairy Tales. Why isn’t this a book or long-running television series yet?

* Presenting the Rust Belt Justice League.

* Being Samuel L. Jackson.

The Ministry of Defence is considering placing surface-to-air missiles on residential flats during the Olympics.

To explain the behavior of “the left,” Bergen offers this theory: “From both the right and left, there has been a continuing, dramatic cognitive disconnect between Mr. Obama’s record and the public perception of his leadership: despite his demonstrated willingness to use force, neither side regards him as the warrior president he is.” In other words, progressives are slavishly supportive of “one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades” because they have deluded themselves into denying this reality and continue to pretend he’s some sort of anti-war figure.

* Faith-based retirement. (via)

16 years, $185,000 in debt, ABD. Sad story. (via)

* Stephen King talks to Neil Gaiman.

* The secret art of Dr. Seuss.

* And the truth is out there: Seattle Attorney Andrew Basiago Claims U.S. Sent Him On Time Travels. I want to believe!

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