Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Remember Me

Wednesday!

with 4 comments

* If you became the last person on Earth, what would you do? Realistically. Via Kottke.

* At Slate: the international war over exit signs.

* Focus describes the job I’m training for as the 3rd best in America. Inside Higher Ed’s state of humanities departments describes my chances of actually getting it.

* Kotaku has a preview of the game that will prevent that from ever happening.

* “What’s the point of having a Philosophy department in an American university?”

In Our Underachieving Colleges (CT review still on its way: DD to blame if I never get round to it) Derek Bok claims that the standard assumptions within most departments in research universities is that the undergraduate curriculum is for attracting and then teaching majors, and, further, that our attention to the majors should be shaped by the aim of preparing them well for graduate school. This means that the curriculum is designed for a tiny minority of the students who take classes, and even many of them, probably, would be better off doing something other than going to graduate school (that’s me, not Bok, saying the last bit).

I don’t think of the curriculum, or the mission of my department in my institution, that way at all.

If I did I would campaign to remove our classes from the list of classes that meet breadth requirements and ask other majors not to require our classes. In most places, including in my department (even now, when we have a glut of majors, no doubt owing to the high quality instruction in my department and the newly found glamour in our field) most of the enrollments in Philosophy courses (as in most Humanities departments) come from non-majors trying to fulfill breadth, general ed, or other-major-specific requirements. If I were in the position of having to justify my own department’s existence, and was unconstrained by the comments of my colleagues, I would focus on the service we do to students for whom the course they take from us is the only Philosophy course they take.

* Gawker spoils the end of Remember Me, which apparently has the same surprise! ending as 80% of the stories we got when I was reading the slushpile for Greensboro Review and Backwards City Review earlier this decade. Sounds like quite a film.

* A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows flu shots in children has dramatic success in reducing the instance of flu in a community.

* And Alan Grayson introduces H.R. 4789, Medicare buy-in for all. “The government spent billions of dollars creating a Medicare network of providers that is only open to one-eighth of the population. That’s like saying, ‘Only people 65 and over can use federal highways.’ It is a waste of a very valuable resource and it is not fair. This idea is simple, it makes sense, and it deserves an up-or-down vote.”