The Long Month

Here we are, in the midst of what I have always considered to be the worst part of a Spring semester.  January and the start up has gone by the wayside and Spring Break doesn’t arrive until March.  In between we have the long hard slog towards midterm exams.

It is also the time in which that “extra” stuff gets emphasized.  “Oh, by the way…” starts piling up work for next semester.  “If you are not too busy…” add to it.

I get to be the center attraction in a Women’s Studies class discussion on gender in the next couple of weeks.  Once more into the cage, Dr. LabRat.  Maybe we can have a fruitful discussion about the meaning of the phrases “real women” and “real men.”  But I’m only the specimen, so that’s probably unlikely.

More beyond…

Originally posted as part of Teacher’s Lounge at Daily Kos

The Gay/NonGay Alliance has a Safe Zone training scheduled for this semester.  And now we want to add a discussion series.  First topic up:  Coming Out.

Women’s Studies is also trying to figure out how to cope with the problem of domestic abuse on campus.  How thorny is this issue, even laying aside the rape scenarios?  We discussed what to do on Tuesday.  We didn’t get too far.  On a small campus, students are refusing to report being abused by their boyfriends and/or dates.  They don’t want to be labeled as complainers, I guess, or stigmatized in whatever way young people are now doing these things.

It doesn’t help that the college’s reaction has been to try, above all else, to keep both students in school.  How productive is the environment created when someone is forced to be in a class with the man who assaulted her?

Students say that nobody will show up to any education program because of the stigma.  People will march at Take Back the Night.  But apparently Take Back your Life is too personal.

We’re looking at an online program as a solution.  I’m not hopeful.

Finally, I get to teach the senior level Topics class in the fall.  Well, I get to do so if there are enough students.  In recent years, there have not been.  Then again, the students seem to like me.  The title I had to come up with is Internet Support Structures.  That’s a vague as I could make it.  Blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, widgets…and whatever else I can come up with.  Fortunately I have a summer to come up with a syllabus, decide how to run the class, and, oh, I don’t know, maybe learn enough material to be able to teach it.

If you have any comments about or can provide any assistance about any of those topics, just roll them on up and send them on in.

The only upside to February is generally the fact that the long pull up the hill happens during the shortest month.  But even there we have an extra day this year.

So what’s up with you?

PS:  Campus mock election results from last week:

Approximately 11 percent of the campus community voted. Of those who participated 76 percent said they were registered, 82 percent were registered Democrats and six percent were registered Republicans with a few registered as other.  The mock election results were 61 percent for Barack Obama; 31 percent for Hillary Clinton; three percent for John McCain; one percent for Mike Huckabee; and less than one percent for Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.  

These results are not official, but they are indicators of the general feelings about the candidates on the Bloomfield College campus.


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  1. …but I hath waited a decent interval 🙂

    The Dr. Labrat line was funny.  Actually got to go out for coffee with another trans person (FTM) last night – who is about my own age, and also queer identified and politically sophisticated.  Saw Persepolis…which was great, can’t say enough good stuff about it.

    Internet support structures…well, suspect this is a different direction than you’re going with it…but I’d think teaching people to set up DNS and reverse DNS lookups from the ground up — in Linux/*nix and Windows Server — would be a good couple of days.  It’s amazing the number of folks who can’t do their own DNS…

    The other “internet support structure” which might be cool is having an opprotunity to work with a TCP/IP stack from written from scratch, and see what it actually all does.  There are a lot of problems that require replicating this over something other than ethernet, and even if they aren’t going into development, it’s a fine thing to have firsthand acquaintance with…

  2. I thought this diary was about this longer than usual February – ie it’s a leap year.

    My son is going to a B-day party for a friend who was born on Feb. 29th. It will be a double party since her father was also born on Feb. 29th!

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