Hey U of Chicago: I’m an academic & survivor. I use trigger warnings in my classes. Here’s why. – Medium

The University of Chicago recently stated ‘We Do Not Support So-Called Trigger Warnings’. “So-Called”, eh? Because millennials are entitled and overly sensitive and oppressive, right? Not because anyone has ever experienced actual trauma and requested a little warning in order to properly administer self care, of course. Because mental health, being invisible, is still not as valid as physical health that can be readily perceived.

This is not about censorship. This is part of toxic masculinity, rape culture, and the “suck it up” mindset that has been damaging real, living human beings for generations. If millennials are willing to speak up about such societal poison, we should be thanking them, not punishing them.

Erica D. Price wrote an amazing piece on Medium. Please go have a read.

I have honored every request for a trigger or content warning that a student has ever given me, and I go out of my way to tag any potentially upsetting material with trigger warnings. I don’t do this because I am a beaten-down, scared shitless academic with no intellectual freedom. My students have not backed me into a corner and demanded that I keep thought-provoking content at bay. Students who disagree with me politically or philosophically (of which there are many) do not try to silence me under a deluge of TW requests. My universities have not twisted my arms, pinned me down, and affixed black TW duct tape across my mouth. That’s not how TW’s work.

via Hey U of Chicago: I’m an academic & survivor. I use trigger warnings in my classes. Here’s why. – Medium

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“A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for”

Frequently attributed to Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, the titular words of wisdom sum up what intellectual curiosity and higher education are – or should be – all about.

Photo of a large sailing ship moving away from the camera. The sea is calm, the backdrop is of orange clouds.

Apparently the President of the United States agrees.

“Obama explained his belief that engaging with ideas you might disagree with is a foundational element of higher education.” 

“The purpose of college is not just… to transmit skills. It’s also to widen your horizons, to make you a better citizen,” Obama said. “The way to do that is to create a space where a lot of ideas are presented and collide, and people are having arguments, and people are testing each other’s theories. And over time, people learn from each other because they’re getting out of their own narrow point of view, and having a broad point of view.” Continue reading ““A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for””

Humanitize me!

We are studying “outcome-based learning”, in part by examining the Bologna process.  Since I usually nod off or get antsy trying to read dry, factual stuff – I learn facts better by listening – I’ve fed it through a text-to-speech program.  It’s functional, though like most robotic voices, has some issues.

“Bologna” is not pronounced “bo-LOHN-ya” as it should be, but “bo-LOHN-ee”, like the sandwich meat.  So when we get to phrases like “Implementing Bologna in your institution” it turns hilarious. Continue reading “Humanitize me!”

Sharing is fun.

Among other things, digital humanities involves collaboration. To this end, we (the class of 2014-2015 at UCC, not the royal we) are dipping our collective toes into several software applications. The first one is Evernote.

Since we haven’t started creating things together yet, there was little of substance in my notebooks. I created an empty folder and simply copied over a page of notes from a different class.  I thought that was a bit dull, so I replaced it with a graphic:

You rang?

Yay for collaboration!

A-blogging we will go.

“Humor is reason gone mad.”

~ Groucho Marx

And then came India. TourAbsurd.com was my baby, my happy place, my reason for moving forward. For four years I nurtured it, educated myself about the workings of social media, and built an international network of friends and contacts within the travel industry. After 6 six weeks in Mumbai, Goa, and Kerala, however, I was done. It was the trip that broke my wanderlust.

It seemed odd that it should evaporate – *poof!* – just like that, but there you have it. The quiet that seeped in to fill the void was only disconcerting in that it was …not at all disconcerting. I felt I should be more upset by the absence of something I’d used define myself for so many years. Yet I was secretly content. I knew whatever came next would be great. Continue reading “A-blogging we will go.”