Day 211, October 13, 2020

Rollin' and Tumblin'

Tonight's soundtrack: Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones Live at the Checkerboard Lounge 1981 (This is so amazing and marvelous! Why have I never seen this before?)

When I was first hired at GCC, the chair of the department suggested I negotiate my salary as much as possible since that was the starting point for the rest of my career. The big dean cut short any kind of negotiation. The salary, she explained, was a clear formula generated by the contract and experience teaching, and various other factors. But, because I was offering to create an online magazine, Lacuna, I was able to request a Mac, and Dreamweaver, and the Adobe suite of software. 

The site I made with the a couple of creative writing students was very simple, just a glorified template that I was able to massage into shape with what little HTML I taught myself. Nevertheless, it was something I was proud of. 

Today, I in the back of a drawer in my office I found the note that John from IT left on my laptop in August of 2001. It is fun to remember back then and the person I was. It feels like almost a lifetime ago. 

I'm afraid I'm a little distracted. The concert with Muddy Waters is so marvelous. I've always been a huge Muddy Waters fan.  I can't remember the first time I heard Muddy. Sometime in high school I picked up a Muddy Waters cassette. It wasn't something anyone else I knew was listening too, and I listened to it mostly privately, a little embarrassed to be singing along, "When I was a young boy... at the age of five..." Muddy spawned a whole identity crisis of sorts for a Korean kid who fell in love with the blues. I could never resolve the visual incongruity of an Asian guy playing or singing the blues. Mick Jagger doesn't seem to have any of that self consciousness, he... after a little prodding, jumps right in, as do Keith and Ron. But Muddy is transcendent. You can feel him down to your knees. To me, Muddy is even funkier than James Brown. He's funky down to your roots, and the band just chugs along driving that whole thing. Oh man, now Buddy Guy just got on stage! And Junior Wells! 

I'll return to writing tomorrow. Until then, have a wonderful evening.


From Our Friends:

From the NYT:

Read Their Words. Hear Them Speak.

By Maya Phillips

How do we — the artists, the writers, the ones who are so used to squaring off with the worst of ourselves, our world, our humanity — find a language suitable for our current state of disaster, which is almost biblical in its force and Shakespearean in its unfolding?

The 10 young Black writers in this project — talented poets from Oakland, Houston, St. Louis, Chicago, New York, Nashville, New Orleans and Los Angeles — are using the tools at their disposal, whatever they have. There’s the “Black vernacular” of Akilah Toney’s poem, the unshakable end rhymes of Alora Young, the expansive lines of Nyarae Francis’s sestina and the stunning yet harrowing fragments of Samuel Getachew’s “justice for -.”

[A text-only version of the 10 poems is available here.]

From Diana Abath:

Below are the eligibility requirements for access and applying for rent and mortgage assistance in Franklin County. Yesterday, Gov. Baker's office announced a new infusion of housing specific funds increasing the assistance amount up to $4,000 - $10,000 per household.

General Program Information: 

From Academic Impressions:


Design Faculty of Color Affinity Spaces to Improve Retention
Live Webcast | November 6, 2020

Building affinity spaces for your faculty of color is one way you can improve retention efforts. These spaces not only connect underrepresented faculty to each other, they increase faculty productivity and institutional loyalty.

However, it’s not enough to simply offer these affinity spaces – you must also organize them with clear structure and intention, so that faculty of color know their voices and concerns will be heard and responded to by upper administration. Find out more.

See more trainings on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

From Higher Ed Hot Topics:

Latinx/a/o Students: Initiatives & Support for Engagement, Persistence & Degree Completion

Latinx/a/o students’ transition to college and persistence towards degree completion remains a high priority for institutions across the U.S. You’ll be able to help them achieve their academic and social goals by ensuring they know — and have access — to all of the available resources designed specifically for them. 

From UMass Amherst:

Humanities & Arts @ UMass: Liberal Arts in the Age of Disruption

Date & Location

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET

Virtual via Zoom

Register Today!

Creative Women Leading Climate Action concludes this week with two extraordinary events:

PANEL - Climate Change and Communities of Color: How Artists are Responding
Thursday, October 15, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. (ET)
Racial injustice is intrinsically tied to climate change. Artists of color have been imperative to the climate and racial justice movement through their various media. This panel includes three amazing artists who will talk about their art and the important work they are doing. Moderated by Hind Mari, Director, Women of Color Leadership Network, UMass. Panelists: Dr. Diana Alvarez, Artist Scholar; Chelvanaya (Naya) Gabriel, Artist; and Erika Slocumb, Artist.

From EducationAdminWebAdvisor:

Replacing Culturally- And Racially-Insensitive Mascots

Friday, October 23

2:00 PM Eastern; 1:00 PM Central; 12:00 PM Mountain; 11:00 AM Pacific

Dr. Sherman Green will help you identify the need to replace culturally-insensitive mascots. You will learn why the change is imperative for your institution.

Please join us!


Microaggressions: How To Identify And Combat Them In Your Workplace And School 

Monday, October 19

3:00 PM Eastern; 2:00 PM Central; 1:00 PM Mountain; 12:00 PM Pacific

Higher education leaders Precious Green Gunter and Brandon Washington will help you identify microaggressions and implicit bias. You will learn how to ensure all the members of your campus community are seen, respected, valued, and included. 

Please join us!


Anti-Racism In and Out Of The Classroom: How to Be an Ally For College Students

Tuesday, October 20

3:00 PM Eastern; 2:00 PM Central; 1:00 PM Mountain; 12:00 PM Pacific

Educational equity experts Precious Green Gunter and Brandon Washington will reveal how to honor all student perspectives in ways that acknowledge minority students’ experiences with anecdotal and structural racism. You will learn from discussions of real-world scenarios led by the facilitators.

Please join us!


A lot of trees down in the Sand Plains.

Today's Online Teaching Tips:

From the Online Learning Consortium:

OLC Fall 2020 Webinar Series: Leading the eLearning Transformation of Higher Ed

Free series kicks off Tuesday, October 20

In this environment, eLearning leaders must act within their institutions as much more than technology managers and assume the prime role of helping their institutions understand the opportunities that eLearning presents for faculty, for students, and for client organizations in the community. Join us for a free series of three webinars with authors of “Leading the eLearning Transformation of Higher Education (Second Edition) – Leadership Strategies for the Next Generation” to discuss how to drive institution-wide transformation, ensure operational effectiveness along the way and sustain innovation.

The authors will share the collective expertise of veterans who have pioneered the field for 20 years, and of a rising generation of eLearning leaders that are transforming online programs at their own institutions.

If you’d like to purchase the book to go along with the free webinar, use code LEAD30 at checkout for a 30% discount.

From the Campus Compact of Southern New England:

Maine Campus Compact, in partnership with Campus Compact for New Hampshire and Campus Compact for Southern New England, will lead a New England-wide initiative offering enhanced online teaching support as part of the Fusion Course program. The course and additional support will be offered free of charge for many faculty members in New England, based on availability.
Learn More and Register


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