I ain’t dead yet! (see you in april)

A couple of you have (bless you) emailed to make sure I’m doing okay. I am! A couple of weeks ago I got socked with the nasty spring cold that’s been going around, which triggered a couple of migraines / bad sinus headaches, and for about ten days I didn’t have energy for much more than getting to work and home again (on days when I went to work). I’m feeling better now, but had the New England Archivists’ spring meeting this past weekend and now my parents are here so … long story short I am unexpectedly taking a three-week hiatus from the “food for thought” posts and emails. I’ll be back in the game next Wednesday (yes really, even though it will be April 1st!).

In the meantime, if you’re interested in archival backchannel chatter, check out the #maracnea15 hashtag on Twitter for conference discussion!

food for thought: cranberry seltzer gin edition

I’m putting this week’s links list together at my kitchen table while the cats chase one another in and out of the kitchen window onto the back porch: it’s above zero and therefore balmy enough to let the cats stretch their legs! I’m solo parenting tonight as the wife is staying late at work to do a presentation, and dinner consists of chickpea-squash curry stew, sauteed asparagus, and cranberry-pomegranate seltzer with the last shot of household gin. While listening to my sixth lecture on copyright via the Berkman Center’s CopyrightX series. I’m taking their (free!) class on global copyright law this spring and learning a lot!

This week’s links…

Microaggressions in Librarianship | Call for Microaggressions Post-Its! (For Zine-Making)

LIS Microaggressions is soliciting Post-it submissions to be collected and included in our first ever LIS Microaggressions zine, which will be distributed at the upcoming ARLIS, ACRL, and REFORMA conferences this month. This zine will also be available for download on our site!

(Um, WordPress doesn’t recognize the word “microagressions” in their dictionary. Problem!)

ALAnews | LLAMA Webinar Explores Implications of Microaggressions

Microaggressions are subtle, denigrating messages delivered to members of marginalized groups, and they can negatively affect an organization’s culture. Experiences of microaggressions can lead library staff to feel increasingly dissatisfied with their jobs, which may result in their physical or psychological departures from their organizations.   The Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) and the ALA Office for Diversity will present “Racial and LGBT Microaggressions: An Introduction for Library Leaders,” on Mar. 18, at 1:30 – 3:00 PM (Central time). 

Brigid Schulte @ The Washington Post | Women Need Time Off From Work the Most Often But Get It the Least

You can draw that conclusion, at least, from a new report by the Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management that found great disparities in the type of workers who receive paid time off — either vacation time or sick days or more general paid leave. Nearly all-full time workers do. But less than a third of part-time workers do.

And there’s the rub. Women are far more likely than men to work part-time. And the overwhelming reason is that they either choose to, or have no choice. Women, after all, are still doing about twice the housework and child care as their male partners.

Brenda Iasavoli @ NPR | A Glut of PhDs Means Long Odds Of Getting Jobs

Colleges and universities control both the supply of college teachers and the demand for them. In many fields, from the humanities to the sciences, universities are accepting far more Ph.D. students than there are tenure-track openings. The universities get cheap labor in the form of graduate teaching and research assistants.

The research equivalent of adjuncts are the postdocs, who work in labs. The growing numbers of Ph.D.s end up fighting for a dwindling number of permanent jobs.

Peter Elbow | Grading Student Writing: Making it Simpler, Fairer, Clearer (PDF)

Some people complain that minimal grading takes away motivation, but when students struggle for excellence only for the sake of a grade, what we see is not motivation but the atrophy of motivation: the gradual decline of the ability to work or think or wonder under one’s own steam. Minimal grading on low stakes assignments, however, is a way to help students gradually develop a bit of intrinsic motivation—develop a bit of their own curiosity and standards. They get a time out from their habitual and understandable preoccupation with “What is the teacher looking for?” They get a chance to ask themselves, “What am I looking for? What do I think? What are my standards?” Of course, students nurtured in a grading economy often need some extrinsic motivation to get them working. But that’s exactly what minimal grading provides. It makes them do the writing and engage the material, but it gives them a lot of choice about how. Thus they get small protected spaces for gradually developing small bits of intrinsic motivation. And of course, they still have some high stakes assignments that we grade in a high stakes way—assignments where we provide most of the motivation.

I found this PDF linked in the comment thread of this thoughtful post:

Jesse Stommel | Dear Chronicle: While I Will No Longer Write for Vitae

This series is not effective satire, not a useful kind of venting. This series plays to the insecurities of its audience in a way that feels opportunistic. Academic job seekers are concerned about their current and future livelihood. They are oppressed by a system that calls 75% of its labor-force “unnecessary,” “contingent,” “adjunct.” The “Dear Student” series turns that oppression, and the most snickering part of it, upon students.

And for those of you in the Boston metropolitan area, a lecture series you may be interested in…

Boston has long played a significant role in the history of the Americas. Often ignored in the telling of that story has been the experiences of Black Women living in our city.

Please join us, every Tuesday this March, as we celebrate Women’s History Month by hosting a series of talks aimed at illuminating some of the fascinating histories of women of African descent here in Boston!

Each week’s discussion will cover one century of social, cultural, and political history; focusing on Black Women’s audacious vitality from the Early Colonial Period through the Present and highlighting how our struggles made this city and our success transformed the nation.

All are welcome- so tell your friends- and we look forward to seeing you there!!

Week 1: March 3rd- The 1600s: A period of introduction
Week 2: March 10th – 1700s: A period of consolidation
Week 3: March 17th – 1800s: A period of rebellion
Week 4: March 24th – 1900s: A period of revolution
Week 5: March 31st– The Present

Sponsored by: The History Collective, Black Lives Matter Boston, and Safe Hub Collective.

Hosted by: Fields Corner Business Lab | 1452 Dorchester Ave, 4th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02122


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