Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ever Heard of Thermate????

Brigham Young UniveristyPhyics Prof. finds thermate on world trade center sample.

Think about it,

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Woman and Power (my first conference)

Today I attended and presented at my first conference Woman and Power. It was a great experience. I am really happy that my first experience at a conference was about empowering woman. As I listened to my comrades present, I realized that we were there for that purpose, and I felt proud. I'm glad I started the antibiotics when I did or I wouldn't have made it through. About 1/2 way through my presentation it hit me, how bad I was feeling. My eyes started to cross, and my God I got cotton mouth like you wouldn't believe. It becomes extremely daunting to pronounce 2, 3 syllable words like that. But alas I made it through, and am all the better for it. Though I did have to miss my Coleridge class (sorry STC -never again).
Our session had to be moved to a classroom due to over-booking, and as a result the class that was supposed to take place was canceled. I had come very early and one by one I watched student after student come to the do door, and read the paper, and this overwhelming joy come over them- NO CLASS TODAY! I laughed a few times. One girl was upset that she had to walk all the way across campus. One student read the note and a look of real confusion came over him. He asked me "class is canceled?" "Yes, there is a conference here today" I said. "Has it been totally canceled, or has it moved" he said. Suddenly I was involved in a conversation and hadn't considered any alternatives to the word "canceled." Nevertheless, the student was upset that their was no class today, and apparently it was canceled Tuesday as well. I'm glad there are those kind of students. This whole exchange helped me through my anxiety and I thought about my students asking if we were "really going to have class on Friday." Oh yeah I said we'll probably stay an extra four hours. Pitch a tent, bring a sack lunch! Back to the conference.
It's hard for me to not contextualize this as an event though. Let me explain. As we sat in the lobby discussing each others papers, I had mixed emotions. On the positive side, it was great to get together with my classmates from 16th Century Lit. and experience that with them. We talked about our ideas and shared with each other. There were commonalities in our works- we were essentially a community with a common goal and that feels good. Our leader Dr. Hollings was also one of us. There wasn't a higher and lower class.
On the downside, I realized that we separated from those outside the doors of the conference hall. There weren't droves of people there to support woman. I realized outside the doors, even though it was a university campus, most didn't care. Sitting in the lobby there was a People magazine, or something like it. The cover stories were about how one of the Olsen twins looked, and how Jessica Simpson was looking, and something about the Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie scandal which seems to be bigger than the tearing down of the Berlin wall. All of these objectified woman- this was were the real power is. It wasn't with us and in our papers, it was on the table. Millions of people read that magazine, many of whom are women. Women who care much more about what happens with Jessica Simpson, than a woman becoming president. I couldn't help but to think about the paralells in our papers and with the magazine. The so-called "Hollywood royalty" and Queene Elizabeth. Woman writers who had to hide their true feelings of expression, and woman who choose to express themselves as a sacrifice for other peoples temporal amusement. Woman who had no chance to break free from the chains of their lives, such as the Irish woman Chris spoke of, and woman who could do so many things, but choose not to. The one common thread I did notice was the destruction of cultures. First in the Irish society and the consequence of Capitalism in ours.
Then I realized, again, just how much academia has become an escape for me, and to those within it as well. Dr. Hollings was there and as usual was really supportive of our work and our thoughts. This doesn't happen outside of academia. Or rather it's rare. Working for a university is not like the "real"world. In the real world compliments are designed to motivate you to work harder for someone other than yourself or a community. I have never had a boss or mentor say anything in a real effort to empower me.
Anyway before this turns anymore depressing-- we should build huge walls around our universities. We should have armed guards at the gates and a big sign that reads: ALL ARE FREE TO ENTER IF YOU ARE HERE TO LEARN. All others with ulterior motives should be turned away. The fight to preserve what was started long ago has begun, and it's looks like were losing.
Free Tuition for all,

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


I have noticed a disturbing trend at MTSU- military recruitment on campus. I noticed it one day after class. As I was walking to the cafeteria to grab some "rations," I saw a Marine talking to a student. He was obviously a recruiter. Then I saw 5 or 6 of the ROTC guys dressed in camo on my way up to the steps to the "chow line." I grabbed some healthy pizza (I'm trying to gain some more weight), and sat down and what did I see in front of me: an advertisement for the National Gaurd (do they still gaurd the nation). What'a going on around here I asked myself?

I asked my students about this. When I asked how many had been contacted by a recruiter on the phone all raised their hands. A few students are getting calls asking them "hows college going?" As in (ARE YOU READY TO DROP OUT AND JOIN US?) These aren't kids looking for direction, they are college students. Why does no one care about this? Well I shouldn't say no one he is a link and a picture of students in Seattle running a recruiter out of the building!

Good for them. I'm sure the recruiters don't tell them of the wonderful death they may encounter, or the thrill of watching children die or loose arms and legs. Or the fact that they are being used as pawns for the filthy rich to get filthier. Or that rich kids somehow escape duty. Or there parents that all they will get when they die is a flag folded in the shape of a triangle. Or that when they get out they will only be prepared for as my friend who was in the Navy said "I only know how to blow #$#% up."

Moreover, colleges do not have to let them come to campus:

I asked some of my collegues about this and they look at me like I am on crack. "It's the students responsibility to know what the truth behind recruiting is," one person told me. These are the same people who complain that our Freshman can't read the syllabus on their own, or come to class, or keep a deadline. How is a 19 year old supposed to deal with someone who is learned in deception? How are they supposed to know what to do with their lives? Half of them can't even decide on a major. This is OK, this is what college is for: to learn about yourself. Another avocated that lying was the only way to get them to join. Huh? Where is this so-called Liberal prescence in the academy? What happend to the 60's and 70's where Professors used grade inflation to save the lives of 18 and 19 year olds?

If anyone has any info on what can be done about this let me know.

Until then Military out of MTSU!