School Starts tomorrow!

Andy and I start school tomorrow… he’s excited about a new semester I’m feeling more like this little girl…
I know that soon enough it will be finals time — but, for now…

Portabello and asparagus sandwich

Ingredients:

Lots of olive oil, mayonnaise, smart balance, balsamic vinegar, fresh thyme, portabello mushrooms, sweet onions, camembert cheese, asparagus and tomato basil bread (although, any thick cut, chewy on the inside bread would work great).

Leave the cheese out to get nice and warm…

Have your assistant strip the tiny little leaves off of the fresh thyme.  This will take a philosophy Ph.D. a long time…

Carmalize a whole mess of onions — this takes “about 16 years”….

and the end result looks like this… yummo!

Flash fry the asparagus in Smart Balance with some salt—

Marinate in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Marinate the portabellos in olive oil and a lot of the fresh thyme.  Grill them and add butter, salt and fresh thyme at the end.

Assemble the sandwich with the cheese on the bottom, then the mushrooms and the asparagus on top…. put a thin layer of mayo on the top piece of bread and enjoy!

This bears repeating…

A public service announcement.

Seriously, no socks and sandals — except if you are in Isabella and it’s cold outside… and then, only Birkenstocks and wooly sandals.

Old friends pop up…

I just wanted to formally recognize the return of one of my dear blog-friends… Styleygeek!

Styley’s support was huge in helping me deal with cancer and other dissertation-blocks…

I’m happy I stumbled across her again!!!

Equality and equity…

The talk today wasn’t focused much on gender equality… although, perhaps it should have been…

We had our opening day meetings today — and, since we’re a new Achieving the Dream college,  we were treated to a discussion of the difference between equity and equality.  Perhaps it was a message that needed to be sent to some quarters, but it seemed like old news to me.

It’s been obvious to me from the first time I stepped in a college classroom 11 years ago that some students had bigger obstacles to overcome than others.  Some of those obstacles are educational deficits, but most of the time life in general got in the way of their education.  The more “traditional” and “liberal arts” focused the school, the fewer life issues got in the way.  In a community college, life issues are busting out all over.

This isn’t news to any college prof you’ll talk to.  Students have different kinds of challenges during college, duh… some of those challenges are self-imposed, others are due to structural inequalities that are not at all their fault.  The trouble seems to be in figuring out what to do about it.

As much as I’d like to believe that my class can change the life path of every student I meet, I know that isn’t the case.  Similarly, as much as I’d like to see Achieving the Dream close the achievement gap on my campus, it’s a pretty tall order all around.  The reasons students have differing levels of achievement is that they face different personal and structural barriers to success.. and I’m not at all sure how my campus can make that kind of change happen for them….

Also, some colleagues did a pretty basic bit of research and found that 80% of the students who had a D, F or withdrew from the class had at least one of the following three characteristics… 1) they missed the first day of class, 2) they missed a total of 2 weeks worth of classes or 3) they failed to turn in assignments worth 15% of the total points for the course.

So, the startling conclusion is that 80% of the students who weren’t successful didn’t come to class or do their work.  Big shock… of course, the interesting question is why / how did they end up there… and the answers are as complex and varied as the students.  They may also, in many ways, be beyond our control as a college.

Laugh if you will…

Funny Captions - I Can't Very Well Go Job Hunting Looking Like This Now, Can I?

… but, perhaps you’ll think twice before you decline to pass on chain letters — I’m just ‘sayin…

C students…

… sometimes make good… Not that ‘ol GW Bush was good…

A while ago I found an old high school report card.  I took Humanities with the lovely Ms. M — a brilliant teacher, a critical thinker and a very nice person.  I was shocked to see I got a C in Humanities I.

I’m sure I deserved that C — Ms. M was always fair — and demanding at the same time.  When I was a freshman in college, I took Humanities courses and Ms. M’s classes were a fantastic foundation— so I must have learned something.

What’s funny about it now is that I’ve been the chair of Century’s Humanities Division for four years — and I have a Ph.D. in a humanities discipline…

Turns out that I was a late bloomer… hmmm…