Saturday, June 28, 2008

fun fact from the american association of university professors

The salaries paid to head football coaches at Division I-A universities are ten times as high as the salaries to senior professors.

The full 2007-08 Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

it's a sin to tell somebody they are a nobody

Recently I happened to hear a speech given by an undocumented student. That is, a student who is putting herself through school, while she is lacking the documents that would allow her and her family to reside legally in the United States. They are, to use a different term, illegal immigrants.

It took this young woman five years to get through a two year program at a community college. Given her legal status she wasn't eligible for any form of financial aid or loans, and her parents were not able to help her financially. To save up money for books and tuition, she took quarters off and worked full time, and more. Then she went back to school until she ran out of money. It takes a lot of tenacity to keep that up for five years. But she did, and now she is transferring to a well known four year college. She is an English major, and, judging from her speech, a gifted writer.

She gave her speech in English and Spanish, intertwining translated paragraphs. She cried when she spoke about the sacrifices of her parents, the gardener and the cleaning woman. She cried when she repeated what they constantly tell her, that "just because we are nobody, doesn't mean that you have to be a nobody".

She said about her parents that, "just because they never went to school, doesn't mean they are not teachers".

For eight years I have taught at a very good private university. I have had more than a thousand students. If I think long and hard I can come up with names of five (5) students who I think would be able to give a speech as eloquent as the one I heard this week.

I am not saying the immigration issue is easy. But I do think that young men and women who work hard for their education should be recognized as the assets that they are. Smart, tenacious, bilingual, and bicultural, isn't that exactly what society needs right now?

Monday, June 16, 2008

asian me

Mayka found this site, where you can upload an image and have software transform you into different races, ages, genders, and artistic renditions. So, this is me, East Asian:
And, lifelong dream fulfilled, me as a Modigliani painting:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

to all of you men out there

If you ask a woman what year her car is, and if she answers that it is a -72, do not ask her if she is the original owner.

Do not do this, however slightly intoxicated you are, there in the Safeway parking lot.

Friday, June 13, 2008

makes you furious

I think Michelle Obama seems cool. She reminds me of students I've had and women I've met. I've enjoyed listening to her and I've been impressed. I like her no nonsense attitude.

Then I heard the other day a pundit say that very likely Michelle Obama will be made a target in this fall's presidential campaign. And then I started thinking.

Even though her husband, Barack Obama, biracial as he is, successfully has been able to balance identifying as a black man and still be perceived as multicultural, Michelle Obama sure is a black American woman. And that's what it's all about, right? America might be ready for a biracial president, but is America ready for a black First Lady?

If her husband gets elected, there will be three descendants of slaves living in the White House.

Imagine that.

When those right-wing attacks start coming, remember what the goal is: keeping the White House white.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Steak, tsatsiki, sundried olives. I am just saying.

Pour 1 liter or so of natural yogurt (such as Nancy's: that has no crazy additives, and real honest to God bacteria) into a colander or sieve lined with cheesecloth (or a Melitta filter, or sturdy paper towel). Let sit for at least an hour. This allows the yogurt to thicken.
Peel and super finely dice 1 cucumber. Then place it in bowl, sprinkle with salt, mix, put a plate on top, and put something heavy on the plate.
Let the cucumber too sit for about an hour, or longer.
Finely chop a couple of garlic cloves.
Drain the liquid that has formed around the cucumber.
Mix everything.
Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
Let sit over night if you have the patience.

I made this for a potluck once and there was a Greek person there and she approved. Very Greek.

thanks to online banking we will always remember this

May 21, 2008: First day I paid more than $30 ($30.30 to be exact) to put gas in my little car. And the tank wasn't even all that empty.

Friday, June 06, 2008

from you can't make these things up.

What Was Wrong With "Bob Dylan"?

Literature prof: Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz were two Mexican intellectuals who wrote essays concerning what it meant to be Mexican. Can anyone name some equivalent American intellectuals who were concerned with what it means to be American?
Student #1: Steven Spielberg?
Student #2: J. K. Rowling?
Student #3: Bob Dylan?
Student #4: C. S. Lewis?
Student #5: Stephen king?

--Fordham University Classroom

Overheard by: [Embarrassed] to be an American

nov. 20, 1925 - june 6, 1968

From the Robert F. Kennedy entry on Wikipedia:

Senator [Ted] Kennedy concluded his eulogy, paraphrasing his deceased brother Robert by quoting George Bernard Shaw:

"Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'Why not?'"

barack obama's victory speech in st. paul, minnesota, june 4 2008

To watch, first turn off the music player in the right hand margin below.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

yes, things are changing

On January 27 Dan was laughing at me.

I am an idealistic person. I like to think about how things could be. That's necessary if you want to achieve change. Otherwise you don't know where you are going.

But to achieve change you also need to see clearly how things really are.

Realism and idealism in a healthy balance, right?

America has nominated an African American as a candidate for president. There is racism in this country, but there is also hope.