TITLE: Quick Hits at the University AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: March 30, 2016 3:21 PM DESC: ----- BODY: This morning I read three pieces with some connection to universities and learning. Each had a one passage that made me smart off silently as I pedaled. From The Humanities: What's The Big Idea?:
Boyarin describes his own research as not merely interdisciplinary but "deeply post-disciplinary." (He jokes that when he first came to Berkeley, his dream was to be 5 percent in 20 departments.)
Good luck getting tenure that way, dude. "Deeply post-disciplinary" is a great bit of new academic jargon. Universities are very much organized by discipline. Figuring out how to support scholars who work outside the lines is a perpetual challenge, one that we really should address at scale if we want to enable universities to evolve. From this article on Bernie Sanders's free college plan:
Big-picture principles are important, but implementation is important, too.
Hey, maybe he just needs a programmer. Implementing big abstractions is hard enough when the substance is technical. When you throw in social systems and politics, implementing any idea that deviates very far from standard practice becomes almost impossible. Big Ball of Mud, indeed. From Yours, Isaac Asimov: A Life in Letters:
Being taught is the intellectual analog of being loved.
I'll remind my students of this tomorrow when I give them Exam 3, on syntactic abstraction. "I just called to say 'I love you'." Asimov is right. When I think back on all my years in school, I feel great affection for so many of my teachers, and I recall feeling their affection for me. Knowledge is not only power, says Asimov; it is happiness. When people help me learn they offer me knew ways to be happy. ( The Foundation Trilogy makes me happy, too.) -----