Category Archives: politics

The Shaking

[The following blog contains mentions of bullying and child abuse.] One of the things that often happens to children who grow up in abusive households is that we develop incredible sensitivity to other people’s anger, simply because we’re surrounded by it so much as we grow up that we hardly ever get a moment to relax. (This effect is compounded when, as happens to many of us, we also end up being frequent targets of bullying at school. Our difference in how we act marks…

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Certified Gatekeeping

It’s not exactly a secret that a lot of the coffeehouse baristas and restaurant waitstaff you may run into during the course of an average day are people, like me, with graduate degrees. Many of them went through the unadulterated hell of graduate school, and all the associated trials and tribulations (student loan debt being the most pernicious of all), with the intent of staying at colleges and universities as an educator themselves. (This is probably more common in the humanities, but it happens in…

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With Dignity?

Rush Limbaugh medal an insult to Latinos, immigrants (The Hill) Every two or three years, it feels like I have reason to recount here on the .org the day when Kurt Cobain’s dead body was found after his suicide, on the final Friday of spring break during my senior year of high school, and the electric shock I felt later that night when Rush Limbaugh, in the middle of his syndicated television show, called Cobain a “worthless piece of human garbage” to raucous laughter and…

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Meteor is Coming

[This blog contains spoilers for the video game Final Fantasy VII.] ‘Mega fire’ measuring 1.5 million acres forms in Australia as bushfires merge (sfgate.com) The phrase “video game logic” doesn’t get used as often as it used to, and I have to wonder if that’s necessarily a good thing. I don’t long for the days when older people would smugly assert that there was no rational way Mario should be jumping several times his own height to stomp down on a goomba, but as video…

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Screw You, Emptor

House Democrats Grill Betsy DeVos Over Denying Student Borrower Relief (NPR) Today is the start of Finals Week here, and as has been the case throughout my teaching career, I wound up spending most of the past week trying to coach my students, most of whom are in their first semester of college, through the challenges of this difficult time. Even as someone who enjoyed the academic side of my college experience more than most, I remember all too well the unique stresses that those…

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