5 thoughts on “You’re Welcome

  1. //But if you don’t want to teach football players about Sisyphus all day, that’s your problem—I’d be delighted to do it, and I bet a lot of other Ph.D.s would be, too. //

    My exact experience at a Big Ten research university in the midwest and a Northeast 10 university in NH. My athletes, after about week three, we able to focus in and offer real life experiences on and off the field that enhanced those classes in ways I’ve never experienced with non-athlete student bodies.

    //It seems to me that what big-time athletics programs need are scores of dedicated literacy specialists at the ready—if only there were a trained, enthusiastic labor force of them desperate for work. Oh wait, there is.//

    I like the way Berkelee College of Music engages musicians with traditional humanities courses. It offers a nice mediation between a very specific programme (sports, music, etc.) and the professional/economic needs of a teaching body whose own innovations and interventions have been rejected by their own departments, schools, and administrations.

    You are correct.
    This is a win-win.
    So, let’s not do that.
    I makes too much sense.
    Let’s form three committees and hire a VP for Academic-Recreation Management, three part time staff assistants, a marketing director to help us focus on “messaging,” and IT consultants to build flashy expensive and oh so sexy webpages featuring Cheerleaders who read and Football players who go to the theatre.
    Better yet.
    Let’s not do any of that and solve problems.



  2. Fantastic piece on Slate. As you ask on this and previous occasions: why do sensible, appropriate solutions that are ultimately profitable for the wealth AND the welfare of society elicit such negativity and put downs?

    Sign me up for athlete academic programs!!


  3. So, I refuse to comment on Slate, because, well, you know.

    My university does have this sort of program. However, they do not employ PhDs. They mine graduate students from the various programs (comp/rhet/writing, languages, history, etc.) and pay them peanuts to tutor the athletes. Fuck that, man.


  4. This is of course a wonderful idea; yet, as you’ve taught me more clearly than anyone, universities would rather model the corporate strategy of Wal-Mart than employ full-time scholar-teachers who can devote the requisite time and energy to such endeavors. In any event, I think there are plenty of PhDs out there — myself included — who would gladly engage in the work you describe on Slate.


  5. Brilliant!!! I love it! What do you think of this:

    I often find myself asking if we shouldn’t *require* our “teacher-scholars” to *prove* that they can do *both* teaching *and* scholarship. That would mean, you know, requiring them to go through some teacher training with *gasp* lowly teachers *gag* … There is no good reason on this blue orb that those charged with teaching shouldn’t be required to be mentored and critiqued by experienced public school teachers. God, wouldn’t that be fabulous. But, God, are most of us far too fragile to handle criticism from those who know best how to teach. Even though it could help us become *far* more effective in our classrooms. And tyrannical student evaluations could be scrapped!! Such Utopia.

    I’m a teacher. I am first and foremost a teacher. I originally trained to become a teacher. I invite schoolteacher friends to my classroom to observe and critique, I ask them for advice on dealing with students with ACT reading scores of 14. And if my research doesn’t somehow enhance my teaching, or I can’t see how it would inspire me to teach it, I don’t want to do it. My responsibility to the people I deal with most, whose futures are in my hands, is to TEACH what I KNOW and to make that happen in any way possible.


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