Collegial Consent for Spirit Lifting Only

Michael Heathfield, the one and only Michael Heathfield, sent  the following to me with a request to post it in order to gather input from anyone willing to offer some, and I am only too happy to, belatedly, oblige in the hopes of seeing a good old-fashioned, English style cod-walloping gobsmack of a rant with a bunch of words I’ve never seen in that particular order (or at all)! And so, here you go. Help the man out:

My birthday has passed and my delusion that I was going to gracefully glide towards retirement has gone. I have a stack of grading at my side, some of the best students ever, a poor old dog who will not be with us much longer, and a fast approaching publisher deadline. I have long subscribed to the belief that humor in the face of adversity is a much-needed skill. So I am going to practice it…

My survival strategy (meaning avoidance) is to ask my unbelievably stellar HWC compadres which distracting activity would lift our communal spirits more? I have the urge to write a small piece for the Harold Lounge but I am not sure quite where to start or where to go. Those of you who know me will understand this is why I don’t drive.

I have a tempting palate of posting possibilities but have been told by colleagues, too many times, to cut the words and focus. So I want to enlist your support and guidance as to which one should actually exist (cue catalogue floating out of view). Dave is brilliant at handling the technology of electronic voting, so I trust he can help in this respect. Here are my imaginary posting headlines as I seek democratic community consent as to which one should exist in our realities:

I invented seven to symbolically represent the individually accredited institutions that make up our system and then added one for District. I never said I wasn’t clever! Molly Turner will no doubt explore with me my overuse of the exclamation mark when I try to slip into journalistic mode!

Please join me in my spiritually uplifting task and take a little time to vote. Let’s hope we can have a turnout over 35%! I promise to get Dave to post the winning article before the end of the year when, regardless of the consequences, a Mexican margarita has my name on it. Again. Again.

Mike Heathfield

Faculty Council Candidates: Personal Statements

Per request from Michal Eskayo, here are the candidates for HW Faculty Council. Voting is open all week–watch your mailbox for your ballot.

Hello faculty,

We are excited to present the three candidates who have been nominated for the Harold Washington College Faculty Council. Check out their bios, and be sure to vote next week. The polls will be open from Monday through Friday.

 

Luke Belz

I am writing to seek your support for my nomination as a Faculty Council member at Harold Washington College. Since the Fall semester of 2011, I have been a full time faculty member of the Mathematics and CIS Department and, as of Spring 2014, I was awarded tenure. I have taught a variety of classes ranging from Beginning Algebra up to and including Calculus. Also, I have participated on college wide committees such as the CAST and Curriculum Committees along with departmental committees such as the Developmental Education Math Committee and the Calculus Committee. Currently, I am on the District Wide Faculty Council. Each day I look forward to and enjoy working with my students and all my colleagues throughout the college. If given the opportunity to be a Faculty Council member, I would do my best to be the voice of all faculty members and address their concerns so that we can continue to maintain the high standard of education for our students.

 

Stephanie Burke

I am a photography instructor in the Department of Art and Architecture here at Harold Washington College. As a newly tenured faculty member at HWC, I am very interested in being an active member of our school community. I am the co-founder of the Fine Arts Integration Committee, the faculty advisor for the Council Of The Arts, HWC’s art club, and co-organize student programming on an ongoing basis, including the annual off campus student exhibition and the Arts Transfer Fair. I am looking forward to contributing to and learning from Faculty Council.

 

Phillip Vargas

My name is Phillip Vargas, and I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Sciences. I teach both general education courses and program level physics courses. I have been teaching at HWC since Fall 2010, and believe I have worked on many projects that have positively contributed to the college. What I have enjoyed most in working on these projects has been meeting and collaborating with other dedicated faculty members. I believe Faculty Council will offer additional opportunities to work with a committed group of faculty members toward improving the college and I would be honored if elected.

Special Event for Great Women’s Colleges

This Thursday! Per our Transfer Magician, Ellen Goldberg:

I invited 4300 rock star women with GPAs of 3.4 or higher in the district to attend Information Sessions (at HWC and Wright College too) for Smith College or Mount Holyoke College.  The one at HWC will be on Thursday, October 30, 2014 in room 102 from 3-4:30 p.m. Smith and Holyoke are two amazing liberal arts schools for women in Massachusetts who love our students and typically give them full-ride scholarships. I went back to the data from the information session last year in October of 2013, and out of the 10 women that attended, two are at Mount Holyoke, and one is at Smith. That’s so awesome that 3 out of 10 actually transferred to New England! Dulce Mora Flores (our Jack Kent Cooke Winner) went to Smith College. Janelle Thorson from HWC went to Mount Holyoke and Kimberly Neil from Malcolm X College went to Mount Holyoke. Check out the link with photos of the women at HWC, Malcolm X, and Wright that transferred this fall! http://bit.ly/Smith-HolyokeCCCTumblr We owe are thanks to the amazing Professor Emeritus, Betty Harris, who established the relationship with Smith and Holyoke! It has really grown over the last decade!

Please remind any great students to go and check it out–they love our students and take good care of them. It’s  a great opportunity for non-traditional, women students. In the last two years, two of the students who received full rides were great students who got the email about the event, didn’t read it, and only went because someone told them about it, which led to them finding, in their words, their “dream school” and getting full rides.

Tell someone to go. Even if she doesn’t love these schools, she may get the message that she can dream big.

Is there trouble brewing? Check it out. The title is a link to the full story.

New standards seek to measure what students actually know

A new set of standards, published by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, outlines what skills and knowledge students should possess after earning a college degree. The Degree Qualifications Profile was developed with funding from the Lumina Foundation, and its accuracy has been tested at 400 colleges and universities in 45 states over the past four years.

Policies that Cause Rather than Solve Problems

Today I received an email from a student in my 9:30 am class. it read:

“Forgot my id. I will be late. I’m in the front but they won’t let me in.”

This particular student is a student with special needs, and so this student has a note-taker. The note-taker was there at 9:30, but the student was not. By 9:45, the student had not arrived in class. Unfortunately, I checked my email early this morning, but did not check it in the time between my arrival at school and first class, and so, following policy, the note-taker left.

 

About 20 minutes later, just under the halfway point of the class, the student came in to see a board full of notes and material on Categorical propositions. The work we did in class today laid groundwork for the next three weeks worth of material. Students who were there experienced a huge and important front-load the second major unit of the class. Students who missed it will be scrambling to catch up  right up until the mid-term exam.

Her email was sent at 9:04 am, by the way.

So, this student did everything right except bring her school ID with her, and now her success in the class is imperiled. All for a policy that is ostensibly aimed at “improving student safety.” Do we really need to say that most of the college shootings of the last 10 years have been carried out by people who had IDs? Do we need to point out that our college is objectively safe–relative to other colleges and other City Colleges, based on the Clery Report data? Do we really need to point out that the last time we did a security survey, there was much more concern among faculty about students than about strangers? About being alone in stairwells and hallways and offices than about people without ids wandering in?

If a few students can bring about a policy change (that was the reason provided at the State of the College address, right?) with major potential implications on student learning and work and the rest–without consulting Faculty Council or anything else–then perhaps a few faculty belly aching about a stupid policy that creates problems without solving any can get a similar result. Let’s say my bag is stolen with my wallet and ID in it. Let’s say further that I don’t have cash on me (typical). I suppose I could borrow some, but let’s say I arrive at a time and day where the people I see that I know are, like me, without cash or access to their ATM cards for some reason. Should I take a sick day? Should I send a note to my students to wait, ride the train home, scrounge up some quarters from the couch and laundry room and my kid’s bank and return and pay $10 so I can work?

“Of course not,” someone will say. You will see someone who will vouch for you or loan you the money or whatever.” And they’d be right. I would be slightly and probably only temporarily inconvenienced by the situation, because I’m white, I’m old, I’m male, I’m employed, I’d be in professional (or semi-professional) dress and so on–take your pick of possible reasons I’d have it easy.

My student, however, and likely many students, does not live with the same privileges. My student was sent home on a day that she needed to be in class, on a day when she arrived 30 minutes before class was to start, only to return to find that, because she had been sent home to get a piece of plastic with her picture on it, she had not only missed important material but missed out on the chance to have her special needs accommodated. And for what? To what end?

I am hopping mad right now.

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek and the Academic Calendar: Art and Academics

Glyptotek

“City Colleges will be performing scheduled maintenance on our UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) from 1:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 28th. All CCC network systems, including Blackboard, email, PeopleSoft, and My.CCC.edu, will be unavailable during this time. We apologize for any inconvenience this outage may cause. Please plan accordingly. If you have any questions, please contact the IT helpdesk at cohelpdesk@ccc.edu.”