Chicago Studies: Chicago Historical Schools

Chicago Studies will be a semi-regular post to promote the theme in your classroom.

Wow, almost the end of the semester and I’ve not had time to provide as many posts as I wanted. My apologies. Here’s one that may interest you:

Chicago Historic Schools

As the intro to the site reads, “This website is devoted to the rich architectural and social history of Chicago’s public schools. It reflects several years of research but remains a work in progress.  Our goal has been to identify and document a range of historical schools representing various periods, architects, and neighborhoods.”

The schools I attended are not listed, but as the authors of the site stated, this is a work in progress. So far, they’re off to a great start.

Have a good and strong end to your semester everyone!

Chicago Studies: Open House Chicago

Chicago Studies will be a semi-regular post to promote the theme in your classroom.

If you are like me, you are putting your final touches (or initial touches!) on syllabi this weekend and getting ready to post to Blackboard. I’d like you to consider including Chicago Open House in your curriculum for the Fall. See the video below:

Open House Chicago takes place October 19th and 20th. (End of Week 8/Beginning of Week 9 in our semester.)

The event is sponsored by the Chicago Architectural Foundation. If you are interested, I believe they are still looking for volunteers to help out with the event.

This is the link to the official website: Open House Chicago

This is the link to Open House Chicago Sites

If you have any questions, let me know.

Chicago Studies: Mies

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is the father of Modernism in Chicago Architecture.

Take a look at this quick video to see how influential he was, and continues to be, in our city and suburbs.

I spent 5 years on the campus of IIT. I took classes in several building and completed my Architecture degree in Crown Hall. I was impressed with the building from day one.
There is an affection for the details of his buildings, as the video clip demonstrates. For Mies, God was in the detail of the design, and it was all about how the materials came together to create simple forms. He was all about the reduction, or minimalism, of architecture to create elegant structures.

The First Chicago School of Architecture gave the city the steel cage and covered it with stone, or brick, or terra cotta. This had everything to do with the horrors of the Great Chicago Fire and the desire to avoid it again at all costs.
Mies, appropriately identified as the architect of the Second Chicago School of Architecture, removed these materials and glorified the steel cage; literally giving rise to the modern architecture movement in Chicago.

I write this so you have an opportunity to appreciate the video and don’t assume, like some critics, that he only built ugly black boxes. Look at it this way, what Burnham and his White City was to our past, is what Mies and his black beauties are to our present.

Happy Administrative Professionals Day

Take a moment today to thank the professional members of the college and your respective departments to wish them a Happy Administrative Professionals Day. For more information on the day and the week-long celebration, click here.

Today, there are more than 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants working in the United States, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, and 8.9 million people working in various administrative support roles.

That’s according to the website.

As a faculty member, I’ve relied heavily on the assistance of our professionals. First it was Latonya in Applied Science. Now it’s Shirley in Art and Architecture. Along the way, Seneca and Virna have provided their share of assistance. I know I’m missing a lot of names. Feel free to mention them.

A New Blog and A New College

Hi all,

If you are interested in Architectural News in Chicago, Chicago Architecture Magazine, published by the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, just launched a companion blog, CHICAGOARCHITECT.

You may want to read their first post. It’s an article on the new MX College.

The photo below is from the blog.

Photo Credit: Alonzo Rhoden, Malcolm X College

Photo Credit: Alonzo Rhoden, Malcolm X College

This is my effort to try and provide a regular (if not weekly, then biweekly, or monthly) post on The Lounge related to Chicago Studies, or art/architectural news. The editors will know what I mean.

DA&A events today

Hi all,

I know you received an email yesterday regarding the events taking place in our Department of Art and Architecture, but I thought I’d post a friendly reminder with details on today’s activities:

Wednesday December 5, 2012

Thursday December 6, 2012

Paul Wandless will display an ‘Exquisite Corpse’ outside of room 810 starting at 9:30am

Dolores Ochoa will be available to answer student questions about the architecture program in room 818 from 10:00am-5:00pm

The Architecture program will display student assignments outside of room 815 from 9:30am-5:30pm

The photography program will conduct a photography print demo from 12:00pm-3:00pm in room 822

The photography program will conduct a viewing of processed history scans from 12:00pm-3:00m in room 820

Galina Shevchenko will host Open Critiques in her Art 176 class. Room 811. From 10:00am-12:00pm.

Jessica Bader and her students will be hosting our Annual Holiday Art Sale from 10:00am-3:00pm in room 102. Last day to go holiday shopping!

Lots more happening in and around our 8th floor. You are welcome to make a short or long visit to any and all of our activities today and tomorrow.

Thank you!

Union Meetings for Fall 2012 semester

Hi all,

Jesú had asked me to post the union meetings on The Lounge last week to reinforce the paper copies that you received in your mailboxes. Sorry to be getting around to it until now. Here are the official sanctioned meeting dates:

Thursday, August 30 – 2:00pm-4:30pm – Room 1115

Thursday, September 20 – 1:00pm-3:30pm – Room 1115

Thursday, October 18 – 2:0pm-4:30pm – Room 203

Thursday November 29 – 1:00pm-3:30pm – Room 115

If anything develops about the non-sanctioned meeting time Jesú is getting together for Tuesday the 28th, I’ll post that info right away. For now, keep checking those non-CCC emails.

Thank you, Jesú and all our loacl union reps for everything you are doing to keep us informed!

Website Wednesday

Hi all,

I hope I’m not being too selfish by wanting to share this website with you. It’s a new and improved site listing all the skyscrapers in the world. The email I received from CAF stated the following:

The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has unveiled “The Skyscraper Center,” an interactive global database that it bills as offering “detailed profiles and images on every completed building in the world taller than 200 meters,” plus buildings in other stages of development.

Here is a link to Blair Kamin’s column on this new resource –

You all know my fascination with architecture and I thought it would be a good resource for any classrooms. Per my conversation with Don after our last Chairs meeting, perhaps it could find its way into our math classes.

Sanctioned Union Meeting

Jesú wanted to make sure you were aware of our next union meeting. Here’s the info:

Sanctioned Union Meeting

The various topics will include the Contract survey, unit reports, officer reports, and ongoing member issues.

When: Thursday, February 9, 2:00p.m. to 4:30p.m.

Where: Room 1115

Refreshments will be provided


Also mark your calendars for the following meetings:

March 22, 2-4:30pm, Room 1115
April 19, 2-4:30pm, Room 1115
May, Union Banquet, TBA

Department Chairs Meeting – February 2012

The purpose of this post is to let HWC faculty know what was discussed at the Chairs Meeting. You should contact or meet with your department chair for details and the full report.

February 3, 2012 – This was our first meeting of the semester and it was led by our new Dean of Instruction, Armen Sarrafian. Several invited guests were in attendance and the two-hour exchange of words and ideas went rather fast. I will not get into all the details in hopes that faculty will seek dialogue with their department chairs. Here then is a brief summary of the morning in the President’s conference room:

  1. Don Laackman shared a few words with the Chairs. As he approaches his first full year at the college, Don stated his appreciation for all the Chairs do at HWC. He also thanked Armen for all he has done to date. He also stated that District is focused on graduation rates and if I remember correctly, he stated that we currently have approximately 1600 students with 45 credits or more attending this semester.
    Don told the Chairs that we should start thinking about our budgets for the 2012-2013 academic year. He asked that we think big while considering our economy.
    Don mentioned that the new chair of our Board of Trustees, Paula Wolff, is one of his former professors.
    Don shared a few words about College to Careers and how OH and MX have a focus on careers. I’ll save you the details and ask that you read about it here.
  2.  Irene Castañeda introduced herself to the Chairs. Her title is Director, Career Planning and Economic Development. For more information go here.
  3. Ephrem had a few words to share regarding Blackboard training and CAST. I’ll let the emails from him and CAST speak for themselves.
  4. Brandon Pendelton told us that special assignments will need justifications and the approvals will be given by Craig Lynch. All special assignment justifications should be tied to Reinvention Goals and should have measurable outcomes. Armen (or was it John Metoyer) mentioned that most of our justifications fall under Goal 2. Go here to see the 4 Goals.
  5. Will Edwards, our Assistant Director, Research and Planning let us know that we can (and should) work with him to seek any and all kinds of data. Sorry, he doesn’t have a web page yet. Therefore, no link. (Sorry Will, I tried.)
  6. Last but not least, John Metoyer, our tireless VP, told us to check our webpages and report any errors to him via email. (I would recommend that you copy your Chair on these emails. I say this because just this week I received an email to participate in an online training session related to our website. I believe that after this training session, Chairs might have some control over the content of their respective department pages. More to follow as needed. Check with your Chair.)
    John also mentioned that vetting of faculty will now happen at the local level.
    Credentialing of faculty will be provisional for one semester on a course-by-course basis. The way I understood it, if Chairs want a faculty member (full-time or adjunct) to teach a course that they know the faculty member is capable of teaching, then they will be granted an opportunity to teach it for that one semester. During that semester, evaluations will take place to confirm that said faulty member is in fact credentialed to teach the course.
    Regarding linked classes, we were told that PeopleSoft is not able to do this. (My mind wandered to the talented individuals that walk among us; those individuals that have a knack for programing and how they could easily solve this problem. I just recently saw The Social Network so forgive the transgression of the mind.)
    John also brought to our attention that a handful of faculty piloted a new registration system of calling students. Long story short, the program was well recieved by faculty and it will roll-out for all faculty in the Fall. Expect to sit at your desks calling students during open registration. There will be documentation to complete so that we can keep track of our success with this new system. (For the long story, see your department chair or ask a member from your department that was part of this pilot program to share their experience with you.)

Those were the invited guests and their items of information. Here then are the informational items from our Dean of Instruction:

  1. Assistant Dean, George Bickford informed us that Adjunct Assignment paperwork is due February 15th. I believe this is the sheet the adjuncts sign to indicate their availability for the upcoming semester. This year instead of two sheets, one with instructions and the other with the form, there will be one double-sided sheet.
  2. Our Dean creatively solved the need to meet with Chairs twice a month. We will continue to meet on the first Friday of every month as a group. (I’ll do my best to post summaries on The Lounge.) For the second meeting, he will meet with each Chair individually to discuss specific department issues.
  3. Regarding registration information, there is new adjunct access to for final grade input. I’m not sure what this means, so I’ll let another Chair elaborate on this.
    The Day One class list is no more.
    There will no longer be notifications regarding final grades. This means you will not receive an email from PeopleSoft letting you know that a class list has been generated. You will be expected to know that final grades are due on your own. (I’ll rely on Dave’s Sunday night postings to remind me of this deadline.)
  4. Lobby security. It’s coming. Armen showed us a brochure of what these devices may look like. Radar will detect our ID’s as we pass between the devices. The technology and device may change, but we are moving to have this level of security installed in the near future.
  5. Budget talk. We were asked to submit all purchases by April 15th. Yes, the fiscal year ends in June, but we only have until mid-April to get what we need for the remainder of the Spring semester and the start of the Summer session.
    We were told that our college is looking into giving Chairs a monthly budget report.
  6. Tenure. There are changes pending and updates will be coming soon from our Dean of Instruction and our VP. For those of you non-tenured faculty members reading this, I wish I had more information. I know it is a nervous and stressful time for you, but I am confident that our Dean and VP will guide you towards the tenure track safely.
  7. Summer schedules were due last week and we are now moving to schedule classes for the Fall. Check with your Chairs.
  8. New copiers are here and the old copiers should be gone at some point. It appears there is only one new copier per floor and this presents a problem where there are two departments per floor. Apparently there was a lack of communication between parties that led us to this problem. Unfortunately, District is not ordering any new copiers.

That was about it. We ran out of time to discuss rotation points and smart classroom completion as stated on the agenda. The meeting was productive. If any Chairs care to revise or append, feel free to leave comments. Thanks in advance.

Proposed Academic Changes (PAC) Form

Fresh from our Curriculum Committee meeting this afternoon, it was brought to my attention that faculty could use an FAQ regarding the proposing of academic changes.

It occurred to me that the bast way to draft an FAQ document would be to ask our faculty what they need and want to know about making academic changes to courses and programs. As your local curriculum committee chair, please let me know what questions you have about the PAC form or the process. Any and all questions are valid.

Thanks in advance!

Holiday Art Sale Today!

Hi all,
On behalf of the department of Art and Architecture, and in case you didn’t see as you walked through the doors of our college, I’m going to repeat the message that was sent out earlier this week:
The Ceramics area of the Art and Arch. dept.
will be holding a holiday art sale
Thursday December the 8th
9 AM – 3:30PM in room 103
Please stop by!
A big round of applause to Jess, Heather, and Gene for all of their time in making this event happen.
Support our students! Prices are reasonable!