Poetry Project

It’s April, which means it’s National Poetry Month (did you order your free poster already?), and that means that everyone should take the opportunity (if you don’t do so regularly) to get some poetry into your life.

You’ll be glad you did.

To help you along, I’m going to leave this thread up at the top all week for people to post the name (or first line or famous line) and author (if you know it) of a poem you love. Note that it does not have to be your favorite poem; it does not have to be, even, a great poem; you need not explain (though you can if you wish) why you love it or what you love about it; you do not have to include a link, but you are welcome to do so (and if any of you want to tack on a link to a cool version of someone else’s choice, please feel free). The idea here is to give other people a chance to find a poem that they might love or enjoy or that, at least, someone else (other than the poet) has loved.

I’ll start it off with a poem that seems appropriate given that the poet just recently passed, leaving an amazing body of work behind her, and the whole Titanic thing happening all over, somewhat bafflingly (to me).

Anyway, it’s called, “Diving Into the Wreck” by Adrienne Rich.

Highlights from the Board Report: April

Highlights from the Board Report is a monthly regular feature that highlights what one person finds to be important from the most recent Board Report. We read it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Well, it’s been awhile since I did one of these, but the February and March Board Reports were getting plenty of attention as it was, so I didn’t think I needed to do any highlights from them. No reason not to do April’s Board Report, though.

~At the March Academic Affairs meeting (which took place in February, remember?), the Chancellor reported on the “PeopleSoft pre-requisite project.” There is no information on what that is, though. I suspect that it has to do with something like, “changing all of the local pre-requisites to make sure that they are all the same (without consideration of (or input on) what impact that will have on students, learning, or colleges) because doing so will mean not having to change (read: pay Oracle for) new capacity.” I am, however, just speculating since to my knowledge, no information on this has been shared with mere faculty, except for the fact of the pre-requisite changes. Ahem.

~Ironically, considering what I just wrote, a PeopleSoft Upgrade is coming (perhaps they will consider “the capacity to support locally approved and determined pre-requisites that fit with the curricular expectations and institutional knowledge of each college’s student learning needs as they do their “gap-fit;” I shall hope for, but not expect it). Also coming soon, an “Investment Manager.” And someone forgot to use Spellcheck (can you find it?). (And with that I think I have exorcised the last of my lingering bitterness for the moment. Sorry. Sometimes one just needs to vent it a bit.)

~Oh, wait. There is a mention of pre-requisites. It’s in the approved March Board Meeting Minutes; the sentences read: “Provost Henderson is also instituting customized career planning for the students and working with OIT to improve our online registration. Many of the pre-requisites were not lined up with the student’s (sic) career choices and the programs they choose.” If anyone knows what that means, please interpret in the comments. Also, the colleges are apparently at 97% compliance with the residency requirement. (Sorry, I was wrong; I guess there was a little left. It’s gone now, though.)

~A new rule was passed that allows the Board to debar potential vendors from the procurement processes of the CCC for shady or illegal dealings.

~Some HR action occurred. Kennedy King got a new interim President, the District Office got a new PART TIME Ethics officer for $75Gs (good work if you can get it–sorry, wrong again; now I’m done), and five of nine hires for the month were hired to work at 226 W. Jackson (dang!); additionally, Jesse Montelongo was moved to the District Office, and Brandon Pendleton returns from Deaning elsewhere to our HR department. Dorothy Clark’s retirement became official, and Chris Kabir (Keenan’s assistant) left us for greener pastures.

~We’ve pretty much used up our grant money. Actually we spent more than 100% of it. Now that is efficiency!

~The District is renting a space for the inspector general and staff so they can “conduct investigations in a discreet and confidential manner.” It will cost no more than $63, 278 a year, not including the estimated $75,000 in furniture. (See? this one is ripe for snarky bitter commentary, and…nothing.)

~We’ve got a fixer of the clocks.

~The Board approved a $1.2 million contract to Sofbang to “design and implement a Hosted Microsoft Exchange Email Managed Services solution” over a five year period, and re-upped with Aztec for another year at the rate of $4200 a month.

~We rented the UIC Forum for graduation for “not more than $65,000.”

~Approved some money to pay for EBSCO.

~FC4 President Ellen Eason Montgomery addressed the Board to present the FC4 Academic Freedom resolution.

If I missed anything, throw it up in the comments! See you in May.

Happy National Poetry Month


Have you ordered/received your poster yet? Have you been reading your poem a day all year long?

Have you had a chance to look at the glorious book of poetry gathered up by educators from across the country in a book called, “Teaching With Fire”? Do yourself a a favor and check it out. It’s magnificent.

Have you read a poem lately?

Better yet, have you heard one read, a poem that will make you laugh? Or one that might make you cry?

If not, what the hell are you waiting for?

This Week’s Poetry Site

As I sort of implied last week, I’m going to feature a Poetry Web site every Monday in April since April is National Poetry Month and the world needs more poetry in it.

You can travel the world on the World Wide Web, but you can find some great local stuff, too. This week’s featured Poetry site is a local production, hosted by the Poetry Foundation. You might remember them as being a relatively tiny group, putting together a successful enough, but relatively unknown journal dedicated to poetry, when a woman named Ruth Lilly bequeathed a boat load of money on them five years ago.

Their site is a treasure trove of delights, including my own personal favorite area called According to a Poetry Everywhere and a list of upcoming poetry events in Chicago. According to a letter from their President, the Foundation will break ground this spring for new, permanent digs right here in Chicago. We are, and likely will be, lucky to have them. Check it out.