HWFDW: Summer Reading

During our fabulous local HWFDW (thanks Kristin and Kamran for rocking it!), I hosted a roundtable discussion for faculty to talk about something they had read this summer and it was maybe my favorite session ever. I came with a mess of books to talk about just in case no one showed up, but it turned out that we had more people, books, and recommendations than we could fit in to a measly hour. We probably could have fit more in, but in the middle of talking about the teaching-related book I brought, Claude Steele’s Whistling Vivaldi (about Stereotype Threat), I started to feel a little bit of it myself and rambled on a bit too long (I know, I know–Dave rambling? how can anyone tell the difference?). Anyway, that aside, I came away with exactly what I’d hoped to acquire: a fantastic and widely varied list of readings I’ve never heard of nor seen that sound too tempting to ignore!

And now, in fulfillment of the promise I made various people in the hours and days following (and with the participants’ permission) here is that list!

(more…)

First, There Is Wonder…

Or so says Socrates at one point in Plato’s Theatetus. While thinking about what I could post to support today’s HWFDW theme of “Teaching & Learning,” I thought of that quote and this piece in Aeon that I read back in June.

Here’s a small chunk:

Bringing these threads together, we can see that science, religion and art are unified in wonder. Each engages our senses, elicits curiosity and instils reverence. Without wonder, it is hard to believe that we would engage in these distinctively human pursuits. Robert Fuller, professor of religious studies at Bradley University in Illinois, contends that it is ‘one of the principal human experiences that lead to belief in an unseen order’. In science, that invisible order might include microorganisms and the invisible laws of nature. In religion, we find supernatural powers and divine agents. Artists invent new ways of seeing that give us a fresh perspective on the world we inhabit.

Art, science and religion appear to be uniquely human institutions. This suggests that wonder has a bearing on human uniqueness as such, which in turn raises questions about its origins. Did wonder evolve? Are we the only creatures who experience it?…

Read the whole thing, and then go find something that will provoke the wonder in you.

HWFDW: Hype Your Session

Ok, I’ll go first.

As you surely noticed from the CAST schedule for our local FDW sessions, I’m involved in two sessions. The first, on Friday at 11am is our third annual Great Books discussion, co-hosted with Kamran Swanson. We’ll discuss Immanuel Kant’s “What Is Enlightenment?” which he wrote for a German newspaper that had posed the question.

It’s an opportunity to be a thinker, a reader, a talker, and a listener about rich, challenging, and relevant ideas that have influenced thinkers for hundreds of years and might just fertilize your own thinking about your students, your teaching and the world!

Even if you don’t read it, you can Google a synposis and read that. Or, just come and listen and contribute what you can. There will not be a test, but it will be educational and interesting. It always is.

THEN, after lunch–also on Friday–, I’ll be sitting on a panel with a bunch of super-cool people all back from sabbaticals talking (briefly) about what we did and what it was like (short version: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED; DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!!!).

And then after that, we’ll adjourn to the Emerald from 4 to 6 (at least) to continue the discussion and open up digressions and meet and greet (if you know you’re going, email Social Committee Chair, Rachel Iannantuoni (riannantuoni@ccc.edu) to let her know. And if you don’t RSVP, show up anyway!

And if you have a session planned (or a friend with a session planned) hype it up in the comments.

HWFDW: The Rest of the Week

I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about this from CAST any minute, but the final schedule is out (which I had a hand in personally delaying–sorry everybody!) for the rest of Faculty Development Week (aka Faculty Summer Camp) taking place at HWC from 9 to 3 this Wednesday through Friday (as in tomorrow).

I also wanted to highlight one of the sessions (MINE!) and give a little more info about it.

On Wednesday, Kamran and I are bringing back our Great Books Discussion (by popular demand…well more specifically demand from Jackie Cunningham which is enough for me since she brings enough enthusiasm for five or six people at least). This year we’ll be talking about Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, and probably be doing a little meta discussion about the Great Books Shared Inquiry Approach. That will happen at 1pm in room 1046.

If you’ve read it before and remember the whole thing, that’s great and you should come! If you’ve read it, but don’t remember it real well or never read it but, either way, have about six hours to read tonight, then click on the link above and read the whole thing–you’ll love it! If you’re in some other category, check out this summary (read or skip those first two or three slides as you wish):

Then read the section that seems most interesting to you! They’re all pretty short (20 to 30 pages) and pretty straight forward, colloquial, really. We won’t cover them all, most likely, but they’ll all be relevant to whatever we talk about, I’m sure. Even if you don’t look at anything but the summary, you should still come if you’re interested. Better, though, if you read a little.

My recommendations, if you can’t decide, would be to try Chapter 1 and focus on her project and methods, or maybe try Chapter 2 for a look at the cultural domination and institutional sexisms of then (and now?), but my personal favorite is Chapter 3, featuring the thought experiment of “Shakespeare’s Sister.” Chapters 4 and 5 offer some interesting literary criticism on Jane Austen and on (the fictitious Mary Carmichael) respectively, and the last chapter focuses on the claim that literature of genius requires a non-fragmented, fully integrated and fully androgynous mind, “a marriage of opposites,” freedom and peace, which is to say that the last chapter opens up some interesting questions about Great Literature, Sex/Gender, and the relations among them.

The main thing is that you bring your interests, your curiosity, your prior knowledge, and your willingness to share all of the above.

Can’t wait!

Next Up!

Next up! is a regular feature on Sundays, showcasing HWC (and beyond) events in the coming week. Use the “Comments” section to provide updates and additions!

As hard as it may be to believe, the wheel of time has made its way around again to point to Fall and the beginning of the school year. Welcome back! Like every new school year, some things remain the same, including the inevitable changes–some subtle, some not, in you them, everything around us. “All things pass and nothing stays the same.

Monday, 8/6: DWFDW @ Malcolm X, 9am-3pm (Mandatory, unless it isn’t);

Tuesday, 8/7: DWFDW @ Malcolm X, 9am-3pm (Mandatory? Optional? Recommended? Our new VP’s letter says “Faculty are required to report on August 6th,” which is a little ambiguous regarding our reporting obligations for the rest of the week. Anybody know the story?);

Wednesday, 8/8: HWFDW @ Harold, 9am-3pm (Sponsored by CAST);

Thursday, 8/9: HWFDW @ Harold, 9am-3pm (Sponsored by CAST);

Friday, 8/10: HWFDW @ Harold, 9am-3pm (Sponsored by CAST);

Saturday, 8/11: Business as usual as far as I know.

(One last question…last year we were required to attend five sessions of local FDW to fulfill our PD obligations. This year, I’ve seen no guidance on requirements, except the implied mandatoriness of it all and the Union letter. Anybody hear anything on this topic?)

Harold Lounge: Phase III

Just in case you were wondering what I said at the HWFDW presentation on the Lounge, but couldn’t be there, this is it.

Just multiply the words displayed by 3,861 and then use your imagination and it’ll be just like you were there.

The upshot is that I’m really, really, really hopeful to get more people involved. Whether that means taking over a regular feature, creating one of your own, splitting one with a friend (or me), or just being willing to toss something up once a month.

This has to be come a more communally produced site or it will die/never reach anything close to it’s potential.

So that is my challenge to you: if you dig it, help it live by taking a little ownership…