Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Panic Time

I have about a month of research time left this summer and I have accomplished little to nothing of value! I finished one crappy encyclopedia article so far. I am still working on my revise/resubmitted but I've done so much extra research for it that it is not going to look much like the original. I really want to get to my other article also (not to mention the overdue encyclopedia article and book reviews).

Yesterday was mostly a waste because I had to meet with incoming freshmen all morning. I then had fun but long lunch with some colleagues. Then took a break in the afternoon to walk over to a campus reception. And I needed to prepare something for my student worker to do (ended up having her take notes for the Exhibit Book). So I did absolutely nothing on the revise/resubmit.

This morning I've wasted a book 1.5 hours reading email, checking news sites and reading blogs. I really need to devote myself the rest of the day to accomplishing SOMETHING!

Here is an article about over coming procrastination for those working on their disserations, but I think it applies to lots of academic writers.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Rebels and Redcoats

PBS this weekend is running a show called "Rebels and Redcoats", which presents the American Revolution from a position that is sympathetic to the British. There is a nice write up of it on HNN. While in my classes I try to portray some of the ways that the American Revolution can be viewed in a negative light, I don't succeed very well. My description of the Revolution is basically a success story of a colonized people gaining the right to run their country in a manner they see fit. (I realize there are problems with this version of the Revolution!)

I am thinking about taping "Rebels and Redcoats" and showing at least part of it to my classes. This would give them another perspective and let me make a point about the nature of historical interpretation.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Unaccredited Universities

I agree with those who are currently fighting to make it illegal for someone to get a job or a promotion by listing an unaccredited university on their resume. As someone who struggled through 4 years of college, and 8 years of graduate school/dissertation writing, I am offended that someone can call themselves a Ph.D. or doctor just because they bought the title.

This is not to say that I believe that everyone needs a college education or that all jobs/promotions should be based one's degree. But if an employer requires a college degree for an applicant, then I think that degree should come from an accredited institution.

For a list of unaccredited universities and why they aren't accrediated click here.

The names of these unaccrediated institutions include:

Academy for Contemporary Research
Academy of Healing Arts
Academy of Natural Therapies
Academy of Religious & Spiritual Studies
Adam Smith University
Adams and Washington University, King College of Professional Studies
Addison State University
Advanced Education Trust
Advanced Learning Network
Akamai University
Albert University
Alexandria University
All Saints American University
Almeda College
American Capital University
American Coastline University
American Columbus University
American Independent International University
American International University of Management and Technology
American Pacific University
American State University
American University of Asturias
American University of Hawaii
American World University
Americana University
Americus University
Ameritech University
Amstead University
Anacrusis Institute
Anglo American University
Ashford University
Ashington University
Ashwood University
Atlantic International University
Bangalore Inst of Science, Tech. and Mgt
Barrington University
Belford University
Beloved Community Seminary
Benjamin Franklin Institute of Global Education
Berne University
Bienville University
Bircham International University
Blackstone University
Brantridge University
Breyer State University
Bridgewater University
Brighton University
Britain College of Management and Science
British American Business Institute
Bronte International University
Business and Computer University College
C & E American University Institute
Cal Southern University
Calamus International University
California Pacific University
Cambridge International University
Cambridge State University
Canyon College
Capital American University
Carrington University
Center College of Executive & Professional Development
Center State University of Executive & Professional Development
Central Pacific University
Central State University
Century University
Chelsea University
Christian Leadership University
City University of L.A.
Clayton College of Natural Health
Clayton University
Clermont College of Business
College of Medical & Health Sciences
Colorado University of Naturopathic Medicine
Columbia Commonwealth University
Columbia Pacific U.
Columbia State University
Columbus University
Commonwealth Open University
Communion of Saints Seminary
Concordia University
Cornerstone University
Cosmopolitan Univ
Cranston University
Crown Church College & University
Donsbach University
Earlscroft University
East Point University
Edison University
Ellington University
European Graduate School
Fairfax University
Farington University
Fort Young University
Frederick Taylor International University
Glencullen University
Glenford University
Golden State University
Greenleaf University
Greenwich University
Hamilton University
Hampton Bay University
Hampton College
Harrington University
Hartford University
Hartland University
Hartley University
Hawaii American University
Heed University
Holos University
Hong Bang University
Honolulu University
Honolulu University of the Arts Sciences & Humanities
Honolulu USA
Illawarra College
Institute for Creative Process
Institute for Human Dynamics
Institute for Science in Mind
Institute of Executive & Professional Development
Institute of New Media & Technology
InTech University
International Graduate Center
International MBS
International Mid Pac College
International Theological University
International University for Graduate Studies
James Monroe University
John Thomas
Kennedy-Western University
Kensington University
Kent College
Kingdom College of Natural Health
Kingsfield University
Knightsbridge University
Lacrosse University
Lambert University
LaSalle University
Laureate University
Lexington University
Lincoln International University, Inc.
Lincoln University
London College of Technology
Madison University
Manhattan University
Marlborough University
Medical College of London
Medical University of the Americas
Midwestern University
Monterrey Institute for Graduate Studies
Monticello University/Thomas Jefferson University
Nation State University
Nation University
New Manhattan University
Newport Asia Pacific University
Newport University
Newton University
Nobel University
North United University
Northwestern International University, Ltd.
Novus University
Open University of America
Oxford International University
Pacific Basin University
Pacific Coast University
Pacific Southern University
Pacific Western University
Pacific Western University
Pacific Western University
PanAmerican University
Parkwood University
Personal Therapy Institute
Pickering University
Port Rhode University
Prescott College of Business and Leadership Studies
Preston University
Richardson University
Robert Kennedy University
Robertstown University
Rochville University
Romano Byzantine
Ross University
Rushmore University
Scarsdale University
Shaftsbury University
Shelbourne University
Shepperton University
Solsbury University
South Atlantic University
Southern Graduate Institute
Southern Pacific University
Southwest International University
St. Augustine School of Medical Assistants
St. Augustine University
St. Christopher's College of Medicine
St. George University International
St. John's University College of Medicine
St. Lourdes University
St. Lucia College of Medicine
St. Luke School of Medicine
St. Mary's College of Medicine
St. Regis University
St. Renoir University
St. Thomas Institute
Stanley State University
Stanton University
Stefan International University, Inc.
Stensan International Univ
Strassford University
Success Seminary
Suffield University
Tecana International Universita
Templeton University
The Dream Institute
The Thornwood University
Thornewood University
Trident University of Technology
Trinity College and University
U. Francophone R. de Sorbon
United Pacific University
University of Honolulu
University College for Advanced Studies
University de la Romande
University of Advanced Research
University of Devonshire
University of Doncaster
University of Dorchester
University of Dunham
University of Ecoforum for Peace
University of Health Science
University of Honolulu USA
University of Metaphysics
University of Northern Washington
University of NorthWest
University of Palmers Green
University of Ravenhurst
University of San Moritz
University of Santa Barbara
University of Santa Monica
University of the Holy Land
University of Wexford
Van Ives University
Vancouver University Worldwide
Vernell University
Virginia International University
Wakefield International University
Warnborough College
Warnborough University
Washington International University
Washington School of Theology
Westbourne University
Westbrook University
Western States University for Professional Studies
Westhampton University
Wilson State University, Inc.
Wittfield University
YUIN/American University
Zenith University

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

College Students and Political Participation

I find it very disheartening that students don't think their votes can change the way society operates . This article talks a bit about the problem. - Students doubt the vote, survey finds - Jun 14, 2004

I used to think students didn't care because professors and teachers didn't stress the value of participatory democracy enough in their classes. I know that there are several opportunities when teaching either Am. history to 1877 or Am. history since 1877 to bring up the importance of voting. You can do it when talking about the lack of universal suffrage with the creation of the new constitution, you can do it when you talk about the 14th and 15th amendments, you can do it when you talk about the progressives with their initiative, recalls, and referendums, and you can do it when you discuss the long fight by women to gain the right to vote.

But after talking to one of a students who took my class on "good citizenship" that is mandatory at my college, in which I really stress the value of participation and take a populist approach to getting people involved in the process, I found out that she still did not want to participate in the political system. So perhaps this is an issue that can't be solved solely by education. I wish, however, I had some idea of how it could be solved.

Monday, June 14, 2004


They closed down the computer lab in our building a few weeks ago. I really want to ask an administrator why they chose our building's lab. I always sent my student workers to the lab to do research for me. It was always busy with students. The labs in the business, science, and education buildings were kept open... so why OUR lab? I really am pissed off about it. I want to send an email to my dean, I want to question the Provost and President at the first faculty meeting in the fall. But since I don't have tenure I won't. Instead I'll keep my mouth shut, smile warmly, and keep at list of things that piss me off for administrator evaluation time at the end of the next school year.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Evaluation Time

I got my numerical course evaluations today. They aren't too bad. The important questions: Overall quality of this course and Overall quality of the instruction were 4.37 and 4.47 respectively. This is on a five point scale. The college becomes concerned with a professor if those number fall below a 4 (which personally I think is an unreasonably high standard). So I guess I'm safe for another year.

I was a bit worried about this class because I ran it like a graduate level reading seminar. All discussion and one big paper, no exams or lectures. When I got the written evaluations about a month ago there were at least two people who complained they didn't learn anything because I didn't lecture and it was all discussion. So I worried that their ratings would give me bad numbers.

I've heard some professor argue that evaluations, either written or numerical are not helpful. I completely disagree. While I did receive a lot of contradictory information on my evals (some like discussion, some dislike, some like no lectures, some hated it, some like no tests, other wanted a variety of grades besides discussion grades, etc.), it did demonstrate to me that the class was probably conducted too differently from other courses on campus and in the department for students to rate the content separate from how it was presented. I'm sure if I had run it on T/Th and did about 10-15 minutes of lecture with the rest discussion, those who like the course still would have liked it and some of those who had problem with the course would have be mollified.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Reagan's Nuclear Legacy

I received an email today from a former student asking why the newsmedia is touting how wonderful Ronald Reagan was for the cause ofnuclear disarmament.

I replied to him that Reagan's record on peace issues is very mixed. He heated up the Cold War with the Soviet Union by engaging in a conventional arms race (putting the U.S. in massive debt - and pushing the Soviets into a weapon building program they could not afford). He funded and provided military arms to right-wing governments and rebels in Latin America. And he sold arms to Iran in an attempt to secure the release of Americans being held hostage in Lebanon.

However, at the same time he signed one of the most important arms limitation treaty's in U.S. history. In 1987, he and Gorbachev agreed to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear forces. This was the first time that the U.S. and USSR had agreed to destroy an entire class of weapons systems. The U.S. destroyed 859 missiles, and the Soviet eliminated 1,752 missiles. While this was only about 4% of the total nuclear missile count on both sides, it became the first step toward the eventual end of the arms race.

Other peace historians, however, disagree with my assessment. They are much more critical of the standard and current interpretation of Reagan's Legacy. A good example of this can be found on an article by Larry Wittner on the History News Network.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Reagan's Death

Former President Ronald Reagan died Saturday, June 5, 2004. I have been thinking a lot about his legacy since I heard the news. I believe that he will be remembered as a fairly successful president, definitely the most popular president in American's memory since Kennedy. I know that even before his death, when I talked about Reagan in my class rooms, many student's held him in very high esteemed. These are kids who would have only been a few years old while he was in office, yet his mystique has already influenced them.

I have often wondered why his appeal is so strong. In my class room I discuss how during his administration the poor got poorer, the U.S. deficit expanded tremendously, and the Iran-Contra Scandal. Yet these negatives don't seemed to diminish perhaps his greatest accomplishment -- that the Cold War began to come to a close during his years in office. I'm sure in the future historians will continue to argue about whether or not Reagan's policies actually helped lead to the end of the Cold War or whether the collapse of Communist East Europe was inevitable. However, the fact that he put emphasis on standing strong against communism, suggests that he did play a significant role in the end of the Cold War.

Some great Reagan sites include:

Ronald Reagan Library
Ronald Reagan Memorial Foundation
Ronald Reagan on the White House site
CNN story on Reagan's Presidency and Death

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Two Wasted Days

Well the last two days have been a total waste when it comes to working on my research. Yesterday, I caught up on email and then got a new bookcase in my office. I then spent the rest of the day and this morning rearranging my books. I set aside 4 shelves for research projects.

1. Exhibit Book
2. Springboard Book
3. Race & Peace Article
4. Rhetoric Article/book reviews/encyclopedia article

I want to clear off shelf 4 and 3 this summer. The other two projects are longer-term studies that I'm gathering evidence for, but have no plans to focus on this summer.

The one thing I did accomplish yesterday was getting a syllabus done for an independent study student. I like the syllabus, but am going to have devote a couple of hours a week to keeping up with the work for that.

My lack of any REAL research progress, however, is worrisome. I can not let it get to the end of summer and have no accomplishments to show for it. Especially when my colleagues are doing so much -- one of my department members just sent off a book she is editing to seven presses for their consideration AND an article she co-wrote with a student was just accepted for publication. I am looking unproductive by comparison.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

No Child Left Behind Act Leaves Behind History

I just read an article in the Chronicle of Education that discusses the emphasis that the No Child Left Behind Act places on reading and math. It argues that because schools are trying to meet the requirements of the act they have doubled the time spent on math and reading, lessening the time spent teaching history and science.

While I can understand the author's dismay, I do not think schools need to abandon history to reach the No Child Left Behind Act requirements. Why not incorporate history lessons and historical writings into reading comprehension. By reading books and articles on historical subjects and teaching students to locate arguments and supporting evidence, schools could accomplish some of the goals of teaching history, while at the same time contributing to the reading abilities that children need to master in order to do well on No Child Left Behind assessments. While I don't think that all history teaching should be 'reading comprehension', this move could increase the overall amount of time students spend learning about history.