How I Spent My Summer Vacation (and Other Stuff)

It was 53 degrees this morning where I live at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Fall is in the air, which is nice because with the drought going on it’s been a long, hot, and breezy/dry summer in our woods and it’s still fire season, at least until we get our first good rain. While I have been here in northern California goofing around with my dogs, hiking, writing poetry, and clearing brush, Tony was writing stuff for the blog, and traveling throughout Germany and in Thailand and China; Marianne was busy with her dissertation work and being a mom and gardener (her tomato pictures on facebook looked really good!).

There is something comforting about the rhythm of the school year, and even though I’m not a teacher anymore, I adhere to the education season still and feel like it’s time to get back to work. This week we want to let you know about our new facebook page, where we post blogs but also images, resources, and other fun stuff for smarties. Please stop by to give us a “like” and help us spread the word.

Following an eventful week of participant observation, I will be posting blogs this coming week about my visits to the Academic Senate Forum at Chico State and the Butte County Fair in Gridley, CA. The fair was a working class extravaganza and my husband and I enjoyed being in the company of others who find flower displays and diving dogs entertaining.

The Academic Senate Forum at Chico State was another kind of classed experience. I spent two and a half hours with the professional middle class (PMC) in a meeting environment that was all too familiarly strange (I served on the academic senate when I was an adjunct at Butte College). Chico State has been on my radar, stories of huge workloads, distrust of administration, compensation and lack of step increases/opportunities for staff, administrative overreach, and issues with Diversity. You can read about it from Chico State’s Orion here. And, here’s a link to get the skinny on what the problems are, which includes a link to the “Campus Climate Survey” at the bottom of the page. I will be posting about this later in the week, so check back if you want to hear this ethnographer’s story of an Academic Senate Forum.

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