On the Culture of Binge Drinking in a Residential College Town

Culture: The values, beliefs, behaviors, and expectations of behaviors or social norms of a given population of humans. Do you know what I find amazing? I find it amazing that I never see people burning couches and cars in the streets of my neighborhood. And I find it amazing that I never find discarded red … Continue reading On the Culture of Binge Drinking in a Residential College Town

Why the Super Bowl Matters, Especially to Sociologists

I think I’ve mentioned before, but I really don’t understand the lure of watching sports on TV. Or in person. Or from a skybox in a stadium with 50,000 other people. Generally, I don’t understand watching sports. So when I moved to Manhattan, Kansas, home of the Kansas State Wildcats with a Big 12 football … Continue reading Why the Super Bowl Matters, Especially to Sociologists

A Late Tribute to Workers

I had some fun on Labor Day last year. My husband and I went to a Billy Joel concert on the Saturday before Labor Day, and as I listened to the Piano Man sing some of my favorite songs, I realized, his concert was perfectly suited for Labor Day, given the tone of some of … Continue reading A Late Tribute to Workers

The American Dream in a Nail Salon

"I left my country when I was 14," he said. "What city were born in?" I asked. "I lived in Hue (pronounced 'weigh'); it's in the middle of Vietnam. Hanoi is in the top. Saigon is in the south. That's where the American troops were. Hue is in the middle. The king? Long ago. The … Continue reading The American Dream in a Nail Salon

Chico State: We Have No Confidence

For, if anything, if a university is not a community where truth-telling is paramount, it loses its soul and forfeits its purpose. -- Paul Zingg, Response to Resolution of No Confidence, December 9, 2015 On Thursday December 10th, the Academic Senate at Chico State discussed a Resolution of No Confidence in university President Paul Zingg, … Continue reading Chico State: We Have No Confidence

Temporary Lecturers Step From the Shadows at Chico State

Last week, Tony Waters commented to me that something has changed in me this year. “You’re acting like an Assistant Professor,” he said to me late last week. “You’re not slinking through the shadows like all the other lecturers any more. After ten years you are starting to participat in faculty governance, and everyone was … Continue reading Temporary Lecturers Step From the Shadows at Chico State

Chico State and Shared Governance: Lecturers Lean In

Festering discontent at Chico State seems to have reached a point of boiling over in recent weeks following the abrupt resignations of two provosts since 2012, the loss of dozens of faculty across the campus in recent years, and a 2015 Campus Climate Survey which revealed significant dissatisfaction among the faculty and staff. The underlying … Continue reading Chico State and Shared Governance: Lecturers Lean In

Conversations with Cristopher: The Color of Skin

One of the neighbor kids came to play at our house last week, playing and painting and hanging out with my 7 year old daughter, Evelyn, and almost 5 year old son, Cristopher. Kevin, the 5 year old neighbor, was painting with the kids, creating a landscape with people in it. Evelyn was teaching the … Continue reading Conversations with Cristopher: The Color of Skin

Comprehensive Firearms Education

A few years ago, one of my colleagues called to ask me a favor. She was organizing a "Town Hall Debate" about legalizing marijuana, and was having a difficult time finding someone from the university to sit on the panel who would argue in favor of legalizing marijuana. It took me a few seconds, but … Continue reading Comprehensive Firearms Education

What Your Teeth Tell Me About Your Social Class

A recent sorority recruitment video from the University of Alabama last month was critically received on the internet for what some claimed were racist overtones. The nearly all-white, bikini and lingerie clad sorority sisters portrayed pranced happily throughout the over-5 minute long video, never opening a book, attending a class, or even appearing to be … Continue reading What Your Teeth Tell Me About Your Social Class

It’s Not How Many Times You Fall….

I began writing my dissertation in 2003 or so. My first year in graduate school at Kansas State University, I had the good fortune of enrolling in Dr. Robert K. Schaeffer's graduate Social Change course. When Dr. Schaeffer assigned the requisite term paper due in every graduate level course I have ever taken, he gave … Continue reading It’s Not How Many Times You Fall….

Binge Watching Ted Talks

While writing my dissertation, my routine goes something like this most mornings: Stop at the local pastry shop and get my favorite morning pastry: slightly warmed spinach crustada. Drive to my office at the university. Circle for a few minutes to find parking. Hope I don't hit any of the bicyclists who drive the wrong … Continue reading Binge Watching Ted Talks