The College Status Game: Why I Think Chico State is a Better University than UC Berkeley  

College is not just about learning, it is about status and hierarchy, too. So what do the fine nineteen year-olds at UC Berkeley think about us at low ranked Chico State? And how do we think about the snobs at UC Berkeley? Dismissiveness, preening, and sour grapes are part of the ranking game. Status is … Continue reading The College Status Game: Why I Think Chico State is a Better University than UC Berkeley  

True Believers and Personality Tests

I used to be a true believer in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). I can’t remember when I first encountered the 93 question test but it was probably during grad school. I was at my height of believing in it though, when I was part of a two-year leadership development program at my old job. … Continue reading True Believers and Personality Tests

R.I.P. Sociology?

Re-posted from a blog by Julie here at e.com last fall, 2014. Thanks to Les Back at The Sociological Review for the inspiration. It’s the holidays and I’m feeling nostalgic, thinking about this time 14 years ago when I was just finishing up my first semester at CSU, Chico. I was a 34-year old college … Continue reading R.I.P. Sociology?

National Adjunct Walkout Day #NAWD

I started adjuncting in spring 2006, about two weeks after turning in my MA thesis at California State University, Chico. I was hired to teach sociology by an Anthropology professor I'd taken in grad school who was also the chair of the social and behavioral sciences (SBS) department at Butte Community College. I reread my … Continue reading National Adjunct Walkout Day #NAWD

Adjuncts Unite!

In a recent response to Tony’s piece describing the "three gifts of tenure" that I posted on LinkedIn (in my Sociology of Education group) a commenter said this: "The treatment of adjuncts is a national crime perpetrated on our education system and the unsuspecting public. Adjuncts receive about a third of the salary/benefits for the same … Continue reading Adjuncts Unite!

R.I.P. Sociology

It’s the holidays and I’m feeling nostalgic, thinking about this time 14 years ago when I was just finishing up my first semester at CSU, Chico. I was a 34-year old college junior and a first generation college student. Today I was looking for a beef stew recipe in the Joy of Cooking and I came … Continue reading R.I.P. Sociology

How Working at a Community College is Like Working Retail

Originally published at classism.org in October 2011   Expectations are a pain in the ass. There’s an old saying, “plant an expectation, reap a disappointment.”  Yep I did it, planted and am now disappointed. I teach Sociology at a rural community college; I love teaching, but I don’t love that adjunct teachers like me are … Continue reading How Working at a Community College is Like Working Retail

Privilege, Honor, and Meetings

  Cheese Squares, Olives, and Power without Responsibility. Gentry, Blue Blood, and Privilege. Max Weber’s ideas about Honoratioren, Voting Cows, and Power. Meetings are rituals, and rituals need symbols, and decorations. I’ve been to a lot of meetings in my time as an academic where I sat bored and confused, but still fulfilled my function … Continue reading Privilege, Honor, and Meetings

Campbell’s Law and the Fallacies of Standardized Testing

Donald Campbell was one of the leading psychologists of the second half of the twentieth century.  His was a time of optimism for planners—there was a belief that the power of technology could be brought to bear on many of the world’s ills.  And indeed they were, often with positive effects.  As a result of … Continue reading Campbell’s Law and the Fallacies of Standardized Testing

Did Chickering and Gamson’s (1987) Seven Practices of Good Undergraduate Education Dumb Down American Education? A View from Germany

I just finished my semester teaching as a Guest Professor at Leuphana University in Germany, and am beginning to figure out an answer to a question I get asked frequently: “What is the difference between American and German universities?”  Actually, the German students who have been exchange students in the United States have helped me … Continue reading Did Chickering and Gamson’s (1987) Seven Practices of Good Undergraduate Education Dumb Down American Education? A View from Germany

Chico Rocks, and Berkeley…

I was back on the Chico State campus last week, and the new first year students are here, parents hovering nearby as they prepare to cast them out to wilds of Chico State.  The newly minted frosh are of course relishing this—they realize that Chico Rocks, and that they have finally managed to land where … Continue reading Chico Rocks, and Berkeley…

This Week in Ethnography: Second Digital Ethnography Week _ Trento 17-21 sept. 2012

There is not much to report in "This Week in Ethnography", a segment I am inventing as a means of reporting on the global pulse of this most important subject.  The one item that jumped out of my feeds at me was that I missed the application deadline (of July 22, 2012) for the: Second Digital … Continue reading This Week in Ethnography: Second Digital Ethnography Week _ Trento 17-21 sept. 2012