As summer, for many of us, speeds towards its inevitable end, I am reminded of the ebb and flow that marks this time of year: the daylight has begun waning sooner, and our daily habits and patterns will shift (or may have already shifted) to accommodate the demands of a new term, a different course, the same course but on a different day, new or returning service work, and the everyday responsibilities of family, friends, and our own selves.
Like many of you, over the last two weeks, I’ve become increasing preoccupied with the events of Ferguson, MO. If, however, you haven’t been following along, the University of Minnesota Sustainability Education Program has posted a helpful list of Resources about Ferguson. The Crunk Feminist Collective has posted a thoughtful piece titled “Say What?: On Speechlessness, Racism and Respectability in #Ferguson.” The Guardian asks, “Why are white people scared of black people’s rage at Mike Brown’s death?” In The Gawker, Lanre Akinsiku explores “The Price of Blackness.” Washington Post explains “How Facebook and Twitter control what you see about Ferguson.” Al Jazeera reporter Ryan Schuessler describes why “I will not be returning to Ferguson.” LA Times reporter Matt Pearce pays tribute to the “Ferguson McDonald’s a haven amid protests and tear gas.” And finally, this morning, MSNBC reports that: “Ferguson sees first signs of normalcy since Brown shooting.” (I have to confess, I’m not sure what “normalcy” even means anymore in this context, but according to the article, a big part of it is the reopening of local schools).
An interesting piece from The New York Times on inequality and search engines: “In One America, Guns and Diet. In the Other, Cameras and ‘Zoolander.’”
MSNBC uncovers “the hunger crisis at American universities.”
Finally, this blog post, “The Shadow Syllabus,” came across my Facebook timeline, and it’s worth reading as we enter a new semester. Not every point will apply to all of us, but it’s a refreshing reminder, in this time when assessment language, learning objectives, and educational policies threaten to overwhelm our syllabi (or at least they threaten to overwhelm mine), that we and our students both are human.
In honor of those of us heading back to school, I leave you with Schoolhouse Rocks: “Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla (Pronouns)":