tenure and public sociology

There have been several posts lately about public sociology and the tenure process, including newsocprof and thepublicandtheprivate and, most recently RadioFreeNewport. All are written by young scholars. The general tone of these remarks is either to worry about the impact of public sociology on getting tenure, or to decry older sociologists who tell younger sociologists to focus on getting tenure before getting heavily involved in public sociology. So another view seems helpful. I say this as someone who did not do public sociology until later in my career, well after I had tenure. These younger writers are ignoring the central point that tenure protects you when you do public sociology. Continue reading “tenure and public sociology”

overheard (not exactly “the rules” edition – or, “paging foucault” – central square)

man: what are you doing tonight?

woman:  I’m meeting a friend in harvard square for dinner.

man: is this a date?

woman:  no, it’s that guy I told you about, the one who is just way too sane for me.  he’s really cute, but I just can’t imagine dating someone that is so together.

man:  you know what I’m thinking right now…

woman: yes, I know.  I dated you.  but you’ve got your quirks.  you’re really only sort of normal.

invasive species

There was a lot more interest than I would have expected in my brief mention of my problem figuring out what to do with five bags of garlic mustard. The update is that I put off dealing with the problem while I finished grading, and then the bags started to leak. Most of it turned into a disgusting slime. I spread the mess out on the patio to dry. Of course it started raining an hour later. At least the rain washed off a lot of the slime. In the past two days, I picked out more second year garlic mustard that had been hiding among the violets, and realized there is a carpet of first year plants to dig out. I think I’ll be spending much of my sabbatical doing this.

You may think that weeding means I’m gardener. Nope. I have a brown thumb. The only gardening activities I am good at are destructive: mowing, weeding, and digging up bushes that are blocking the walk. Everything I’ve planted or paid someone else to plant has turned out to be a mistake: it either died or proved to be the wrong plant in the wrong place. We have the scrappiest yard on the block. My spouse thinks that if you mow your lawn you have done all that anyone can expect of you in the way of gardening, except for extreme cases that call for nuclear herbicide. We both would prefer a natural yard that looks like an unkempt woodland edge and needs no maintenance, but it turns out that neglecting your yard does not produce a natural woodland. Yard neglect creates a safe haven for invasive species. Continue reading “invasive species”

apparently, this is stuck in the eighties week for jeremy on scatterplot

Coming on the heels of my revelation of my secret hobby project: The newspaper from the small town where I grew up (Manson, Iowa) apparently is now offering back issues on CD-ROM. Someone a few years behind me in school bought it and e-mailed me an article from 1984 with this headline:
JournalStory1

Here I am: Continue reading “apparently, this is stuck in the eighties week for jeremy on scatterplot”

two addictions, both named blue monster

Four days ago, I decided to close my blog. Be warned, fellow bloggers, it is incredibly hard to quit. I’ve never felt more motivated to blog than I have the past four days, and so I’m wimping out on my cold turkey approach and going for the blogger “patch,” a post on scatterplot (I hope no scatterbrains are insulted by this analogy). So I began to consider what would be appropriate for my first post-Blue Monster post, and given that Jeremy invoked the drink, Blue Monster, in his eulogy, I thought, “why not?” After all, I probably did as much caffeine blogging as I did soc blogging! Continue reading “two addictions, both named blue monster”