Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy 400th to tTBP..

OK, I missed it by a few. After 400ish posts with details and that could make me pretty easy to identify, I'm going to temporarily suspend the public nature of the blog. I intend to review which posts are really appropriate for public consumption. During the process, I will add you as a reader if you are interested.

Thank you especially commenters, sharers, helpers, suggesters, friends.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oh, No, S.O.

No, not significant other.

I check the sex offender registry (SOR) every once in a while. I'm very conflicted about this. I don't feel good about the shaming that the SOR involves, but on the other hand, I want to be savvy and protect my kids from real or imagined harm- a natural response for a mom.

Well, the inevitable ethical dilemma has presented itself. I found someone on there that was convicted of distribution of child pornography not that long ago, and that person is registered as a student here. Moreover, from their major, I know I will have them in class next semester. The class is not that big, so I will have a lot of contact with them. No, there's no mix-up. I am certain that this student is the same person on the SOR.

Now, this isn't a question of protecting my kids any more, although we live very close to campus (!). This is a question of how I treat this person. I have every intention of acting in a professional manner. But then, how do I *think* about this person?
1. Forget about what I saw on the internet. This is a person who deserves a fresh start, has paid their dues, and I must simply expunge their past from my mind in order to treat them fairly.
2. Though this person does deserve a fresh start, I must keep in mind that recidivism is non-zero. I should treat them as fairly as possible, but always keep a bit of vigilance about them.
3. This person has clearly made a turn around- to go to college and better their life. They probably have a fascinating story and may even speak about their past. I should treat them fairly, but try to get to know them a little so that I can learn about them and especially encourage this person. 

What is your opinion? How would you handle the situation?


Monday, October 15, 2012

Dilemma redux

Wow, thanks for your input. All of it is appreciated.

A few more thoughts:

1. I make it seem like Hub would most certainly get the job if he applied. Not guaranteed. Especially if it was clear to his previous students (as an adjunct) that teaching wasn't his passion (they can always tell).
2. If Hub works as an adjunct, the "statement of faith" thing would be moot.
3. The department isn't sure they will fill the slot with someone full time (my thought: WHAT? NEVER GIVE UP FACULTY LINES VOLUNTARILY!)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hello Dilemma!!!!

Modified from its original form.
There may be a tenure-track position opening up at my institution that Hub is qualified for. Hub has taught at my institution before as an adjunct. He could be home for his family! BUT 1. He really, really dislikes teaching and 2. He can't agree to the statement of faith we are required to sign (I believe, he doesn't). So dilemma, dilemma. Our two-body problem could be easily solved by Hub taking a job he hates and lying on a contractual form. Would you do it?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sheltered student surprise

Something broke in my lab the other day. Something metal. My research students were baffled, until I came in and said, "Oh, let's just fix it". I proceeded to use a match to light a propane-fueled soldering iron. I fixed the thing in about 30 seconds. The students stood agape, and I said, "Yeah,  when I learned to solder in graduate school I thought I was pretty cool stuff". Then one student said, "So THAT'S a match!"

Scaling back

When I first arrived at my new job, a big campaign began to renovate our current facilities, which were built in the mid 60s and have remained the same since. The faculty participated in the architectural design and many fundraisers to raise funds for the "new" 40 some odd million dollar facility. This was not an unrealistic goal in the time before 2008.

Now I have tenure, and despite their absolute best efforts,  the development team has only come up with 6 some odd million dollars, and have finally called it. No new facility. They seemed very disappointed to announce to the faculty their new direction: we will have the architects draw up renovation plans worth 6 million. The faculty encouraged and affirmed the work of development, though many saw the announcement coming from a mile away. Renovation in the next few years will be much nicer than a new facility after I retire.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Roosters Crowing

Our program has some distinctives of which we are proud. But I have never worked elsewhere, and sometimes when I hear these great things being promoted, I worry that we are just a little rooster crowing, and that what we have isn't so different or important in the big picture.

This weekend I went to a SOM  (med school) open house. This is the opportunity for the SOM to crow ITS distinctives to anyone who has traveled to hear the big rooster crow, and who wants to score a little chance to network. I usually take students and do some networking myself.

While on a tour, the second-year student guides were telling us about their very special facility that they thought was to-tal-ly awesome. Well, good for you guys. We've had one of those for 7 years. I asked, "How many of your class had this in their undergraduate institution?" The reply? Two out of 200 nationally selected students.

Well, cock-a-doodle-do!