Category Archives : Education

Speak up?

Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. I am sensitive to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Perhaps it’s the four LONG years I spent in a rigourous collegiate journalism program. Perhaps it’s my hyper-sensitivity to the need to say what I want, when I need to say it. Regardless of the reason, I believe everyone has a right to freedom of speech, regardless of whether I agree with or am offended by what they have to say.* Imagine my chagrin when I heard an uproar about an art installation at a high school in my county.  According to a news report (I’d love for more to exist, but it doesn’t seem to have been picked up by all of the local news outlets), students in an honors course “were given an assignment to create a display that shows what social justice means to them.”  The result was on display in the high school’s lobby for weeks before it started getting widespread attention. […]

Miner’s canary

Miner’s canary: A caged bird kept caged in mine tunnels because its demise provided a warning of dangerous levels of toxic gases. (idiomatic) Something whose sensitivity to adverse conditions makes it a useful early indicator of such conditions; something which warns of the coming of greater danger or trouble by a deterioration in its health or welfare On a major road near my home sits a small medical practice. It’s an unassuming building, with a small sign touting its primary doctor’s name, yet it catches my attention nearly every time I drive by.  Day or night, rain or shine, I see people — as few as 1 or as many as 10 — standing outside, protesting its provision of abortion services. The most prominent sign they display is “Pray to end abortion,” and I always get irked to no end, because they’ve got it all wrong. When I see that sign, I think “Don’t pray to end abortion; pray to end poor access to adequate health care and misinformation about contraceptives.” By that, I mean: abortion isn’t the bigger problem. Unplanned/unwanted pregnancies are.  A “high” number of abortions is merely a symptom of the bigger problem, which is women being pregnant when they are not ready or […]

A “no” by any other name … 1

Admittedly, I don’t follow college sports or their athletes. I could generally care less, but I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz recently about the possible charges facing Florida State University’s quarterback Jameis Winston as a result of a rape accusation.  On December 5, the State Attorney, William Meggs, announced that Winston would not be facing criminal charges due to what he called a lack of evidence, elaborating, “We have a duty as prosecutors to only file … charges if we have a reasonable likelihood of a conviction.” It’s important to interject here to explain what Meggs meant.  Criminal charges were not filed because prosecutors did not believe that they would be able to prove to either a judge or jury, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the crime(s) in question occurred.  That does not mean a crime did not occur. It means there isn’t enough evidence to prove it in a court of law. It does not mean the victim falsely reported a rape, falsely implicated Winston, or did anything falsely. It means that there is not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the crime occurred. I would also like to venture that even if charges were filed against Winston […]

Being a better ally

I’ve always considered myself an ally, but it wasn’t until recently that I really started to take it seriously.  Today’s political climate, between Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the ongoing debate about same-sex marriage, is downright hateful, and I have too many LGBTQIA* family, friends, colleagues, etc., not to be.  So last week I had training to join my campus’ network of LGBTQIA faculty, staff and students who are prepared to act as advocates and resources to LGBTQIA faculty, staff and students.

Day 10 — One confession.

This is neither the correct “Day 10” (about a week late) nor my most guarded secret. But it is something I grapple with every day. I’m 26 and I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I enjoy a lot of things, but I’ve always felt that I’m not that great at the things I really love. Somehow, I’m fantastic at the things I get no enjoyoment from, like being a journalist. I have two BAs that I don’t think I really “use” because I don’t have the heart to be a reporter and have too many personal conflicts with basic principles of the field.  So now I’m about to finish grad school and when people ask me what I want to do … I’m not  really sure. The only thing I really know is that I want to work with students and I want to help people. They’re amazing to be around, and I really want to help them navigate the college environment, red tape and all. I wish I had figured this out 5 years ago, but … such is life.