by Brian Michael Foote
The semester has wrapped up, the last finals have been graded, most of us are knocking out those last meetings of the year. Summer is about to happen. I imagine a lot of you have books to finally get around to or articles you’ve put off. After a somewhat awkward and, frankly, disappointing debut as a surfer this time last year, I have committed to return to the ocean and master it. Call me Ismael. Or Ahab. Whatever. Who cares? It’s summer. We have a pretty good tradition of summer blogging from folks around the Commons so for all of you new bloggers this year be sure to check in with us and let us know what you’re up to. There’s no classes to teach (for a lot of you) or departments to keep going so you’ve got no excuse. This is the summer you blog. Ok, alright, I’ll take it easy.
Out there in the world things were a mess. Tony Picciano checked in this week with Chicago and the NATO Summit protests. On top of that there’s been weeks of rioting up in Montreal as students take to the streets to protest tuition hikes. The Canadian government thought they were going to nip that in the bud with quick legislation to make student gatherings more difficult, but that went about as well as you imagine it would. Not so bright, eh? Sometimes you got to fight for your education. Good luck out there and here’s hoping the protests can stay peaceful.
Speaking of taking it the streets – the Open Access group posted a link to an Open Access WhiteHouse.org petition that have going. The petition looks to raise awareness about Open Access issues and to push for public access to federally funded research studies. It’s your tax money, shouldn’t you be able to see what it’s discovering in research?
Here’s why I love the Commons: I feel like I just found my math soul-mate over at the CUNYMath Blog. First there was the obscure Rudolf Otto reference in the title, then there was the awesome list of 4 motivations towards math, and by the end Hunter Johnson was writing gems like, “many mathematicians are Platonists in the week and formalists on Sundays.” It almost actually physically pains me that people didn’t try to teach me math like this in high school. I would have been a full blown math guy if more of my math teachers and professors we’re just as eager to talk about William James. CUNYMath, we’re lucky to have you!
And just when the week couldn’t get anymore awesome Asif Patel stirred the pot on male circumcision. My hunch is that this is probably something you don’t spend all that much time thinking about. I was a research assistant for a prof doing work on this and let me tell you — it’s a war out there. I’m surprised the comments haven’t blown up on this blog post yet. As of now there’s just the one but if you start to dig around on this topic online it gets emotional pretty quickly.
Nancy Foasberg over at A Librarians Folly revived her blog this week where she shares her thoughts on transliteracy. There are about a million librarians on the Commons so I expect to see this post making the rounds soon. Glad to have you back Nancy!
Well, there you go folks. This time next Sunday I’ll be blogging from the beach. Where will you be?
Till next week.