Monthly Archives: June 2018

A brief and subjective review of Charlottesville, Virginia

I should have driven further but traffic was thick and it is raining, so I have stopped in Charlottesville. I started out in northern Maryland, driving to Washington, DC where I parked off the national mall and went to the Cézanne exhibit at the National Gallery, which is worthwhile. The gift shop at the National Gallery is endless and junky, and if you eat lunch you should go to the Garden Café since in the end, the poor cafeteria is almost as expensive as the sit-down place. I walked past the Capitol and drove by the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument on the way out of town; in Virginia I passed the sites of several famous battlegrounds including the Bull Run.

I cannot handle junky motels, nor face expensive hotels, so I am staying at the conference center of the University of Virginia Business School. It is a bit sterile, but very comfortable and it has a pub, that I would be in if it were less stuffy, and a laundry room that is free, and breakfast in the cafeteria will surely be interesting. I will visit Monticello tomorrow and am curious to see whether it will seem different from other plantations I have seen; having been there will make me more experienced as an American.

The University of Virginia is manicured and buttoned down, and many students are military. Charlottesville has one of those very Southern courthouse squares and seems on the whole to be a quintessence of squareness. I think all the students and faculty must be rich, as this place is very obviously upscale. I went to the pedestrian mall downtown where I had a slice of vegetarian pizza, quite good, for $4.14 and for another $4.14, an excellent capuccino at a place where you could sit and read for a long time. There was a great deal of overpriced shopping, uninteresting, mixed with overdone bistros, and several very interesting antiquarian bookstores where you could also sit and read for a long time. If I had been less tired I would have had dinner at Bizou, eating at the bar–this place looked cozy, unpretentious, and good, actual not faux European. Then I would have gone to a concert at the Front Porch, a roots music school.

There must be some sort of cool scene here but my overall impression is that it is not a cool town. Have you been to Charlottesville?

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Remnants of that article draft

***Alternatives to the current university: Edu-factory, more.

***Bosquet: adjunct women wildcatting will be what saves us. Is this an adequate hope? Can we all get together to reeducate the public / rebuild the idea of the public and the public good?

***Asking for accountability from administratons:  the LARB article.

***AAUP needs much closer connections regional/national, and CBC/advocacy.

***Nair: what if we foregrounded movements, not the cult of personality and celebrity? what if we held on to abstract concepts? Also use the Eric and Mike essay, which is in my downloads.

***People younger than me do not remember what it is to have rights any more than the undergraduates care about voting…faculty have less interest in shared governance than undergraduates have in voting. Is AAUP/shared governance antiquated because they presuppose an older kind of university, or not? (Tenure didn’t really exist when the AAUP started.) Is collective bargaining enough of an update on older strategies?

***I am an outsider and outlier because I am old, because I am not entirely from the US, because I am from California, and because I am still idealistic like a graduate student. But it is because mostly because where I am, corporatization has most aggressively taken over. AAUP’s ideas arose from another crisis (in Veblen’s day) and they also presuppose the kind of stability universities had in the 50s and 60s (although the highest membership was during the McCarthy period, for obvious reasons). Still, needed now are new and different connections / solidarity with parents / students / more. [Work these ideas out]

ALSO: Bosquet says it is women contingents wildcatting who will turn the tide. Based on NC teachers strike & the fact that most professors are contingents who are women. I add that it has to be for education, not jobs or money. AND we have to start supporting each other, not being individualist careerists. Note too that wildcatting did not help in Oklahoma (or was that just a battle lost, and not the war?).

ALSO: Snow’s ideas are fine and everything, but there are also Yasmin Nair’s: she talks about movements and abstract concepts, not just strategies. https://thebaffler.com/salvos/exalted-slogans-nair

*NAPOLITANO: she should be supporting the university, asking for public funding of a public institution, not depending upon charity and philanthropy and “public-private partnerships” It’s effectively the public education version of the asinine argument about how, once we destroy the social safety net, private and philanthropic organizations will take up the slack. It is like saying churches will take up the slack on welfare. http://www.dailycal.org/2018/05/18/uc-president-janet-napolitano-csu-chancellor-timothy-white-discuss-future-public-higher-education/ had a similar first reaction: “The point of fact is that public funding at the level it was at is unlikely to be restored”— that’s not a point of fact, it’s a point of politics. We need to get state and national-level candidates elected who understand how to convince boards of trustees of the importance of state universities.

Giroux, Henry, 2016. Public pedagogy and manufactured identities in the age of selfie culture. http://communication.oxfordre.com/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.001.0001/acrefore-9780190228613-e-112

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La liste

These are some things I may do to expand my health program:

Magic 10 yoga poses.

Givamukti yoga.

Tumeric with black pepper.

Reduce caffeine.

Acupuncture.

Swimming, push-ups, backbends, locust pose, squats.

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