Child’s Play

I’m at children’s museum with my daughter and her friend. Millions of kids running around and parents mostly being bored. Sometimes we talk. Inevitably they ask “which one’s yours?” I respond “oh, I don’t have kids I just like to come here to watch the children.” I’ve learned two things from this practice:

The Overprotected Kid

I’ve recommended this article repeatedly over the last six months — most recently today to my Introductory Sociology class.  So, I’m taking that as a sign that I should spread the word more widely. The piece is from The Atlantic and covers a range of issues related to contemporary norms of hovering over our children […]

The Wilds Of Education

The Wilds of Education by Frank Bruni  – New York Times.  September 28, 2014 “There’s too much caution in too many schools” Here is a thought-provoking essay that asks questions about the true purpose of education.

Students Protest Decision to Ban Protest

A School Board in Colorado seeks to ban the teaching of dissent and protest in the public school curriculum in favor of celebrating free enterprise, respect for authority and a particular brand of patriotism.  In response the students stage a walk out and protest. (Click here or photo for link) My students of social movements […]

Why Poor Students Struggle in College

Here is an article from the New York Times that discusses some of the cultural challenges students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds confront when they go to college…

Labor Dazed

On Labor Day I took my daughter to the parade.  It’s an event full of meaning but for her it was mainly about the candy. She was not disappointed.  In a scene resembling feeding time at the barnyard candy was thrown like chicken feed from passing floats.  Children scurried, pecked at the ground, pushed and […]

This is How Power Works: A Primer and Illustration

To my students who are inspiring me, Summarizing power in 1000 words is nearly impossible; to apply this analysis in the same 1000 words is a fantasy. But, my students are engaged in social change and don’t have time for long-winded academic treatments; they need understanding that will be helpful to them right now.   Thus, […]

The half-million dollar question

Here is a link to a guest column I wrote for our campus newspaper.  It deals with, among other things, the way that powerful actors are able to insulate themselves from accountability.  In this case the Illinois State University Board of Trustees paid a half-million dollars to its 18th president following his resignation after only […]