Joining blogland has been interesting, if time consuming.  I’ve been particularly interested in tapping into the universe of Black & biracial blogs, the debates about adoption, and the academic blogs.  I also realized I have been on a run of non-sociological experiences this week.  After a week spent nose down finishing a grant proposal (the sociology part), I have had or will have the following experiences within a four-day period.  (1) The final meeting Friday of a  commission hammering out proposals to address issues of racial bias.  I’m the only academic in the group, which has lots of lawyers, judges, social service professionals, and public officials.  About half are Black.  Very different from the very pale academic circles that I usually move in, and an interesting good experience, although not without its frustrations in terms of process.  (2) Spending the night sleeping on a cot at my church, where I’m doing my turn as a volunteer in a program providing temporary housing for homeless people.  A couple of new families had moved into the program and the women sat up late last night talking with each other, forming relationships and getting to know one another, while my husband and I went to sleep on cots in the other room.   This morning we got up at 6 to put on the coffee and provide whatever assistance we could, as the families had to be up, have all their possessions packed for the move to the next church, and out by 7 am to go to the day center while volunteers came in to clean out the rooms so they would be ready for Sunday School by 9.  (3) Tomorrow I’m supposed to give a lunch talk to a group of Democrats about racial issues in my community; they want an update about what has been happening in the Commission.  I have not figured out what to tell them.  I’ll have to call the organizer to remind myself what to say, as they won’t be set up for my usual PowerPoint spiel.  I also suddenly realized this morning that classes start Tuesday and I don’t have the syllabus updated and printed for my 150 students, so I’m going to have to (one again) impose on the good will of the office staff to get it ready on time.  At least the class is in the afternoon.  And I have a ton of work to do to get ready for my Wednesday graduate seminar.  Moving right along.


Author: olderwoman

I'm a sociology professor but not only a sociology professor. I keep my name out of this blog because I don't want my name associated with it in a Google search. Although I never write anything in a public forum like a blog that I'd be ashamed to have associated with my name (and you shouldn't either), it is illegal for me to use my position as a public employee to advance my religious or political views, and the pseudonym helps to preserve the distinction between my public and private identities. The pseudonym also helps to protect the people I may write about in describing public or semi-public events I've been involved with. You can read about my academic work on my academic blog http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/soc/racepoliticsjustice/ --Pam Oliver

2 thoughts on “experiences”

  1. I can’t figure out if Northwestern sociology doesn’t have the same culture of having staff do one’s teaching-related copying that Wisconsin did, or if I just haven’t tapped into it. If there’s something like at Wisconsin where you could direct the staff to copy pages out of a book for a reading packet, I am definitely not aware of it. Here you can just send documents directly from your computer to the copier, which has proven especially handy this weekend with a grant due and my printer out of toner.

  2. It is possible for faculty to send things directly to the copier here, too, but we don’t like to let them know it, as there is only one copier and a lot of faculty, and you need a key to the main office for this to do you any good. But documents can be sent electronically to the staff, who can route them to the printer. I do have a key and the knowledge, so I could actually copy my own syllabus tomorrow which, now that I think about it, maybe I should do, as I have to be downtown anyway for the other event I mentioned.

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