Prophetic Imagination

In Our Band Could Be Your Life, Micheal Azerrad uses a line from the William Blake poem,  “Jerusalem The Emanation of the Giant Albion,” as his epigraph:

I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s.

When one searches for this poem, a link appears to the William Blake society connecting a reader to a campaign to preserve his cottage.

The people behind this project remind us:

Poets transform reality. They are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

By saving this cottage, they describe their vision:

The Cottage is to be an exemplar of a way to live a life through courage and creativity. We are inviting support from everyone who is strengthened by the knowledge that somewhere in the world such a place exists; a home for the prophetic imagination in England’s Green and Pleasant Land.

The Cottage will be a refuge for everyone who asks great questions – the outsiders, the prophets and the visionaries.

People will be able to stay in the Cottage and in turn the Cottage will emanate their creativity back into the world. Its programme may include a space to function as a House of Refuge for persecuted writers. It will offer Blakean events and it will also welcome visitors.


A Landmark Moment

“Through the Glass Ceiling and Beyond! Sally Ride’s Feminist Legacy” (source) is a short book review about a new book for young adults about Sally Ride, a member of the first class of female astronauts. Here is a quote from the book:

At a time where women earned roughly 9,000 of the 72,000 engineering bachelor degrees (and only 483 physics degrees, Ride’s main area of study), Ride’s first space flight in 1983 was a landmark moment for the women’s movement. As a member of the five-person crew of the space shuttle Challenger, she was the first astronaut to maneuver a robotic arm–a device she helped engineer–in order to retrieve a satellite. She also was, and remains, the youngest astronaut to ever go into orbit.

Below is a photo of Ride with two other feminist pioneers Billie Jean King and Gloria Steinem.

Sally Ride is quoted in 2009:

The world and our perceptions have changed a lot, even since the ’70s, but there are. If you ask an 11-year-old to draw a scientist, she’s likely to draw a geeky guy with a pocket protector. That’s just not an image an 11-year-old girl aspires to.

See also: A Giant Step For Gender Equality (source)


A Giant Step For Gender Equality

Elizabeth Yuko writes a short yet detailed history of women in space programs in “America’s Forgotten Female Astronauts” (source). Yuko blends historical information about women in space programs with an affectionate reference to women’s shoes:

The experiments were grueling and sometimes bizarre. One test required them to swallow three feet of rubber tubing. In another, a researcher injected ice water into their ears. Researchers noted that all of the female testees complained significantly less than their male counterparts. Many of the women scored as highly—if not higher—than the men. At the end of it all, 13 of the 20 female pilots passed the tests. The women were called the Mercury 13, though they also went by First Lady Astronaut Trainees—or FLATs, reflecting not only their pioneering status, but conveniently, also a type of sensible shoe.

In addition, she makes an interesting connection between Cold War politics and its influence on erasing opportunities for women in space programs. She writes about President Johnson’s concern of appearing weak as compared to the Soviet space programs and thus had a hand in halting progress for women. Yuko writes:

At the height of the Cold War, when a primary goal of the space program was for America to appear stronger and more resilient than their Soviet counterparts, many argued that sending a woman to space would send the wrong message – comparable to putting a chimp in space, Amy Foster, a space historian, explained in Makers. If a woman—or chimp—could make it in space, some thought, it really was not that great of a feat; for that to be the case, it had to be done by a man.

What’s interesting to note is the introduction of this article cites an interview with Russian women who are training for a recent space mission. In the article Yuko cites, there is a play on Neil Armstrong’s famous quote when he stepped onto the moon (source):

Despite the mission being presented as a giant step for gender equality, the women—who wore red jumpsuits—found themselves fielding questions at a press conference about how they would cope without men or makeup for eight days.

“We are very beautiful without makeup,” parried participant Darya Komissarova.


Workforce Shift

Ann Larson writes a powerful post on adjunct labor (source). There are many sources cited that may help researchers bridge an understanding about adjuncts, gender, and student learning.


photo credit: me

She writes:

We can better understand the relationship between graduation rates and workplace precarity by noting that women are also overrepresented among the ranks of adjunct faculty. According to the Modern Language Association, women are now “the majority of non-tenure-track faculty members across all types of institutions.” Though women are earning more PhDs than ever before, they are more likely than men to work on part-time or on year-to-year contracts. In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Kate Bahn identified this trend as “the rise of the lady adjunct.” What do we make of this workforce shift?

This post may be useful to writers interested in adjunct labor, feminism, and socioeconomic status.

See also (links about adjunct labor here) and (fix links in this post)

Her House

Edith Macefield, 1921-2008.

Ballard, city of Seattle, WA. A woman who held her ground.

Macefield said: “I went through World War II, the noise doesn’t bother me,…They’ll get it done someday.”

Macefield’s stubbornness was cheered by Ballard residents who were tired of watching the blue-collar neighborhood disappear. Her house became a symbol of sorts.

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photo credit: (source)

 This blog explains more (source)


A Pipeline

The hardest thing about writing, in a sense, is not writing. I mean, the sentence is not intended to show you off, you know. It is not supposed to be “look at me!” “Look, no hands!” It’s supposed to be a pipeline between the reader and you. One condition of the sentence is to write so well that no one notices that you’re writing.

~James Baldwin from (source

Clock Hours

The unit with which we measure student credit for learning is based on an idea originally conceived as a way to substantiate teacher pensions (source).

Andrew Bryk writes:

Early in the twentieth century, the industrialist Andrew Carnegie established the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to create a pension system for the nation’s college professors. The introduction of this pension system proved an ingenious educational reform. At the time, American higher education was a largely ill-defined enterprise with the differences between high school and colleges often unclear.

To qualify for participation in the Carnegie pension system, higher education institutions were required to adopt a set of basic standards around courses of instruction, facilities, staffing, and admissions criteria. The Carnegie Unit, also known as the credit hour, became the basic unit of measurement both for determining students’ readiness for college and their progress through an acceptable program of study. Over time, the Carnegie Unit became the building block of modern American education, serving as the foundation for everything from daily school schedules to graduation requirements, faculty workloads, and eligibility for federal financial aid.

This notion of time raises meaningful questions in the 21st century. In other words, how does the Carnegie Unit align with learning and asynchronous teaching?

When the Carnegie Unit was established, the asynchronous style of learning did not exist. So, what now?

Educational policy makers need to consider how to both honor student achievement and faculty labor outside of the constraints of the clock.

How we do this effectively in order to meet the needs of non-traditional college students?

See also [Many Paths To & For Personalized Learning]