Friday, April 20, 2012

Saddleback students highlight world hunger (OC Reg)

Several students at Saddleback College gathered Thursday at lunchtime to highlight the issue of world hunger during an event organized by the college's Helping Hands Sociology Club….

I just don't know what to do with myself

(Burt Bacharach, Hal David)

I just don't know what to do with myself
I don't know what to do with myself
Planning everything for two
Doing everything with you
And now that we're through
I just don't know what to do

I just don't know what to do with myself
I don't know what to do with myself
Movies only make me sad
Parties make me feel as bad
'cause I'm not with you
I just don't know what to do

Like a summer rose
Needs the sun and rain
I need your sweet love
To beat love away [to beat all the pain]

Well just don't know what to do with myself
I just don't know what to do with myself
Planning everything for two
Doing everything with you
And now that we're through
I just don't know what to do

Like a summer rose
Needs the sun and rain
I need your sweet love
To beat love away [to beat all the pain]

I just don't know what to do with myself
Just don't know what to do with myself
Just don't know what to do with myself
I don't know what to do with myself

Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner: "that dirt road voice of his"

The return of Rebel Girl's Poetry Corner marks the recent passing of Levon Helms with this sonnet by Tracy K. Smith.  Poetry and rock 'n roll. Yeah.


I’ve been beating my head all day long on the same six lines,
Snapped off and whittled to nothing like the nub of a pencil
Chewed up and smoothed over, yellow paint flecking my teeth.

And this whole time a hot wind’s been swatting down my door,
Spat from his mouth and landing smack against my ear.
All day pounding the devil out of six lines and coming up dry

While he drives donuts through my mind’s back woods with that
Dirt-road voice of his, kicking up gravel like a runaway Buick.
He asks Should I come in with that back beat, and whatever those

Six lines were bothered by skitters off like water in hot grease.
Come in with your lips stretched tight and that pig-eyed grin,
Bass mallet socking it to the drum. Lay it down like you know

You know how, shoulders hiked nice and high, chin tipped back,
So the song has to climb its way out like a man from a mine.

 from the September 21, 2009 issue of the New Yorker

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mi Taco es Su Taco

Gustavo Arellano, perennial nominee for IVC Commencement Speaker, was featured in yesterday's Los Angeles Times as part of the nationwide launch for his new book (his third, but who's counting?): "Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America."

Arellano, an OC native, Cal State Fullerton instructor and current editor-in-chief of the OC Weekly, is a regular guest on KPCC's Larry' Mantle's Airtalk show and KCRW's Evan Kelinman's popular weekend show, Good Food.

from Reed Johnson's "To Gustavo Arellano, Mexican food is a big melting pot" --

As he describes in salivating detail in his new book, "Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America" (Scribner: 318 pp., $25), the cuisine that has migrated north across the Rio Grande and the Tijuana border is too big and complex to be neatly wrapped up in tinfoil stereotypes and reductive generalities.

Rather, Mexican American food has become a movable fiesta of hybrid tastes and bold regional experiments that have rendered terms like "authenticity" essentially useless, Arellano believes. If the "classic" Mexican recipes of Anglo cookbook authors like Diana Kennedy, and the cosmopolitan concoctions served at Rick Bayless' Red O restaurant on Melrose are rightly regarded as one strain of Mexican fare, Arellano argues, then so too should Taco Bell. Mexican food is a big, inclusive kitchen, he says; all are welcome who add something to the melting pot.
To read the rest, click here.

Gustavo will be one of the many authors appearing at the Los Angeles Festival of Books at USC this weekend. His panel is titled Food Writing: American Potluck and begins at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday

Where: Ronald Tutor Campus Center on the USC Campus

Who: Panelists are Gustavo Arellano, Aaron Bobrow-Strain, Jennifer 8. Lee, moderated by Jonathan Gold.

Information: http://events.latime.scom/festivalofbooks/

During the two day celebration that is the Festival of Books, Rebel Girl and Red Emma will be hanging out at the Santa Monica College booth (#993) near the Tommy Tojoan statue. Red will be broadcasting live from the festival on Sunday morning via KPFK. Tune in or drop by. It's a weekend of free fun and lots and lots of books!


To read Red's recent OC Bookly column on Gustavo's new book (from which Rebel Girl swiped her nifty blog post title, click here.


(photo: Arkasha Stevenson/LA Times)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

"Conservative" Ted Nugent
• San Onofre Still Leads the Nation in Safety Complaints (Voice of OC)
• Ted Nugent Remarks On Obama Draw Secret Service Scrutiny (HuffPost)

     Rocker Ted Nugent has reportedly earned himself the scrutiny of the Secret Service after saying over the weekend that he would be "dead or in jail by this time next year" if President Barack Obama is re-elected.
     Nugent made the comments during an interview at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, comparing Obama and his administration to "coyotes" that needed to be shot and encouraging voters to "chop [Democrats'] heads off in November."….

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Evidently, the IVC Academic Senate cabinet won't agendize whether IVC should support Saddleback faculty's "shared governance" resolution

Cabinet "determination": Senators will
not consider the question of supporting
the SC Ac. Senate resolution
     Back on March 5, a colleague at Saddleback College emailed me about a resolution recently approved by the Saddleback College Academic Senate (i.e., the faculty). Here it is:
   Whereas, Commencement is an important event for all members of the Saddleback College community…, and
   Whereas, the College Commencement Committee includes representatives from all of these groups to ensure that their voices are heard in planning this ceremony, and
   Whereas, the principle of shared governance is that all constituent groups should have a real role in the decision-making process, and
   Whereas, President Burnett’s decision in 2011 to override the Commencement Committee’s unanimous vote to offer a moment of silence instead of an invocation in that year’s ceremony is inconsistent with the principle of shared governance, and
   Whereas, such top-down decision making has repeatedly caused problems for our College in the Accreditation process,
   Therefore, be it resolved, that
   The Saddleback College Academic Senate affirms that the College’s Commencement Committee is the best group to decide whether or not to include an invocation at the annual Commencement ceremony … [and] The Commencement Committee as a whole should be explicitly charged with making this decision and their decision should be final, …And, … This should go into effect beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year, as an invitation for a speaker to deliver an invocation has already been issued for the 2012 Commencement ceremony.
     The colleague wrote:
… I’m not 100% sure how the decision to invite a Rabbi for the invocation this year was made….
…Do you think there’s any chance that IVC’s Senate would consider a resolution backing up ours?
…Be aware that we tried to keep the focus on shared governance and not on the prayer issue itself….
     I wrote back: “I read the resolution and it looks great. Yes, I think we can get the IVC senate on board, as long as we don't just give it to the Senate President….”
     Normally, our senate meets every two weeks, and the cabinet meets on the off weeks to put together the agenda for the next meeting. So, on Thursday of the 8th, hours before what I assumed was the cabinet’s biweekly “agenda” meeting, I wrote the Senate cabinet:
     I request that we agendize the following item for the upcoming meeting of the IVC Academic Senate Rep Council: whether our senate should support SC Academic Senate's recent resolution re President Burnett's action to ignore or overturn the SC Commencement Committee decision re a prayer at commencement.
. . .
     Friends at Saddleback College tell me that, last week, the SC Academic Senate passed a resolution in response to President Burnett's action of overriding the decision by the Commencement Committee regarding whether there would be a prayer or invocation at SC Commencement. Here is that resolution….[see above]
. . .
     I'm told that President Burnett has already arranged to have a rabbi give the prayer.

—Senator Roy Bauer, Humanities and Languages
     A few minutes later, IVC Academic Senate President Lisa Davis Allen wrote me: “Roy, I will bring it to the cabinet. The agenda for the next meeting has already been set due to spring break. —L” (Note: Spring break was the week of March 11.)
     I also heard from another cabinet member, who wrote me to say “I support this” for reasons echoing the Saddleback senate's reasoning.
     I responded: “LDA has already responded that this [item] can't be agendized for the next meeting because the agenda has already been done—something about the Spring Break.”
     The cabinet member then responded, indicating surprise that it had already been decided that my item was not to be included on the agenda. They said they would themselves request the item formally.
     I didn’t hear back.
     The item didn’t make it to the agenda.
     And so, a week after the March 22 senate meeting, I requested yet again that the matter be agendized (for I was never told whether my item had been discussed by the cabinet; I assumed it hadn't been). LDA responded by writing: “Cabinet will consider it today when we create the 4-5-12 agenda.”
     But then, again, I was never informed what the cabinet had decided, if anything.
     So, on April 12, prior to the senate’s cabinet meeting, I once again wrote the senate cabinet, “asking that this matter [i.e., whether we should support the Saddleback College Ac. Senate resolution] be agendized for the next meeting.”
     I soon got a response:
     Your agenda item request concerning Saddleback Commencement plans has been considered by the IVC Academic Senate cabinet. The item will not be placed on the Senate Rep Council agenda because the cabinet has determined that it is not an IVC issue or a district issue, but rather a Saddleback College internal issue addressing their commencement plans.
     When this "determination" occurred—I have no idea. No one has informed me.
     And since when is an administrator's act of blowing off shared governance at Saddleback College not an IVC issue? If Saddleback’s Burnett can do it, then IVC’s Roquemore can do it too.
     Good Lord do we ever need new leadership of the IVC Academic Senate.

Young Americans filled with glee

Young Americans filled with glee
     Remember when the “Young Americans” people showed up at SOCCCD BOT meetings, aiming to house all those wholesome young people of theirs at our ATEP campus? We said "no." (See Will ATEP be home to the "Young Americans"?)
     They eventually built a “college” in beauteous Corona. (Several present and former SOCCCD/college personnel have joined the YA's advisory board.)
     The organization just turned 50 and the OC Register (natch) is all over it:

Young Americans turns 50
     The group that began in 1962 is considered the granddaddy of show choirs and has trained thousands of young performers.
     Milton C. Anderson, a one-time high school music teacher in Los Angeles and TV music director, saw a disconnect between the emerging images of young Americans in the 1960s and the kids who had been in his classrooms.
     Those kids weren't rabble rousers and hooligans. How could Anderson show to the world what he thought was the true nature of American youth?....
Anderson makes his pitch, early 2007

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary