Thursday, 12 October 2017
I Want the World to KnowJohn D. Martin III
October 11, 2017
I love the idea of National Coming Out Day. I always have. But a few things about it and my personal life experience make me think really deeply about it every year. I thought that it might be useful to share these thoughts. I consider most of what I've written below whenever I approach a group of people, particularly in the context of teaching and working in the academy. But all of this extends well beyond those boundaries.
National Coming Out Day is something that I first encountered in college and I think that for many students it still provides a first opportunity to publicly say something unequivocal, brave, and affirming about themselves. There are those who believe that it is no longer relevant and we should stop celebrating it because in 2017 we are all safe now.Matthew H. Birkhold. 10 October 2017. It’s time to end National Coming Out Day. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/its-time-to-end-national-coming-out-day/2017/10/10/a9db94ec-ad2b-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html That is clearly incorrect. More on that later. For now, here are my thoughts on coming out of the closet and celebrating publicly the fact that I have done so.
No one cares whose fault it isJohn D. Martin III
September 2, 2017
On Monday, The Daily Tar Heel published a misguided and poorly-reasoned op-ed by way of apologetic for Carol Folt, Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Editorial Board. 27 August, 2017. It’s not all Folt's fault. The Daily Tar Heel. http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2017/08/edit-2-0828 The editorial argued that anger over the continued existence of UNC's Confederate monument in McCorkle Place—commonly known as Silent Sam—is misplaced. This opinion is premised on the notion that most of this anger has fallen on the Chancellor because of her "prominent position" and that she should be "respected for her strong leadership" and "dedication" to ensuring UNC's continued smooth operation. The editorial tediously and pedantically explained that because UNC is a massive bureaucracy, it's leader has no real power. This was followed by praise for Chancellor Folt's efforts at getting donors to cough up cash to fill UNC's coffers in the face of dwindling funding from the NC General Assembly.
A Chancellor is not a glorified development officer or ceremonial figurehead. The person presently inhabiting this role leads a major university faced with a very specific set of problems.
Unsolicited advice for new PhD studentsJohn D. Martin III
August 25, 2017
I used this Tweet as my morning writing prompt a few weeks ago:
My tweet thread on this topic is located here: https://twitter.com/jdmar3/status/896063276726886400
Earned a PhD?— Prof Dynarski (@dynarski) August 10, 2017
Pay it forward & help the next generation.
What is your most important advice for a new PhD student?#phdtips
What follows is my advice for new PhD students. Some of these are things that I did and benefited me. Others are things that I wish I had done or wish I had figured out earlier. They are obviously not intended to be universal, but maybe someone else will benefit from the distillation of my experience.
Affirmative action is not the problemJohn D. Martin III
August 2, 2017
The US Department of Justice, under directive from the Trump administration, is going to pursue an investigation of affirmative action as a form of race-based discrimination.Savage, Charlie. 1 August 2017. "Justice Dept. to Take On Affirmative Action in College Admissions." The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/us/politics/trump-affirmative-action-universities.html This raised a few questions for me, as it should have for many people in higher ed. This can be settled with a straw poll:This blog post was inspired by some tweets I made on this topic. Given the importance of the topic, I thought it deserved longer, more coherent treatment.
If you teach or have taught a class at a university, raise your hand if you've taught a class with only white students.— John D. Martin III (@jdmar3) August 2, 2017
OnionJohn D. Martin III
March 20, 2017
If you are wondering why the little onion icon doesn't link you anywhere, look no further.
The reason is that this link is not like other links: http://evpoyeb3anapeyrt.onion
GalliumOS on ChromebookJohn D. Martin III
February 5, 2017
I have had a Chromebook for a few years and have always wanted to put a real Linux distribution on it. This weekend my friend Elliott Hauser showed me GalliumOS, which is being developed as a full but lightweight GNU/Linux distribution for Chromebooks.
Teaching soft skillsJohn D. Martin III
February 1, 2017
Lisa Hinchliffe (@lisalibrarian) tweeted this morning about training and hiring for all skills rather than just technical skills.
Training and hiring for all the skills not just technical ones. https://t.co/4SEJGL4eMx— Lisa Hinchliffe (@lisalibrarian) February 1, 2017
From the linked article by Seth Godin:
Along the way, we’ve confirmed that vocational skills can be taught (you’re not born knowing engineering or copywriting or even graphic design, therefore they must be something we can teach), while we let ourselves off the hook when it comes to decision making, eager participation, dancing with fear, speaking with authority, working in teams, seeing the truth, speaking the truth, inspiring others, doing more than we’re asked, caring and being willing to change things.
This brought back some thoughts I've had recently about students' expectations in some of the courses that I've taught.