Graduation Blues

The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Student Survey shows that less than 20 percent of 2009 graduates who were looking for a job have actually found one. In comparison, more than half of the class of 2007 found jobs before graduation. The situation is apparently so bleak that many college seniors (about 41 percent) didn’t even bother to look for work this spring.

The 2009 NACE survey indicates that 73 percent of students who did find jobs had been interns somewhere, but it’s not clear how many of those students ended up working in the field for which they had interned. No doubt, some unpaid internships are a form of labor exploitation, but they can still function as a kind of “finishing school” that teaches students how to behave professionally. And the process of identifying and interviewing for internships may help students negotiate the hiring process in any field.

Things to think of for E.

From the Chronicle.

And other bad news:

A majority of college graduates 25 and under are working in jobs that don’t require a college degree — if they’re working at all — concludes a survey by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. From McClatchy News:

”I’ve never seen it this low and we’ve been analyzing this stuff for over 20 years,” said center director Andrew Sum.

Only about a third of Asian female graduates and black and Hispanic male graduates are in jobs that require a degree. Except for Asian males, who have the highest college-level employment rate, women are more likely to be in college-level jobs than men. (I have no clue why the spread is so wide between Asian males and females. More technical degrees for the guys?)

It’s not going to get any better any time soon.

Employers expect to hire 22 percent fewer graduating seniors for entry-level positions this year than in 2008, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

from Joanne Jacobs

Book Update

I have now written the fourth chapter, with revisions.

I revised the second chapter extensively and the third not extensively.

I think I need to revise the first chapter extensively. Or maybe not. I guess I should go look at the library for similar series books and see.

I will be starting the fifth chapter soon. I am on target to finish the first good draft by August 6.

It’s due to the publisher on October 1, so that’s a good date to be able to put it aside for a week or so, and then revise.

It will be good to have a book done. It will be good to have my name on a book. I need to make sure I do good work to put my name on.

I got my news from facebook.

I don’t listen to the news anymore. I can’t take it.

So now I get my news from fb. I had already heard about Farrah dying, in a peripheral conversation at a Shakespeare discussion today.

But when I got on tonight one of my friends posted about Michael Jackson, Iran, and North Korea too. So I was like… What’s up with MJ and NK?

I looked them up.

MJ is dead at 50.

NK is threatening us with a nuclear fire shower.

Oh goody. Can I shut the news off of fb too?

Christians Can’t Have Literature on a Public Street

In the United States, Chr

San Jose Mercury News

A federal judge today denied an evangelical Christian group’s request for permission to hand out literature on sidewalks at an Arab festival in the heart of the Detroit area’s Middle Eastern community.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds denied Anaheim, Calif.-based Arabic Christian Perspective’s request for a temporary restraining order.

The group describes itself in its court filing as “a national ministry established for the purpose of proclaiming the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ to Muslims … (that) travels around the country attending and distributing Christian literature at Muslim festivals and mosques.”

A lawyer for the group said it would seek a permanent injunction against the city of Dearborn.

“It’s not over,” said Robert J. Muise of the Thomas More Law Center, an Ann Arbor-based Christian rights advocacy group.

Another lawyer on the case said the Dearborn officials action could be part of what he described as a broader Muslim legal attack on critics of Islam in our “Judeo-Christian nation.”

“Muslims are using the courts in this country to stop our free speech rights,” said William J. Becker Jr., a Los Angeles attorney who has represented a number of prominent critics of Islam.

Fathers Make a Difference

Father’s day is today.

What can we learn about fathers?

Teenagers whose fathers are more involved in their lives are less likely to engage in risky sexual activities such as unprotected intercourse, according to a new study.

The more attentive the dad — and the more he knows about his teenage child’s friends — the bigger the impact on the teen’s sexual behavior, the researchers found. While an involved mother can also help stave off a teen’s sexual activity, dads have twice the influence.

So, yeah for great dads!

Quote from MSNBC

Two Views on Boxter

Apparently, Barbara Boxer, a Senator from California where some of the biggest military bases exist, doesn’t understand respect when she hears it.

As a former Army Officer, if one of my soldiers called me “Lieutenant”, instead of “el-tee” or “Sir”, I would know that he found me lacking. Calling me by my job title or rank is only done because it is the lowest requirement of respect.

The. Lowest. Requirement. Of. Respect.

If one of my soldiers called me “Captain”, without using my last name behind it or “Sir”, I would know that he found me substandard.

BG Walsh was showing Barbara Boxer respect by calling her “Ma’am” instead of “Senator.” Believe me, the title “Senator” does not really hold a whole lot of credibility in the US military. It’s a job, and a Corporal leading a team in Baqubah has more honor than most of those holding that title.

Sir or Ma’am is showing Barbara Boxer respect that doesn’t have to be shown to her. BG Walsh can call her Senator all day and night. Instead, the general called her “Ma’am” – a term in deference to her and to show respect for what she earned.

The text from Blackfive.

Did you notice how often Politics goes with Military. I must have been prescient when I conflated those categories.

Guess I Really Need to Exercise

Apparently exercise is one way (an important way, maybe even a vital way) to keep the brain working as you age.

Briefly, the investigators found that adults who did not smoke, exercised once a week, were socially active, had at least a high school education and a ninth grade literacy level, were more likely to maintain cognitive skills through their 70s and 80s.

“To this day, the majority of past research has focused on factors that put people at greater risk to lose their cognitive skills over time, but much less is known about what factors help people maintain their skills, Fiocco noted in a statement.

Fiocco’s team tracked the cognitive function of 2,509 well-functioning white and black adults who were between 70 and 78 years of age at the start of the study.

During 8 years of follow-up, 53 percent of the study subjects showed minor cognitive decline normally associated with aging and 16 percent showed major cognitive decline. However, 30 percent of the study subjects maintained cognitive function, the team reports in the journal Neurology.

Further investigation revealed that people who exercised moderately to vigorously at least once a week were 30 percent more likely to maintain their cognitive function than those who did not exercise that often.

Those who had at least a high school education were nearly three times as likely to stay sharp as those who with less education. Elderly with a ninth grade literacy level or higher were nearly five times as likely to stay sharp as those with lower literary levels and non-smokers were nearly twice as likely to stay sharp as those who smoked.

People working or volunteering and those living with someone were also more likely to maintain cognitive function late in life.

from Reuter’s Health

Historic Wedding Gown

Lilly Friedman doesn’t remember the last name of the woman who designed and sewed the wedding gown she wore when she walked down the aisle over 60 years ago. But the grandmother of seven does recall that when she first told her fiancé Ludwig that she had always dreamed of being married in a white gown he realized he had his work cut out for him.

For the tall, lanky 21-year-old who had survived hunger, disease and torture this was a different kind of challenge. How was he ever going to find such a dress in the Bergen Belsen Displaced Person’s camp where they felt grateful for the clothes on their backs?

from CA Political News

C&W 2009

There were good talk overall. I skipped most of the town halls and I think that was good. I missed one of the keynotes. Apparently that was also good.

I learned some, more about what I don’t know than about what I do know.

I was lonesome. I did get out and talk more, possibly because this conference has a “friendly” reputation. But I would have liked to have had some way to meet newbies who were also solo early on to maybe have someone to go out to eat with.

I went to every talk. That’s a big deal for me at a conference. It says that it was all interesting and not… inaccessible.

Great things about the conference:

Small, so lots of people to meet without being totally overwhelmed.

Not too much politics, though it was certainly visible. How great Obama was in one talk. Quotes from Green Peace telling us what we needed to do in another.

Lots of very practical stuff, even when hinged or predicated on theory. (Of course, I went to predominantly practical. I am sure you would find plenty of theory.)

Always food around and it was good food too.

Not a lot of drinking. It’s always better when your colleagues are sober.

Had 15 people in my talk. That’s not a lot. But I had a lot of feedback and response. Very much on topic and some focused on exposing/clarifying my definitions. I think I did a good job. The other presenters in my group did too. One was very similar to mine and really provided a good lead in, but the paper in the middle was on a totally different topic in a totally different direction.

Wonderful weather after Thursday (when it was hot).

Beautiful campus. Just gorgeous. Green open spaces. Lots of old trees. I like that in a campus.

Excellent organization. Great job, Carl, et al.

Some weirdnesses:
A person said that, “I can’t believe she read her paper. I didn’t come to hear the paper read. She could have emailed it to me.” She wasn’t talking about me, but I wrote my paper. I didn’t read the whole thing, but I did read the first three pages.

A person blew me off because I was an adjunct. I mean literally, leaned away. When, in answer to someone else, I said I had a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from Purdue, she pepped up, “Oh really?” After that I was a person again. I wonder if she realized how clearly her prejudices were showing.

Someone said that the research was wrong because people who use it are against people with learning disabilities. I asked her to explain why she felt that a research was illegitimate because people used it in an illegitimate manner, rephrased several times for clarity, and she insisted that because most people who used it were against people with LDs, the research was bad. Er, no. That’s such a fallacious argument.

There was one other thing, but I don’t remember what it was that was so weird.
Update: Oh, yeah, I know what it was. Someone said, “I see the computers, but where’s the writing?”

Excellent conference.

I’m going to C&W 2010 at Purdue and bringing Debbie with me.

Oh that’s just great.

Reuter’s health today said:

People with psoriasis, a common scaly skin condition, are at increased risk for strokes, heart disease, and circulatory problems in the legs, new research shows.

Yes, the only reason I read it is my father has psoriasis.

Weekend Plans

I left for my folks’ house at ten a.m. today. I was supposed to pick my mom up for lunch at 11:30, but she wasn’t feeling well so I went and got her some books at the bookstore instead.

Then I went to get my dad from rehab.

He wanted to go to Sonic so that’s what we did.

Then we went to their house. Mom wanted two PBJs on white bread so I made them for her. She also drank two glasses of milk.

Dad went to sleep after watching television for a while. Mom kept reading but then when I took a nap, she went to sleep too.

I woke up when S kept calling on the phone to talk to the family and Dad answered because she woke him up.

I made cookies for Dad.

Dad got up at 5. I made him a ham and cheese sandwich. He ate about ten cookies today and had a large banana milk shake. He’s getting a pot that’s hard as a rock because he is eating so much sweet stuff. It’s hard not to encourage him, though, because he is feeling so lousy otherwise.

He insisted I come home and since I forgot the books and my dress shoes for Sunday, I came home at 8:30 tonight.

I’ll be going back tomorrow. I’m going to be working on finishing up my conference paper, which for some reason I thought was a lot more done than it is. Significantly more done.

But it’s seven pages and I have 45 or so of notes, so I’m trimming and organizing rather than creating.

I’m leaving for the conference on Thursday, so I need to get this done.

I finished the second ch. of the book. Now I need to read the play for the next chapter. I will probably do that over the weekend too.

I also need to revise the creative nonfiction piece on growing up in Charlotte. I think I know where I am going with that.

I’ll take Dad to church on Sunday, but probably not Mom because she’s in such bad shape from the chemo.

And I may not come home till Monday, which is when Jeanna gets back into town.

Folks are Generous

Americans continue to dig deep despite the tight economic times to help those in need. Charitable giving in 2008 totals $307 billion — only a 2 percent drop from the year prior — with individual givers leading the pack.

From Good News Now.

Self-Delivery of Babies will be part of National Healthcare

A pregnant woman, twice turned away from a hospital, took an important matter into her own hands… the birth of her child.
FRebecca Longley, 20, of Hampshire, England, delivered her daughter by herself in the front seat of a car while her boyfriend raced to the hospital

She’d been turned away from the hospital twice for not being ready to have the bambino.

Read it at Good News Now.

How did the interview go?

I don’t know.

I did decide to teach something that I thought might be a little edgy because I think it is a good thing to present to the students. I figured even if they don’t hire me, the teachers will have a good handout.

I have a meeting with the decision makers on Thursday. We’ll see how that goes.

I am more in favor of working here after this interview. I enjoyed talking to people and getting to know them.

Interview Today

Good news:
I have an interview today for a job at a college not far from me.
I remembered to get my suit back from the cleaners.
I know what I am going to talk on.
I found my transcripts from my two graduate school colleges.

Bad news:
I need to make some photocopies.
My back is grabbing every time I lean over.
I’m chicken.

But, hey, I’m there to make their life more interesting. I’m going to share with them some information I gave at CCTE and they don’t even have to go hear it. I might even give them a copy of it. (Is that too pushy?)

It should be fun and different. So we’ll see.

What news are YOU reading?

LiveScience says “people choose news that fits their views.”

News readers gorge on media messages that fit their pre-existing views, rather than graze on a wider range of perspectives. In other words, they consume what they agree with, researchers say.

The finding comes out of a recent study which tracked how college students spent their time reading media articles on hot-button issues such as abortion or gun ownership.

Unsurprisingly, students gravitated toward articles that supported their views.

CPS Alert

I already went to the website and sent an email. I will call on Monday.

From the comments to another post comes this notice from Abiding Joy:
Some terrible anti-parent/ anti-family legislation (SB 1440) that allows a CPS caseworker or any employee of CPS to swear an affidavit to “aid in an investigation” that would allow them to come into your home, look at any records they want, and transport (thus taking!) your child all without your consent passed this weekend and is being sent to the governor! All families are adversely affected by this legislation that takes your 4th amendment rights away.

We need anyone and everyone in TEXAS and elsewhere to make calls to the governor’s office to ask him to VETO this bill. It gives more power than the police have to CPS!! THEY (CPS) NO LONGER NEED A SEARCH WARRANT TO ENTER YOUR HOME WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT!!!!! !!! AND THEY DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE “GOOD CAUSE OR PROBABLE CAUSE” EITHER!!!!!! ! I posted the bill and all the info needed on my website:

So if you can send this LINK out to all your friends/families/ colleagues and anyone else you can think of and have them post the info and make calls I’d appreciate it. We need a massive veto campaign to stop it. Please, feel free to copy/cut/paste anything off my website about it and post it on blogs. too. I’m just sick about this and how it will affect EVERY family in Texas and even set a terrible unconstitutional precedent for the other states.

CPS was out of control before and the Supreme Court said so (in the FLDS-polygamist case and the Gary/Melissa Gates case) and now the Texas Legislature has decided to give them MORE POWER!!! Thank you for any help you can give on this! The veto calls need to start immediately. It will go into effect within 3 weeks! All the info’s on my website. Feel free to forward! ALL FAMILIES ARE AFFECTED and your 4th amendment rights are in question. Everyone in Texas is just an anonymous false report phone call away from a CPS investigation.

Johana Scot
M.A. Psychology
Executive Director
Parent Guidance Center
9600 Escarpment Blvd, Suite 745-255
Austin , TX 78749
Help a parent and you’ve already helped a child.


Rep Paul (TX) is encouraging all states to call in for this as it will set a national precedent.

Action Needed:
Call Governor Perry’s office at 800-252-9600, and ask him to veto
Senate Bill 1440 because it violates Texas citizens’ constitutional

You can also register your opinion online at the Governor’s website

When did teenager start being an era? 1962, apparently.

In 1962 Paul Goodman published his book Compulsory Mis-Education. He wrote of the isolation of youth within the high schools (compulsory attendance in high school was still relatively new), where they were compelled to stay, day after day, excluded from interesting adult life and pressured to perform and conform primarily to keep them out of the adult job market and off the streets.

This forced isolation from the real world *created* a youth subculture which had formerly not existed, and which can be, like institutionalized school itself, viciously self-perpetuating.

Read more at The Common Room