Thursday, August 31, 2006
Now, books in the public domain will, by and large, be quite old, and often of limited interest. That's not to say there aren't many gems, however. For example:
Tocqueville. Democracy in America
Machiavelli, The Prince
The Works of Alexander Hamilton
Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
What about closer to home? Looking for work on Tacoma, I found a couple of pamphlets on the early debate over Mount Rainier, which locals campaigned for (re-) naming Tacoma, which they considered to be its rightful Indian name.
Here's a little screen capture of the opening page of "Is it "Mt. Tacoma" Or "Rainier".: What Do History and Tradition Say?" By James Wickersham (1893):
I like the reference to cravats in particular. This opening passage seems intended to give the proceedings an air of legitimacy and seriousness. My favorite passage from the text:
And thus, at a distance of over one hundred miles, Vancouver named this grand white-capped summit after a foreigner who represented nothing to our American civilization, and who not only never saw the mountain bearing his name, but who never saw the continent upon which it is so conspicuous a land mark. Vancouver held no communication with the Indians, and seemed to have had the greatest contempt for them, and made no effort to ascertain the names, if any they had, for the rivers, mountains, bays and other natural features of this virgin world.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Jennifer is off to Budapest in a week, so we say viszontlátásra és mindent jót! or farewell and all the best! That's Hungarian, incidentally--her Russian and Ukrainian won't be quite so useful in Central Europe.
"The Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree is the professional degree for people who want a public service career in management. These degree programs develop the skills and techniques used by leaders and managers to implement policies, projects, and programs that resolve important societal problems while addressing organizational, human resource, and budgetary challenges. MPA graduates work in a wide variety of public service fields and in all levels of government (federal, state, local, and regional), in nonprofits, organizations, in the international arena, and in the private sector."
A couple of items to follow up on:
- A short piece in the Wall Street Journal on when it makes financial sense to get an MBA. Find it here;
- The Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy, "a twelve month program that combines Columbia University's hands-on approach to teaching public policy and administration with pioneering thinking about the environment." Find out more here.
- Finally, and again from WSJ, an article cautioning going to graduate school because you don't know what else to do, miss campus life, or dislike your first job. It can be an expensive mistake. Read more here.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
- National rank in percentage of population between ages of 25-34: 15
- National rank in percentage of population between ages of 25-34 with a 4 year degree: 14
- Percent change in population between ages of 25-34, 1990-2000: -4%
Who has been doing well in attracting the young and educated? Two are Portland and Las Vegas--interesting if you think about it, as they are about as opposite as you can imagine. However, as the study points out, much of Las Vegas' growth in educated young workers has much to do with the rapid growth of the city itself. Again, a huge contrast to Portland's emphasis on planned urban development.
Check out Derek's thoughts on Exit133 here.
Find it here.
Monday, August 28, 2006
The article cites an interesting blog you might check out: Mystery Pollster, which discusses all the intricacies of polling and their sometimes questionable data. Neat stuff.
It's already 75 in my office and it's not yet nine. I suspect it will crack 90 by the afternoon. Most of Wyatt doesn't have air conditioning--a cost-cutting move that will, I think, come back to haunt us. Perhaps this is something that should be subject to the Institutional Review Board's policy on projects involving human subjects.
Update: I overexaggerated--at 4 pm the office only reached 88 degrees.
Welcome back, Politics and Government students, and everyone who has returned to campus. Best wishes for the new year.
Office Intern Job Description
The primary role for interns will be to provide support assistance for the various departments within the office.
Answering phones, providing front desk reception and assisting the Communications, Political and Finance departments with specific tasks as needed.
Persons interested should have an interest in government, politics and campaigns. They should enjoy working with the public and in office teamwork work activities.
The daily schedule is flexible, our office hours are Monday- Friday 8:30am-5pm. Realizing that students have busy schedules, we can accommodate any schedule.
For more information or to schedule a brief, informal interview- Please call Brian Maydole or Carrie Shaw @ 206-575-2900.
The Washington State Republican Party office is located at
Sunday, August 27, 2006
"The number of universities that will be using any of its free textbooks as a required text this fall is only 38.
Without a full range of outstanding textbooks, Freeload will remain nothing more than a concept with dubious prospects. It can’t sign up the authors it needs to expand its offerings because professors balk at the juxtaposition of “Solution to Demonstration Problem” on one page and an ad for a double bacon cheeseburger and fries on the next. The example is not hypothetical."The author of the article suggests that a more likely model in future will be electronic texts that are not free, but at a highly reduced price in compared to their hardcopy version. The textbooks that I, Professor Fields and Share have authored are going down this path--the second editions will be available soon through Norton as "e-texts" for far less than the paper versions. Will these kinds of textbooks have many takers? Or are the physical properties of a textbook still more attractive? I think we'll see in the coming years.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
"For most newspaper companies in the developed world, 2005 was miserable. They still earn almost all of their profits from print, which is in decline. As people look to the internet for news and young people turn away from papers, paid-for circulations are falling year after year."
Read the article here.
Update: A piece from the New York Times on the decline of Knight-Ridder.
Friday, August 25, 2006
The International Networks Archive at Princeton does a series of "Infographics" on world issues. Most of these, in my opinion, suffer from graphic overload--perhaps their designer should take Edward Tufte's seminar next time it comes to town. Their one on globalization as seen through Starbucks and McDonald's however, is interesting and nicely presented.
Speaking of Big Macs, many of us are aware of The Economist's Big Mac Index as a way to measure purchasing power parity by comparing how much a Big Mac costs from place to place around the world. Here's another take on this--UBS has looked at how many minutes of labor it takes around the world to earn enough to earn enough to buy a Big Mac. Their conclusion: "On a global average, 35 minutes of work buys a Big Mac. But the disparities are huge: In Nairobi, one and a half hours’ work is needed to buy the burger with the average net hourly wage there. In the US cities of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Miami, a maximum of 13 minutes' labor is needed. Although the comprehensive comparison of purchasing power and gross wages puts them at the top of the table, higher production costs mean that workers in Swiss and Scandinavian cities need 15 to 20 minutes for their Big Macs."
There's lots more in this survey, including a list of the most and least expensive major cities in the world. Here's a tip--don't move to Norway. Find the survey overview here, and the entire study on global prices and earnings here.
thanks to Ken Wedding at Teaching Comparative Politics for the UBS study.
We are thrilled at how much traffic the blog is getting--shortly after I sent out the last Friday mailer we had a huge spike in traffic; as you can see by the stats above, over 160 visits yesterday alone. Professor Sousa has been convinced that it's just him and me clicking over to the site again and again, but even I can't read my own writing that much. We are close to hitting 5000 visits in just 4 months. Wow. Thanks to everyone who has surfed the site, left comments, emailed me, and been patient with our hiccups as we have gotten up and running.
Update: As of Saturday we cracked 5000 hits.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
1. Twokoi Japanese restaurant. Near UWT, complete with sushi bar. Planned opening mid-September; everyone's excited about this. Find the location here.
2. Matador. Third installation of this Seattle Tex-Mex place which I suspect will quickly become the place for the young movers and shakers of Tacoma to see and be seen. Sorry, over 21 only. Opening this September. Find it here.
The note below comes from the journal Critique. And in fact, we've had a student publish previously in the journal--you can find Russell Knight's 2003 paper, "The Church Potluck: Using Social Capital to Explain Membership Patterns of Christian denominations in the United States" in their online archives here.
Critique is not the only student publication. I've created a delicious tag that collects a number of other journals you might consider submitting to. You'll find the link here. If you have questions about this whole process, drop by or drop us an email.
From: Ali Riaz
Date: August 22, 2006
The Editors of Critique welcome submissions from undergraduate and
graduate students for the Fall 2006 edition of the journal. We
encourage articles from any field of political science, especially
those that consider new possibilities for democracy and justice, as
well as national and international public policy. The deadline for
submission is 15 October 2006.
Critique is an online journal of critical analysis by students of
politics. It is hosted by Illinois State University’s Department of
Politics and Government. The electronic format of Critique
provides an alternative venue that expands political debate by creating
space for the emergence of new ideas. Such a medium broadens the horizon
for undergraduate and graduate publications and serves to lift typically
unheard voices in academia. The editors firmly believe that budding
scholars introduce valuable ideas that must be heard in order to
understand the changing nature of our global community.
Guidelines for Submission
All submissions will be considered. All submissions will be refereed by
the editors prior to publication.
Students should use the online Submission Form to submit work for
Manuscripts should be single-spaced, right margins not justified, and
not longer than 20 pages in length.
Students can submit online at http://lilt.ilstu.edu/critique/writers.htm
Ali Riaz, PhD
Editor, Critique http://lilt.ilstu.edu/critique
Associate Professor, Department of Politics and Government
Illinois State University, Campus Box 4600, Normal, IL 61790-4600
Tel: 309-438-8071; Fax: 309-438-7638
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
For those of you who have been off campus for awhile, the IPE program is an interdisciplinary major that combines courses from many different majors, including our own. You can find more about the major here.
"As of August 28th, I will be working as editor of a new alumni magazine (print and online editions) at the Nightingale-Bamford School. Nightingale is a K-12 private school for girls on the Upper East Side of Manhattan; along the lines of a Brearley or Spence, if you're familiar with those, and if not you can learn more at http://www.nightingale.org. This is a great and exciting opportunity for me for a variety of reasons, which I can explain further at a later time if you are interested.
That's the biggest news for me right now, though New York continues to keep me entertained and fulfilled. I hope all of you are also finding enrichment and peace in your respective corners of the world. If we do not get the opportunity to speak face to face soon, I look forward to corresponding with you in other ways."
Congrats to Darrel on his new job, and we look forward to hearing more about it.
Say you're not on campus? You may not be able to participate, but the conversations themselves are archived here if you'd like to listen to them. There are also videos of past public presentations by notable individuals in the field of foreign affairs.
Here's the upcoming schedule (all times 9am-10am PST). We'll mention it again and provide details as we get closer to the date.
Muslims in Europe
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Speaker: Stéphanie Giry, Senior Editor, Foreign Affairs
12:00 to 1:00 p.m. (ET)
The Shia Revival
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Speaker: Vali Nasr, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, CFR
12:00 to 1:00 p.m. (ET)
U.S. Trade Policy: Challenges and Choices
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Speaker: Daniel W. Drezner, Associate Professor of International Politics, Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
12:00 to 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Speaker: Evans Revere, Cyrus R. Vance Fellow in Diplomatic Studies, CFR
12:00 to 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Foreign Affairs Author
Thursday, November 9, 2006
12:00 to 1:00 p.m. (ET)
War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Speaker: Max Boot, Senior Fellow for National Security Studies, CFR
12:00 to 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Ship breaking in India
The Shanghai skyline (this has some stunning images)
And of course most importantly, a big smiley face in Tacoma.
A guaranteed time waster.
A couple that jumped out at me:
Dahlia Lithwick at Slate asks whether you should go to law school in the first place (link);
Vikrim David Amar provides "Ten Key Principles" for succeeding in law school--and indeed, most of them apply more generally to any career (link).
If you're thinking at all about law school, you should read through the selections at the TaxProf site. Any practicing lawyers or law students out there who have their own thoughts?
Monday, August 21, 2006
Now is the time for the citizens of Cascadia to demand their freedom from the oppressive governments of Canada and the United States. For too long have our people put up with indifference and condescendence from distant seats of power. We have been subject to francophonic imperialism and wasteful spending of our tax money. Our entrepreneurs have been attacked by the so-called justice system for merely doing their jobs and growing our economy. When will we say enough is enough?
I urge you all to join this important cause, and the related Bureau of Sasquatch Affairs and The Campaign to Protect the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus .
Now is the time for you to get involved!
Sunday, August 20, 2006
"When docked, they will be the first to have ever rowed all the way from mainland US to mainland UK. That's the longest recorded North Atlantic row based on a point-to-point distance of roughly 3,290 statute miles."
Read all about it here! Don't forget--they still need donations to bring their boat back to the States.
...Two things make Tacoma the envy of Portland: guts and cooperation....How did it happen? Citizens created a road map with a cultural plan to build Tacoma's comeback on the arts. And a perfect storm of Tacomans in powerful posts in the U.S. Congress and the Washington state legislature and a savvy deal-cutter at the helm as city manager got it done.
But none of it would have happened without the leadership of the business community -- cooperation notably absent from the changes in Portland's downtown during the same 10 years....During the same decade in Portland, developers built the city while the business community complained about it, swinging at the shadows of the homeless, taxes, regulations and the weak-mayor system of government.
...Not everything is hunky-dory in Tacoma. The city could learn a lot from Portland's smarter designers and developers. The kind of explosive synergy Portland created with such housing/retail combos as Belmont Dairy, Museum Place and the Brewery Blocks is sorely missing. And Tacoma desperately needs some sort of design review: Witness the vacuous new Pacific Plaza urban park and new Marriott Hotel.
Yet, while many things could have been done better, the new arts facilities are solvent. Thirty new restaurants have opened.
Too bad the two cities aren't teams talking trades: Portland's urban designers and developers for Tacoma's civic boosters; some Tacoma guts and cooperation for Portland quality.Read the entire piece here. Thanks to Katie Rose '05 for the link.
1. Know the going rate.
2. Settle on a range, not a number.
...don't box yourself into a lower salary or launch yourself out of an interview because you've asked for too much money...
3. Understand what they're buying.
...If a potential new boss makes an offer, that means he or she likes you and wants you. It also means the boss may like you enough to negotiate to get you.
4. Don't make the first move.
Don't be first to bring up money...
5. Make your case.
...Ask for a day or so to think it over. That gives both of you some breathing room, and the interviewer a chance to discuss your situation with others and, possibly, juice up the offer.
6. Offer options.
...benefits, vacation time, bonuses. All are worth bringing up, [but] If it's a job you really want and a good launching point for your career, don't be greedy.Read the whole thing here.
What about going into business for yourself? There's a piece on young women business owners in Tacoma in the News Tribune: find it here.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
"Alan F. White, senior associate dean, directs executive education at the U.S. business school and runs its international programs, including the China Management Education Program, which he founded with Prof. Lester Thurow. The program sends Sloan faculty to China and Chinese management professors to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for an intensive educational exchange, sponsored by Sloan alumni and other supporters, including Victor Fung of the Hong Kong trading house Li & Fung Ltd. The program's object: raise the game in Chinese business school education as China's rollicking economy demands more and better leaders."
Read the whole piece here--a short, wide-ranging interview on China, career advice, and crossing cultures.
More on the MIT program here.
How long will it be, do you suppose, before US schools have to compete against English-language colleges, fully accredited, based in China where tuition will be a fraction of that over here? How many American undergrads might choose to do one or two years in China in such a program and save tens of thousands of dollars in the process? Or is such a model unlikely to emerge?
C. Mark Smith (on far left) in front of a B-17 with his fellow UPS Sigma Chi fraternity brothers on their third history and natural sciences-related trip to England in 2002. This picture was taken at RAF Duxford, the British equivalent to the Air and Space Museum.
When did you graduate from UPS? 1961.
What have you been doing since graduation?
After graduation, I began working at our family mortgage banking firm in Tacoma for 10 years. After that, through what now seem to be a pretty weird set of circumstances, I was appointed as the Regional Director of the federal Economic Development Administration (a part of the Commerce Department) responsible for the agency’s economic development programs in the eight western states. After that, I managed the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board, the Economic Development Executives of Washington (a statewide industry group), built condominiums, served on numerous boards and committees – and got bored. I then moved to Alabama to serve as Director of Economic Development for the City of Birmingham (where I was involved with the effort to bring Mercedes to Alabama), where I retired in 2000. I wasn’t quite ready for retirement, so we moved back to Washington to accept a position as economic development manager in Richland. I retired again after 5 years there (we still live in the Tri-Cities and love it) and now I do a little consulting. Last November I spent 3 months working with FEMA in long-term economic recovery in Mississippi.
Why and how did you decide to take the career path you did?
I have always been interested in history and politics and was very interested in the concept of public service. That, to me, didn’t necessarily mean that you had to work for the public service, only that you should try to find ways of serving the public. I really kind of fell into my career path. In 1968, seven years after graduating from UPS, several of us managed a congressional campaign against then 6th District Congressman Floyd Hicks. We lost the race, but our candidate ended up being the Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration. A few months later I found myself in the economic development business, very young, with no real background, and a lot of energy. My experience there led me to understand the circumstances and economic conditions of many Americans I had never been exposed to in the past. I would have to say it was a life-changing experience and led to my future career.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the person who got me really interested in public service, former Tacoma Mayor and U.S. Senator Harry Cain. Cain was a close friend of our family’s and with his deep voice and colorful turn of phrase impressed me greatly. Harry’s political career teaches that when the public’s interest is at hand, do what you believe to be the right thing, not the political thing. When we had a chance, Harry’s children and I established a scholarship in his name at UPS.
Are there any aspects of your UPS education in general that have served you particularly well?
There is no substitute for a liberal arts education or, as former President Phil Phibbs used to say, “an education for a lifetime.” People change jobs so frequently these days, that you have broad interests and a continual interest in learning. The other aspect about my UPS education is the lifelong friendships I made there. Four of my fraternity brothers and I went to England last October for a month to be present for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Lord Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. We had dinner with Oxford dons, toured the Admiralty Board Room at the Admiralty Buildings at Horse Guards, and joined 3,000 crazy, drunken British subjects at a glorious Trafalgar Day concert at the historic covered slip of the Chatham shipyard where HMS Victory was launched in 1757. All of us first learned of such things at UPS.
Do you have any advice about what our students should make certain they do (or don’t do!) while still in school?
Live up to your personal expectations. Don’t underachieve. Today’s students wouldn’t be at UPS if there weren’t exceptional in the first place. But even exceptional people can lack confidence and underachieve. Your future career – and life – are being created while you are at UPS. Make the most of it! Also, have fun. Do new things. Enjoy the community. Participate in the broader community by volunteering or other activities.
Do you have any advice about what our students should be thinking about as they consider their careers or further education?
Follow your heart. I know an awful lot of smart, unhappy people who don’t like what they do. There are probably a lot of people who have certain expectations of you. You have expectations of yourself. Question yourself honestly to see if that is really what you want to do. When you get to be my age, you understand that life goes by very quickly. You want to be able to look back on your life and be able to say that you made a difference.
Any other words of wisdom, or important questions I haven’t asked?
No, but I’ll probably think of something and that will allow me to post again to your blog.
Thanks to Mark and everyone who has contributed a profile to date. Mark will be joining us for our Departmental Homecoming Fest at The Swiss September 29th, so join us!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Read the whole thing (and responses) here:
DIGITAL MAOISM: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism
By Jaron Lanier
Thanks to Monty Zach for pointing out the article.
...and is this an example of such technocratic zealotry?
"The Industrial Age model of education, with its teacher-directed, lecture-based system, is obsolete. A new system is required for education, a system that allows all individuals to meet their unique learning requirements."
Read the whole article and make up your own mind: The Future of Higher Education by Morton Egol.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
UPS now has over 80 study abroad programs to all over the world. Check out the list here and start planning.
By the way, a number of our majors have done the Dublin Internship Program and worked in the Irish Parliament, among other places, and really enjoyed the experience.
Check out his recent thoughts on the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict and whether beefing up airport security makes us any safer: http://securitydilemmas.blogspot.com/
My name is Mark Middaugh, and I am a field organizer with Darcy Burner’s campaign for United States Congress. Darcy Burner is the Democrat running against Republican Dave Reichert in Washington’s 8th Congressional District; her race is viewed as one of the top ten or fifteen most competitive U.S. House races in the entire United States. Ruth Marston, a current UPS student, suggested that I get in touch with you about recruiting a field intern from UPS to help with Darcy Burner’s campaign.
We are currently recruiting a field intern to split time between our Tacoma and Auburn offices; the field intern would be responsible for assisting field organizers with a variety of tasks, including (but certainly not limited to) contacting voters, organizing events and rallies, and generating earned media. If you would be willing to contact any students who might be interested in helping with this campaign, I would greatly appreciate your help. Please feel free to respond to this email at email@example.com or call me at (253) 735-0713.
Field Organizer, Darcy Burner for Congress
240 Auburn Way S, Ste. 1A
Auburn, WA 98002
Monday, August 14, 2006
Sunday, August 13, 2006
A few pics to set the scene.
Beautiful Angle posters that adapt a Warhol flower originally proposed for the Tacoma Doma exterior.
Convention Center and Pacific Plaza
The now defunct rail line that cuts through UWT. This line was severed only in the last couple of years when light rail crossed its tracks. For the first few years of UWT at this location trains would occasionally roar right through campus, which was pretty cool.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
"A federal commission approved a final report on Thursday that urges a broad shake-up of American higher education. It calls for public universities to measure learning with standardized tests, federal monitoring of college quality and sweeping changes in financial aid.
The panel also called on policy makers and leaders in higher education to find new ways to control costs, saying college tuition should grow no faster than median family income, although it opposed price controls.
The report recommended bolstering Pell grants, the basic building block of federal student aid, by making the program cover a larger percentage of public college tuition. That proposal could cost billions of dollars.
Eighteen of the 19 members of the panel, the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, voted to sign the report, which attacked increasing tuition costs and pointed to signs of complacency on some campuses. David Ward, who as president of the largest association of colleges and universities was the most powerful representative of the higher education establishment on the commission, refused to sign.
Calling the report “a shot across the bow,” Dr. Ward said that academia would take it seriously, but that he wanted to remain “free to contest” it. Several proposals, including those on testing and financial aid, aroused fierce opposition from university leaders and at points divided the panel. "
Read the article here; the report itself here; my earlier post on the subject here.
Friday, August 11, 2006
The same is true about the US, of course, which any of us know if we've moved from from one part of the country to another. Salaries might go up but so do housing prices, or the opposite.
The New York Times has a good salary calculator for anyone wondering about the relative costs of various locales. For example, I plugged in Tacoma and Flagstaff, where I taught some years ago. It showed that not only were salaries lower in Flagstaff, but the cost of living higher than here. So it's a double hit.
A useful tool if you're thinking about relocating--find it here by going to the "Cost of Living Calculator".
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
On another related note, Fallows writes about how the changing standards of software and data storage over time means that older information, such as documents or digital photos, are lost much more quickly than old-fashioned hardcopies. This isn't a particularly new observation, as various writers and activists have noted. For example, microfilm led to the destruction of newspaper archives around the world, only to have these poor-quality black and white replications themselves begin to deteriorate long before the papers would have. The Library of Congress also has various information on now obsolete technologies that it is hard-pressed to maintain.
Yet I'm not certain that this concern will remain a problem. Certainly older hardware and software standards make archiving difficult. But as more material moves online, it would appear that these networks can undergo improvements while retaining the old information. Discrete information may be threatened (like your 3.5 inch or Zip disk as these drives disappear), but I don't think that one morning Blogger will tell me that they've created a new version and all my old posts are unreadable. Of course, Blogger or Google could have a system crash and lose all that data, but that's a different sort of problem.
The analog might be the development of the rail system. Originally the US ran on several incompatible rail gauges, limiting the ability of trains to function universally across the US. Once that system was standardized, however, trains could run anywhere, and as importantly, the preservation of that network meant that technology was compatible across time. A 100 year old train can run on the rails today, even if it is an anachronism. It seems to me that we are moving toward more unified networks and standards in information, such that future changes will not necessarily mean that we lose our past.
What have you been doing since graduation?
Working (from retail to banking to teacher in the U.S. and East Asia) to (at present) a college professor in political science); travelling (pretty much around the world for vacation, study, and research); and graduate study (U.S., Western Europe, then East Asia, mainly China, especially South China).
Why and how did you decide to take the career path you did?
For my first MA, I studied International Policy Studies at Monterey Institute for International Studies (with an emphasis on France and Germany). It was supposed to be a terminal degree leading to the Foreign Service. Upon graduation, and being completely burned out on W. Europe and academics, I went on a teacher exchange program to teach English as a Second Language in South West China (Yunnan Province). It was an amazing experience that opened my eyes and changed the direction of my professional life (other aspects of my life as well).
I came back to the US and entered a PhD program in political science, but with my specialty as China/East Asia. I learned Mandarin, Cantonese, and am now studying Japanese and a bit of Korean. My primary research area emerged during fieldwork for the PhD in Hong Kong and South China. I started out with an interest in pop culture and economic development, and turned that around to women and gender studies in East Asia. So, I guess you could say that many twists and turns (both geographically and philosophically) lead me to my current career (assistant professor of political science).
Are there any aspects of the Politics and Government major or your UPS education in general that have served you particularly well?
An abiding interest in politics, diversity and cultures as brought me to where I am in my professional life (that has been the one constant in my meandering path to being a professor). Also, would have to say that the language training I received at UPS made me realize my abiding interest in learning languages as well.
Do you have any advice about what our students should make certain they do (or don't do!) while still in school?
As someone who took awhile to get where I am, I'd say don't enter graduate school for a PhD unless you are really sure of what you want to do. Master's degree programs can be managed if one is unsure, but the pressure to finish soon in a PhD is heavy. Finally, networking is one of the best ways to get a job related to a BA in Poli Sci. If you don't know how to do it, ask someone and learn!
Do you have any advice about what our students should be thinking about as they consider their careers or further education?
Best way to find out if you want to be in Washington DC is an internship while you are still an undergraduate. Best way to find out if you want to go to graduate school is to go and visit the schools to which you will apply and talk to both professors and graduate students. Find out where UPS grads are and if they can be of help in getting you connected to the field you think you want to be in.
You can see my interests in East Asia at the campus webpage: http://home.moravian.edu/public/polsci/fischler.htm
Friday, September 29, 5:30 p.m. Location TBA
I've heard from a couple of you, but there are others out there who I know will be around--let me know if you'll join us.
Lisa Olson (Anderson) and I have made a reservation at The Swiss for Saturday 9/30 at 7 p.m. for the Class of 1996's 10-year reunion gathering. Please spread the word...more details to come!
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
A couple of interesting pieces from their recent issues:
David Callahan, "On Campus: Author Discusses the "Cheating Culture" With College Students"
Caroline Lyon, Ruth Barrett and James Malcolm, "Plagiarism Is Easy, but Also Easy To Detect"
A nice mix of more practical discussions of plagiarism as a issue and its wider place in society over time.
Hat tip: The Volokh Conspiracy.
1. Be concise and to the point
2. Answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions
3. Use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation
4. Make it personal
5. Use templates for frequently used responses
6. Answer swiftly
7. Do not attach unnecessary files
8. Use proper structure & layout
9. Do not overuse the high priority option
10. Do not write in CAPITALS
11. Don't leave out the message thread
12. Add disclaimers to your emails
13. Read the email before you send it
14. Do not overuse Reply to All
15. Mailings > use the bcc: field or do a mail merge
16. Take care with abbreviations and emoticons
17. Be careful with formatting
18. Take care with rich text and HTML messages
19. Do not forward chain letters
20. Do not request delivery and read receipts
21. Do not ask to recall a message.
22. Do not copy a message or attachment without permission
23. Do not use email to discuss confidential information
24. Use a meaningful subject
25. Use active instead of passive
26. Avoid using URGENT and IMPORTANT
27. Avoid long sentences
28. Don't send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks
29. Don't forward virus hoaxes and chain letters
30. Keep your language gender neutral
31. Don't reply to spam
32. Use cc: field sparingly
Of course, I'm guilty of #15 when I got this whole blog and mailing list started, so we all have more learning to do.
...For the last month I have pretty much been on no sleep. In the beginning of July, PC 118 (which is my group in Thailand) descended upon the resort town of Cha-am for two weeks of sleepless nights, fun at the beach, wonderful breakfast buffets that contained real bread (I had forgotten what wheat bread looks like, but let me tell you- it’s still delicious) and cereal (corn flakes? What are those again? I never knew they could taste so good), hot showers, and of course, much needed language and technical training….
It is very interesting for me to be over here for two years and to spend two years of American holidays with Thais. PC doesn’t observe American holidays; I only get Thai and Buddhist holidays off, which means that I work the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, unless they happen to fall on a weekend. The 4th being my first real holiday away from home, I was very apprehensive as to what it was going to be like. I love the 4th- I love bbqs, spending time with friends and family, eating good food, and the reading of the Declaration of Independence (maybe that is just my family). This year my 4th was very different. I had to work all day, but in the evening, PC made up for in its own way. PC arranged for us to have a huge dinner buffet full of spaghetti, biscuits, mashed potatoes, and cake (a weird combination, I know- but I couldn’t have been happier). We then had sparklers and all sang American songs. It was great- we were all sharing a bit of our culture, which I guess is the main reason we are here. Sure, I might be here to train some teachers and teach some English and better my community, but if I can get my community to see the United States, and especially American women, as more than the images that they see in the movies…then my time here will have more successful than I ever could have imagined. However, the funniest part was seeing the look of horror on the Thais faces when they saw the American food.
Thais love to eat- they eat all the time. 5 meals a day is not uncommon here. And most Thais only like Thai food- they think their food is the best, so why would they try anything else? They eat Thai food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every day they see me cook and they tell me that my food is disgusting. My food is not spicy enough for them, not sour enough for them, not sweet enough for them- it is simply not delicious to them. Even though the PC volunteers thought the food was delicious, the Thais looked horrified by food set before them. I have never seen so many thais run for the hot sauce at once…
…I am hoping to get a radio show started at least once a week where I try to incorporate HIV/AIDS education. In addition to teaching the teachers English, I am going to start teaching the nurses at the health center English, and hopefully start tutoring kids after school. One of my biggest overall goals for my community, however, is to get some sort of youth program started.
There are no programs for youths in my community; except for the schools, there is nothing to educate the youth about drugs, safe sex, or to give them life skills except for the schools (and the schools are lacking in most areas). After school, students hang out on the street corners and drink or do drugs. It is not uncommon to see drunken 15 year olds riding on scooters after school. Many of my students come from broken homes where their parents are prostitutes or drug dealers and get married at around 15 or 16. It is only mandatory(and free) in Thailand for them to attend school until 8th grade- after that they have to pay if they want to continue on. I would love for my community to have a safe place where the youth can go and learn life skills and maybe realize that they have other options in life than getting drunk or getting married at 15. The problem is making this dream a reality…always tricky…
Monday, August 07, 2006
Read the whole story here.
Professor Sousa reminded me that Washington Monthly does their own rankings based on percentage of students in ROTC and the Peace Corps (which they use as a measurement of public service), percentage of federal work-study grants used for community service projects, the total amount of research spending, percentage of students on Pell Grants (which they use to measure social mobility), and graduation rates. Under their system UPS comes in at 57 among national liberal arts colleges, behind Lewis and Clark and Willamette (39 and 40) and Evergreen (50) but ahead of Reed (60). Another way to cut the numbers, if just as subjective.
Update 2: Washington Monthly changes their formula for 2006 and UPS drops some 40 places. Again, more evidence about how arbitrary this can be.
Here are a few details from the website:
In addition to normal office duties, interns attend weekly lectures, volunteer at special events, participate in tours, and contribute to a community service project in the Washington, D.C. area. White House Internships are unpaid positions and participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation and housing. Approximately 100 interns are chosen each spring, summer, and fall to participate in this highly competitive program.
Applicants must be:
* At least 18 years of age on or before the first day of the internship
* Enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a college or university, or graduated the previous semester
* A U.S. citizen
* Applications due October 13, 2006 for Spring 2007 (January 9 to May 11)
* Applications due March 6, 2007 for Summer 2007 (May 22 to August 24)
Find all the information here:
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Murray Morgan (11th Street) Bridge connecting downtown to the Tideflats. Recently the Department of Transportation sought to tear it down, citing the costs of repair, but it seems to be safe for now. Built in 1913, it is rarely raised these days, as tall sailing vessels no longer ply the waterfront.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
This morning I went down to the Dome District to see the inaugural departure of the Golden Pacific Railroad, which is taking passengers on a scenic tour between Tacoma and Fredrickson.
Most interesting is the Reading T-1 2100 Steam Locomotive. Built in
More on the Reading T-1's here. I remember the Bicentennial "Freedom Train" that traveled with displays across the US; that was a Reading T-1 train as well.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Along those lines, this is an oldie but a goodie if you've never seen it: Hey, at least it's short.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Hello Department Heads, Program Directors, and Professors. I'm Brandon Lueken, this years Editor in Chief of the Trail. I'd like your help. I'm looking for writers, copy editors, editors, and basically anyone who might be interested in working for the Newspaper. I know that traditionally, The Trail has been dominated by students who come from a select few departments, but I'd like to change that. This is a student newspaper, it should represent the students. If students from just a few majors sound off, then that doesn't accurately reflect the student body very well. I would like to expand the staff of the newspaper into all the different departments on campus, but to do that I need your help.
If you could send out an e-mail among your respective departments, or talk with other professors, and announce that The Trail is looking for people to a variety of positions to your classes in the coming fall, that would be a big help. I know the first few days of any class are hectic, but just like any of you, I'm getting started as well. We need writers, and I want to draw from as big a pool as possible.
I know for certain majors it can be hard to balance four classes plus extra curricular activities, but if we don't hear from those sides of schools, then it's hard for The Trail to gauge the beat of the campus and figure out what we're covering.
If you want more detail about spreading the word this fall, then just send me an e-mail back, or if you'd like to talk about anything at all regarding the Trail, just send me an e-mail and we can arrange something. I'm open for a meeting at any time of the day.
I hope that you all can help. I'd like to get more upperclassmen involved in the paper and allow for people to better know the school they attend.
Thank you very much.
Editor in Chief
Main Desk: 253-879-3197
"Since graduating in May I've been working at the Secretary of State's Office in Olympia. It's been a great place, so far. I am primarily working on a legislation project about nonprofit and charities organizations, but am also getting a great look at how elections work and the initiative process. Although the Capitol is a little quiet during the summer interim, the nonprofit legislation project keeps me busy.
I am also among the many planning my wedding! I'll be getting married in Tacoma in October of this year. I'm excited to still be in Tacoma and hope to be back on campus for ASK Night in September.
Thanks, again, for the awesome blog. I hope that you and the others in the department are doing well.
Class of 2006"
We hope to see more of you at ASK Night--let us know if you're coming.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
"Professors O'Neil and Share,
I have been in Mexico City for about a week now commencing my Watson
Fellowship. A couple days ago I attended the Obrador rally and march
along with an estimated 1.2 million other people. Quite the
spectacle. I took some photographs and thought I would send them your
If you've followed the news on this, you know about the protests regarding the close presidential election, in which Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of the PRD lost by a whisker to Felipe Calderon of the PAN.