Category Information

Battleground Schools: The Little Rock Nine and the Fight for Desegregation

In Honor of Black History Month After last week’s horrific mass shooting at Margery Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, it’s tempting to romanticize the past and imagine that obtaining an education was once not as dangerous of a proposition as it is now. However, the young people who led the charge to desegregate public schools in the United States also faced peril as they tried to attend classes.

Continue reading…

To Till a Field or Write a Poem? Booker T. Washington’s Legacy

In Honor of Black History Month Twenty-three years ago, I landed my first full-time college teaching position at Tuskegee University in Alabama. Originally known as Tuskegee Institute, the school was founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881 to provide vocational education for southern blacks in the years after Reconstruction. Washington, born a slave in 1856, would overcome enormous odds to become the most influential African American in the United States

Continue reading…

The Academic Redneck Fitness Challenge: Update 7

Previous Weight Loss (November 28, 2016-January 1, 2018): 25.6 pounds Weight Loss (January 1-February 5, 2018) 2 pounds Total Weight Loss (November 28, 2016-February 5, 2018) 27.6 pounds Well, the weight loss isn’t much to crow about, but at least I’m going in the right direction again. I seem to be pretty lazy and lackadaisical these days. Oh, I’m still doing my regular exercise, but I could be doing a

Continue reading…

Connection to a Killer

“STOP!” I looked at Jacob, his fist balled up and drawn back. His eyes almost glowed with an incomprehensible anger. He held my gaze and then slowly dropped his hand to his side. I breathed an inaudible sigh of relief. It was the closest I had ever come to having a student swing at me. I explained to him again what my expectations were for the enrichment class and pointed

Continue reading…

Heir to Springsteen: Eric Church and the American Psyche

I teach a college course called United States History Since 1945. It’s a fun class because the students and I get to reflect on U.S. social, political, economic, and military history of the last seventy odd years. It’s one of those classes where I can show the hilarious episode of I Love Lucy called “Job Switching,” where Lucy and Ethel find work in a candy factory while Ricky and Fred

Continue reading…

Purple and Proud

          Recently I was accused by a colleague of being a liberal. This is a charge I vigorously deny. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with being a liberal. And while I like the color blue, I also like red. None-the-less, his accusation inspired some self-examination. Which I realize is more of a liberal than a conservative trait. But our founders believed in the market place

Continue reading…