image

Notes on watching “Aliens” for the first time again, with a bunch of kids

“This movie has so many cliches in it,” a boy said when Colonial Marines disembarked the drop ship and made their way through rainy darkness to enter the alien-infested colony. My son told him, “This movie was made in 1986. It invented all the cliches.” Another of his friends was impressed by the “personal data transmitters” implanted in the colonists—impressed that someone had thought of that back in 1986. –MZS |…

image

Associate Dean of What?

The idea of students as customers relies on models of customer service that are not what experts in the field actually teach (as explicated in this letter to The Chronicle by Clara Burke). We develop crude quantitative evaluative tools while businesses use more and more complex qualitative focus groups and sophisticated assessments. And we apply buzzwords. For example, we now “benchmark” our top administrative jobs in ways that feed salary…

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 6.54.44 PM
8

Star Trek: Voyager Premiered 20 Years Ago

I remember wanting to like Voyager a lot more than I did. The first episode showed some promise, but I remember being disappointed with the first season. Looking back, I can see I was equally disappointed by the first Star Trek movie and the first few seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Some moments from the show have stuck with me, but not many. I was frustrated by contradictions in Janeway’s character.…

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 2.02.25 PM
5

Writing School Papers: Does Your First Version Say It All?

My colleague Mike Arnzen talked about the writing process with the Voice of America. Michael Arnzen teaches English and heads humanities studies at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. Mr. Arnzen is also an award-winning author. He says he understands the desire to write something and be done with it. “We’ve all been there. We feel we’ve done (something) good enough, and can’t we move on with our lives?” But he…