Interesting point that online teaching is (or feels) more intentional (“an act of love”), and that student react differently if the course feels more intentional. This makes a lot of sense. Most of the time in traditional classrooms it feels like neither the professor nor the students want to be there. For some reason, online courses feel like the professor really does want to reach out and teach.
I’m really glad you have had a good experience and are feeling positive about women having a work-life balance in academia. I’ve also seen strides over the past few years for female students with graduate programs helping mothers find private places to pump milk and being more considering at the hours that classes are offered, which can really interfere with home life.
I do have female friends in tenure-track jobs that have been presented with interpersonal challenges at home. Despite the strides at work, two specific friends have had a lot of challenges in their relationships because (as open as partners are about women having careers) a lot of emotional labor, planning, telling the other partner what needs to be done during the day, still falls on the woman.
I hope that more men being raised to notice and do housework (not just “help out”, which suggests it is not even equally their responsibility) will ultimately help improve this for everyone.
Thanks for you post! I just posted on this topic too. My counterpart here is from Beijing and told me about her first year here, 6 years ago, and how terrible it was. She remembers trying to organza a van trip to pick up new Chinese students from the airport, and having so much stress because no one was able to communicate with the rental car company. Little things like that stopped them from doing what would be a simple task for an American. Over the 6 years, it has gotten much better, but not because of the university, because of the students initiatives to help other students. They now have lead organizers in different cities to hold small get-together-events for incoming students and their parents so can get to know each other before getting to campus. This way they have built in support system upon arrival. Universities should get on this, if they haven’t already.
Thanks for sharing, Sarah! I wanted to touch on your words: “…reluctance to acknowledge the past is playing a significant part in allowing prejudices to continue.” This seems to be the theme driving a lot of posts, including mine. Emily’s post, “Building Over the Past” talks about how the physical construction of land grant schools, including VA Tech, were built by the hands of those enslaved and yet, these schools do nothing to really acknowledge that. Acknowledgement seems to be the first step and then, perhaps, atonement? Until then, the cold-shoulder will continue to be given to acknowledgement, and prejudice will be perpetuated. But that’s why we’re here, right?! To raise awareness to these issues, and to be advocates for social justice!
You make really good points about the cost of higher education and the potential impact of student loan debts. I think a significantly large percentage of people in our country bought into (and continue to do so) the idea that having a college degree is the "golden ticket" to higher earnings. Statistically it's true, a person with a bachelor's degree will earn over $1 million more than a person with just a high school diploma. In that sense, student loan principal and interest from a state school would still leave you ahead financially. Unfortunately what we see is that students leave college under-prepared for those high salary jobs due to their degree or the quality of their program. There is an over-saturation in higher education caused by the "golden ticket" mentality. Students, parents and K12 education systems need to move away from that mentality.
It’s extremely concerning the rise of anti-semitism that we’re experiencing in the world as of late. It is personally confusing to me as I thought the world had learned from the Nazis, it’s frightening to see people actually embrace their values. Acknowledging the rise of anti-semitic views, what do you think is the reasoning behind so many people embracing this mentality?
The resurgence of anti-semitism (and not just in Poland) has baffled me. And it gets amplified in political rhetoric and media creating fear. It feels overwhelming as an individual knowing that I alone can’t fix this. But I can be continue to be a positive voice against the negative in the hopes that it will spread. And I can teach my kids that differences are opportunities to learn about other people, cultures, and traditions not something to be afraid of.
I really enjoyed reading your post. I knew nothing about Roma people, the culture or experiences of oppression until you brought it up. As you rightly stated, the United States does not exist in a bubble. Most people do not realize how much the rest of the world is influenced by America’s “body language.” There are oppressive dictators around the globe to whose only restraint is the US. By gradually diminishing or rescinding her global position or relinquishing the leadership for which she is adored, America might be sending an unintended message to power-hungry dictators and oppressors in Roma and others parts of the world where citizens are defenseless. Rhetorics matter and White house rhetorics matter to the world. Thanks for sharing.
“Though I’ve never been given reason to be fearful at Tech, I can’t totally shake the thought of being harassed or assaulted by a group of straight men for my sexual orientation.”
I empathize with you on this statement. While I can never fully understand your experiences as a gay man I too find it hard not to have my guard up in certain spaces being a woman. Like you, I have not been given a reason to be fearful (aside from the emails sent out about nearly weekly sexual misconduct), but I think quite a few people suffer with fears/ biases that they just can’t shake.
Jake, your statement “the most I can do is present myself authentically, though that is more easily said that done as showing up authentically requires an element of vulnerability” is spot on. We learn so much by allowing ourselves to be uncomfortable and it is often what we are asking students to do often for the first time. You will “be known” for being authentic and I suspect it will impact some students without you ever knowing. Especially those who haven’t fully embraced all aspects of their own identities.
I also appreciate your comment about how some aspects of our work are more easily stated than assessed. It’s good that you are reflecting on it in a way that can be conveyed to your supervisor.