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Current Issue: Volume 23, No. 6. Week of February 27, 2005

Somerville Fun

Geoff Hargadon's Somerville Gates stood in all their fame on
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone's desk on "Hargo Day" yesterday.

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: February 26, 2005
Latest Update: February 28, 2005

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Topic of the Week:

On Not Taking Ourselves So Seriously Hargo went to New York to see The Gates in Central Park. He liked them. But he saw the arrogance of critics announcing that this was the greatest art ever done. Someone compared his Somerville Gates to Duchamp's Urinal. Both of them were making fun of our pretentiousness. The Gates were beautiful. The wandering path through Central Park must have been breathtaking when seen from the Met, one of the recommended viewing spots. But critics and scholars tend to the absurd, and Hargo called them on it.

The same thing happened long ago when a phony article in academese was sent to Stanley Fish, and published as serious literary analysis. We need to remember not to take ourselves too seriously. A touch of humility. Just a touch. It's good for the soul.

NEWS, Announcements, and

Current Discussion Topics:

Still haven't found the courage to deal with the earthlink fiasco, but plan to do it tomorrow. Spent the last several days coping with updating this semester's issues. Be sure to go back to my version of KIki Smith's Nest and Trees. I did it shortly after we learned about Darcy's friend, Susan, and much of my playing with the nest and trees had to do with my concern for Susan. But I just got around to putting that up.

I'm feeling much better after the tiny rest in Big Sur after the Death Penalty Seminar. And I have much to share with you on religion in the world of corrections and retribution.I'll tryp to catch up slowly.

I'm planning to be at school on Tuesday. The hills are still here, at least mine is, and hopefully most of the damage is over. Instead of scheduling a workshop, I'll plan to be meet with any of you who can come in, in our offices. And I'd like very much to clean up my own office. If you have a project in my office, please try to help us by picking it up and/or finding it a tenable space so we can actually sit down in my office again.

On March 4, Pat and Arnold and I are going to San Diego to hear Jurgen Habermas.

On March 15 -19, we're going to Chicago for the Academy of Criminal Justice Science Meetings.

  • Home Page for transform-dom You can read all the messages on Transforming Dominant Discourse from this page. Just click on messages in the left hand frame. You can read the messages, even if you're having difficulty signing up.

    Syllabus for Independent Study: Religion as a Present Social Issue January 30, 2005.

    Learning Records from Spring 2005 Just started, on the basis of transform_dom discussions. This will take a while. I didn't work on learning records with all the confusion at home this week. Will get back to it shortly. jeanne

  • Most recent list of Learning Records from Fall 2004

  • Instructions page for joining transform_dom and transspan

    Famous People We Should Have Heard Of, But Didn't.

    • Jerome Bruner - Learning theory and Narrative Theory

    • "Carleton S. Fiorina, who lost her job as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard almost three weeks ago, has emerged as a strong candidate to become president of the World Bank, according to an official in the Bush administration." See first paragraphBackup of Fiorina Called Candidate for World Bank.

    • "Paul D. Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, was also under serious consideration [for presidency of the World Bank], according to the official, who refused to be identified because discussion about the candidates is continuing. . . . a departure for the World Bank by Mr. Wolfowitz could have great effects on military policy. Yet a nomination of Mr. Wolfowitz could face opposition from European nations that see him as a principal architect of the Iraq war." See second and following paragraphs of Backup of Fiorina Called Candidate for World Bank.

    Jeanne's Lectures for Spring 2005

    Visual Sociology:

      Find the cat, Edie.
      And share the fun with
      Hargo, of the Somerville gates.

    • One of the Somerville photos from blog

    • Gregory Colbert - Photographer with Nomadic Museum

      • Ashes and Snow Website

      • Have Museum, Will Travel

        "Pier 54
        The Nomadic Museum as seen on February 1. The 45,000-square-foot space opens to the public on March 5.

        While the city marvels at saffron-bedecked Central Park, another massive arts project has been nearing completion downtown, one shipping container at a time. Called the Nomadic Museum, it will take up all of Pier 54, on the Hudson River at 13th Street. But as a museum it’s a rather curious monument: It won’t remain standing for very long. And it’s devoted exclusively to the work of one artist.

        Photographer Gregory Colbert—who travels the world taking pictures of people communing with whales, elephants, and other animals— got the idea (and funds) for the museum after his one-man installation in 2002 at the Venice Biennale’s Arsenale, a vast shipyard dating from the Renaissance. “Ashes and Snow” was the first solo exhibit ever to occupy the entire space. And every last piece of art in it was bought up by the chairman of Rolex, who then encouraged the artist to use the money to mount the show—as is—in other cities. So, Colbert asked the avant-garde Japanese architect Shigeru Ban to design a museum large enough to travel with it. After “Ashes and Snow” finishes its New York run, from March 5 to June 6, the Nomadic Museum will be taken apart and reassembled in Los Angeles. Future stops include Beijing and Paris.

        From Have Museum, Will Travel. At p. 1.

        View from inside the moobile museum:

        Rendering by Ombra Bruno/Officina di Architettura
        Rendering by Ombra Bruno/Officina di Architettura

    Academic Support

    Using Academic Language Effectively

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary Search:

    and Careers

    • Resumes:

    • Letters of Recommendation:

      • Letters of Recommendation: How to get me to respond to your request. Many of you need letters. If you will follow this format, I can do them quickly and make them good.
      • Dog Letters If you do not give me adequate information, but do manage to get my attention, you may end up with a dog letter. That is a letter that says that you work well with people, that you are enthusiastic, that you persist at getting things done, and that everyone likes you. Of course, my dog gets along well with people, brings his ball to them, is enthusiastic, and persists at getting them to take his ball. Everyone likes my dog. That's a dog letter. It's so general it could be about my dog. jeanne

    That Was Fun! Sneaky Strokes and Flying Good Dogs

    Flying Dog is also a painting by Zhang Kai. Best I've every come across to illustrate our site with magic numbers and unicorns and whipped cream cats and now, flying dogs:

    Flying Good Dogs: Whenever something happens in class that works out well, that inspires you, that helps in studying, whatever, take a few minutes to send us an e-mail. We'll post it where all of us can learn from it, including other teachers.

    You can also send an email to the Who to Take Site: