Thursday, August 7, 2008

Busy summer

This was a busy summer for me. I did more traveling than usual. I just returned from the American Sociological Association annual meetings, held this year in Boston. Heard lots of good papers there, endured a handful of mediocre ones, and went to a useful workshop for new department chairs. Before that, I was at the American Association of University Professors annual Summer Institute in Rhode Island, where I networked with other academic activists. And before THAT, I was on the road from my previous home in North Carolina driving a U-Haul and pulling a vintage trailer named Camille. Camille and I survived the floods of the Midwest and a tornado in North Dakota. Along the Alaska Highway we saw wild horses, bison, grizzly bears, and other assorted fauna and flora. Many of the campgrounds where I stayed had wifi access. I am still figuring out the sociological implications of that.

I went to several workshops this summer, too. Not only did I go to the ASA chairs workshop and the Summer Institute, but also attended a full week of workshops conducted by UAF's Center for Distance Education (CDE). I vicariously benefited from Kayt Sunwood's attendance at a podcast workshop. I presented at a workshop on teaching gender at the ASA conference, and learned from the other participants as well.

New toys this summer include a Mylo COM 2 personal communicator (wifi only, so I can maintain my anti-cellphone persnicketiness) and a Wacom Intuos tablet. Also got the wow-whee Mac set up, though that required me to let go of some anti-Mac snobbishness, a process which is not yet complete.

Joy Morrison and I wrote a grant that was funded, and about which we are totally socioked. We have a two-year project funded by the National Science Foundation's ADVANCE IT--Start program. We will be conducting an institutional ethnography of UAF, focusing on women faculty in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. Our project is data gathering, but we will be doing it with an eye towards institutional transformation.

And here it is, nearly time for school to start again. Welcome back, everyone! Get socioked.