Is Your Discipline Hooking Up Behind Your Back?

17 03 2009

This from PLoS ONE is more than cool art, it’s your mind on science!


. . .Such clickstream maps of science, he said, “can offer an immediate perspective on what is taking place in science and can thus aid the detection of emerging trends, inform funding agencies, and aid researchers in exploring the interdisciplinary relationships between various scientific disciplines.”

The findings also suggest, Mr. Bollen said, that the social sciences and the humanities don’t get the inspirational credit they deserve when their contributions are viewed through traditional citation data. —Paul Basken

University Orientation is Monday, Unbelievable

17 03 2009

. . .well, hard to believe anyway.

Flame-haired, radically unschooled Favorite Daughter all grown up and clad in casual collegiate garnet and gold, still technically 18, signed up to spend all day Monday on campus in mandatory orientation and registering to start classes in May as a straight-A junior accepted into her upper division major, creative writing, and her minor, religion.

FavD was born playing with words and ideas so the major is no surprise. See her blog. 🙂 And see the calibre of faculty member she’s positively vibrating like a tuning fork to study (worship words?) with, thrilled to have already encountered as a guest lecturer in community college English, and can’t wait to get all to herself in some writing seminars:

Poet Barbara Hamby makes words tango.. .makes icons tipsy, forgoes introductions, and forces perfect strangers out onto the dance floor in each other’s arms: Nietzsche couples with Lois Lane, Ulysses embraces Freud. Of course, they are all sure to regret their imprudence come morning, but as the book’s title suggests, morning is still a long way off and the music raucous fun.

All-Night Lingo Tango (University of Pittsburgh Press: 2009) is Barbara Hamby’s fourth book of poetry. The Alphabet of Desire was identified by the New York Public Library as one of the year’s 25 best books, and Babel won the AWP Donald Hall Prize. Winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Hamby is writer-in-residence in the English Department at FSU.

So I grok (an oldie but goodie creative writing word, see Stranger in a Strange Land in case fiction and religion are not your chosen fields) how we got here, I see exactly what seduced Favorite Daughter into FSU’s rarefied writing program with such power of story it’s shaping who she is and means to become, ever more intensely.

In 2006, The Atlantic Monthly ranked the top ten MFA programs and the top five PhD programs in the country. Only one program made both of those lists: Florida State University. The Creative Writing Program is now affiliated with FSU’s top-ranked schools of Film and Theatre. Our faculty includes winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, as well as professors who are not only dedicated to the craft of writing but who are also widely known as teachers of the craft.

No program in the world has been included more often in Harcourt’s Best New American Voices. Recent graduates have published books with Hyperion, Norton, Viking, MacAdam/Cage, Penguin, Henry Holt, Simon & Schuster, Copper Canyon, Houghton Mifflin, and several university presses. Our students have published in The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Southern Review, Harper’s, Ploughshares, and many other distinguished magazines, as well as read on NPR’s This American Life. Our students of poetry have gone on to capture major national poetry prizes resulting in book publication. . .

But I’m not sure which part of the rest is the hardest to wrap my mind around — the tender age at which she’s already more than halfway through her bachelor’s degree, or maybe that never-in-a-million-years minor, a strange calling for a happy young atheist.

No, no, that’s not it. Might as well face it. All in all, for her Gator mom — it’s the damn garnet and gold!! 😉

(Where did I go wrong, Albert KNOWS I tried. . .)

Snook’s St. Patrick’s Day Roots and Shoots

17 03 2009

I’ve been noticing all week how suddenly green everything got here, but it didn’t occur to me until this morning that it must be in honor of St. Paddy’s Day. If it’s not greening yet where you live, go play in the clover of today’s Google graphic when you can, it’s fresh as an Irish Spring.

I just learned something new for this St. Paddy’s Day, that the Gaelic phrase “uisce beatha” (water of life – pronounced ishka baha) of course means — whiskey!

So — did you realize St. Patrick himself was born in Scotland, not Ireland? In Dunbartonshire, 387 A.D. if my sources don’t lie.

My kids then have authentic Celtic roots, must be one-quarter Irish and Scot blood total I suppose, all from their dad’s immigrant grandparents. I am garden variety AngloSaxon but that’s no help on March 17, so the rest of the family lends me their bona fides, adopts me as part of the clan. 🙂

Here are two St. Patrick’s Day education retreads (or it would sound better if I called them classics) from Snook:

Party Report: Education Was All They Wanted to Talk About!

Passing me one to another like speed dating, these party guests in green consecutively kept me so wrapped up that I never even got to the kitchen, where it’s rumored the homemade shepherd’s pie and corned beef & cabbage were not to be missed. . .

St. Patrick’s Day Fun as Unsaintly Unschoolers:

Do you know the word “ceilidh” btw? Suddenly I’m learning stuff I didn’t know I didn’t know! It’s pronounced kaee-lee — sort of, I think — and it’s the same sort of folk-community dance that I remember from my own heritage-steeped summers as a girl in Highlands, GA, clogging and square-dancing at the Dillard House.