10 Thing Friday

1. Our wonderful security guard for our building became an American citizen yesterday after seven years of applying (and half of his life spent in this country). He is one of the kindest and most outstanding people I’ve ever worked with, and America is so lucky to have him.

2. “Why We Should Stop Grading Students on Curve.” I hate curves for the same reason the article notes: it arbitrarily limits the number of students who can excel.

3.  I watched King Charles III on PBS this week and I had some feelings about it. Although they were generous with Will’s hairline, that actor was pretty spot on. WTF happened to Harry? Just, no. No charm at all. I WISH Kate was that scheming, but at least it made an interesting storyline for her. There needed to be more to the Harry love arc because I never even realized they were a couple for the longest time. I was caught off guard at times by the slip into Shakespearean-eque dialoge (I don’t know the technical name for for it, but their phrases and cadence of speech would randomly change and sound Shakespeare Old Timey).

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Spoiler: I also don’t believe the queen is next to the king when he’s crowned and Kate wouldn’t be wearing that tiara during the coronation. All of that was NO. Also, Charles is way more qualified than Workshy Will or Too Keen Kate. PUHLEASE. Also, was Kate called Catherine II?? That would be a HUGE BLUNDER. Consorts don’t get a numeral AND there has never been a Queen Catherine I. There was Queen Katherine (of Aragon) who was married to Henry VIII, but she wasn’t queen in her own right so there is no numeral. But, really, I couldn’t tell for sure (even after rewinding), but UGH that oversight best not have happened.

4. Speaking of Will and Kate, Pippa’s wedding is tomorrow! I cannot wait to see what Megan Markle wears!!!!

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5. Golden Girls Clue. I MUST HAVE THIS.

6. Speaking of Catelyn, I am not loving The White Princess nearly as much as The White Queen. I actually think Michelle Fairley is great in it, but the York ladies are lacking serious pizzazz and spunk. Bring back Rebecca Ferguson! I totally believed that she was ready to wreck anyone who crossed her. This new little queen not so much.

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7. This is a good time to brush up on what impeachment is and isn’t. Impeachment does not mean that the President is automatically kicked out of office. Bill Clinton was impeached but remained President and Richard Nixon resigned before the vote for impeachment.

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8. I watched Mommy Dead and Dearest on HBO this week and GOOD GOD it was even messier than I knew from reading about it (you can read about it here). I cannot imagine what a nightmare that child’s life was, and while I don’t think murdering someone is the right decision, I don’t see how else she could have escaped. I’m sure there is some degree of manipulation by Gypsy herself in this whole thing (she literally knows no other way to behave), but the entire thing is so horrifying. Her mother was truly her captor. I don’t know what to think about the boyfriend, but those two seem like a tornado of mental health issues and instability. I also felt so terrible for the father and stepmom. They seem like good people who were pushed out of and away from Gypsy in order for her mother to keep up the facade. I’m glad they are back in her life and I hope they can rebuild their relationship while she serves time because they really seem to care about her.

9. Sparkling water might be making your more hungry?? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

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10. Twin Peaks on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you haven’t seen the original series, then here’s a summary. Please go watch it though, it’s so delightfully strange.

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10 Thing Friday

1. TWIN PEAKS. Just a little more than a week to go!!!

2. “Can the middle class afford college?” With great difficulty and lots of debt. Especially since we have students whose parents have good jobs, but are still paying off their own student loans. I honestly don’t see how a solidly middle class family could ever save enough to truly pay for the full cost of college including tuition, room, board, books, technology, and transportation. Even at our campus, which is considered exceptionally affordable, it’s unreal.

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Oh wait, we can’t!

3. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword comes out this weekend!!!!! I really want to see it ASAP, but I’m going to try to wait until in I’m Texas in a few weeks to see it with my cousin.

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4. I have had time to watch a little bit of news and The Handmaid’s Tale this week. THAT IS IT. Two pathetic hours of TV. This new role is RUINING MY TV LIFE. On the bright side, Alexis Bledel is KILLING IT and I LOVE how they are expanding the storylines so far.

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5. “Why Everything We Know About Salt May Be Wrong.” What.

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6. I can’t specifically recall ever drinking rosé, but since it’s a thing now, then here are eight delicious and affordable ones.

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7. And because it’s about to be summer – 33 Best Burger Recipes.

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8. Megan Markle is officially attending Pippa’s wedding which is SO AMAZING. I guess Pippa will know what it’s like for the bride to have her thunder stolen by a guest. I imagine Megan won’t need a white dress and a butt pad to do it though.

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9. Why Self-Compassion Works Better Than Self-Esteem. I completely agree with this and say it to students every single day. Give yourself a break, you are working hard, but life happens. Take a minute, regroup, and try again.

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10. The next season of Top of the Lake looks AWESOME.

10 Thing Friday

1. The CSU created a website that lists resources for undocumented students. Some of them have CSU specific information, but a lot of the information is general and could be of help to anyone in that situation (specifically legal support in California).

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2. I couldn’t sleep on Wednesday night because the royal family was causing me great stress with their “emergency meeting.” I’m glad Prince Phil is just retiring. I suppose 95 isn’t too too young to hang up your hat. Please enjoy some of his best gaffes over the years. My personal favorite is his 1981 remark, “Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed.”

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3. Here’s an article for you in case you are like Donald and aren’t sure why we had a Civil War (and this is a perspective from a Jackson scholar).

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4. Hulu just renewed The Handmaid’s Tale for a second season! I don’t know exactly what this will mean, but I am here for it!!!

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5. Riz Ahmed is on the cover of Time and he looks SO HANDSOME.

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6. As Stabbing Attack Unfolded, U. of Texas Officials Strained to Curb Misinformation. I think it goes without saying that what happened to the young man who died, to those who were injured, and what might be going on with the suspect is an absolute tragedy. I thought this article was interesting as it focuses on the role of the University in sharing information during the emergency. As the communications person in the President’s Office, I am often in contact with the police department and our Public Affairs office when something happens on our campus. It’s difficult to navigate the balance between alerting people and not causing unnecessary panic (as in this case since the subject was apprehended quickly). It’s especially confusing because University officials (like me) likely don’t know exactly what is happening (as you need to let the police do their job) and you want to ensure that what you share is accurate (which involves pestering the police). You still have to get something out quickly, but it’s not always easy to know what needs to be shared and when. All of us in higher ed have to learn from the choices that other institutions make – for better or worse.

7. 20 Easy, Delicious Sheet Pan Dinners.

8. The Chronicle of Higher Education has a neat tool (I hope you can access it!) on backgrounds and beliefs of college freshmen over time. That don’t have complete historical data for all of the fields, but it’s still interesting. I thought the trends in political beliefs over time was particularly fascinating. I would love to see how students report their political leanings over time from their first day of college to graduation.

9. The Oatmeal is so consistently wonderful.

10. I’m feeling pretty ill over the healthcare bill passing yesterday, so I’m going to focus on something positive – Pell Grants! Pell Grants financially enable many students from low-income families to attend college (over half of our students are on Pell). The great news is that they passed a deal to extend the program to allow students to use the grants in the summer. This is HUGE for us because our summer courses are run through our continuing education program (I can’t explain), so the courses end up being more expensive and very few students enroll in summer school. I hope that we can now get more students to take summer courses which will enable to them to graduate on time and spend less money over all.

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I was able to complete my bachelor’s degree in three and a half years, and it was all thanks to summer school! It makes such a HUGE difference when you can knock out a few extra classes during that time.

10 Thing Friday

1. I watched The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on HBO this week. I was so impressed by Oprah! She was outstanding. I wish their had been more about Henrietta’s life, the history of people of color being used for unethical medical experimentation and research, and the tension between Rebecca Skloot and the Lacks family. It left me feeling conflicted because Henrietta’s cells have changed so much about modern medicine, but there is no resolution for her family or consequences for how it all transpired.

2. This is extremely scary.

3. Have any of you seen The Lost City of Z and was it as fantastic as it looks?

4. Dr. Ian Malcolm is returning to the Jurassic World sequel!!! THANK YOU, JESUS.

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5. In honor of the one year anniversary of Lemonade, Beyoncé announced that she is funding four college scholarships for young women attending Berklee College of Music, Howard University, Parsons School of Design, and Spelman College. This is fantastic.

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6. 32 cats… being cats.

7. This has been a frustrating week at work for me. I’ve been away from my desk at events and meetings for most of the day, so I feel like I’m dropping the ball on everything despite working late each day.

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8. I’ll get caught up, but at least I get to hang out with Laura and Scott in Napa on Sunday and Monday. PRAISE BE for good wine and great friends.

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9. “Residents of So-called ‘Shit Town’ Are Conflicted Over S-Town.

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10. I have probably watched this over 100 times by now. I try to keep my crying from the cuteness to every other viewing, but it’s not working well. Thank you to everyone who sent it. I LOVE THEM and want a whole herd of little frog dogs.

10 Thing Friday

1. Our accreditation visit has concluded, we are all alive, and it feels like went well, so now we wait for the official results in June!

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2. Jude Law will be playing young Dumbledore in the next Fantastic Beasts installment. I’m down for anything that includes Jude Law, but I think he will be awesome at this. He has that natural swagger and arrogance that Dumbledore exudes (which I am sure was out of control in his youth) and no one does a “bitch, please” face prettier than Jude.

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3. One hour of running may lengthen your by seven hours!

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4. My pal Tracy and her husband took a little vacation this week, so I got to babysit their kitty! I am devastated that she is leaving because she is such a delightful little guest.

People ask me frequently why I haven’t adopted another little friend since Bardot pranced her way into her eternal kingdom, but I swore to never love again, so there you go. Just kidding (kind of), but I do feel conflicted about it. Part of me thinks that I work too much right now and it would be unfair to have an animal when I am often gone for 14-16 hours most days. The other part of me thinks that at least that animal would have a safe place to live and be loved. And they would get the joy of hanging out with Caesar all day. He’s a unique friend to have. Anyway, I AM CONFLICTED. I want another little furry friend to love, but I don’t know what to do.

5. Sari and I went to a sing along version of the new Beauty and the Beast last Friday. I enjoyed the live version more than I thought I would even though some parts were the worst (like when the Beast roars while they dance at the end). I didn’t care for the new songs, but I LOVED Gaston and LeFou. I would watch hours of just them. And, man, Luke Evans as Gaston is pure hotness. He could be a shallow jerk to me all day as long as he looks like that (I’m kidding… mostly).

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And through some light Googling, I just learned that Luke Evans is gay. OF COURSE. Son of a bitch. THIS ALWAYS HAPPENS.

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6. Amazon is launching a new dashboard that helps you monitor the content your kid consumes online. I don’t have kids, but I would totally be allllllllllllllllllllll over this (just like my dad who used to stand behind me the entire time I was online, then also read my ICQ and AIM chat transcripts). There were no secrets in the Smart household!

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7. I finally watched Miss Sloane one night this week while I was doing some work and I freaking loved it. I didn’t really know what it was about specifically other than it starred the endlessly amazing Jessica Chastain, but it was excellent. I love anything about a ruthlessly ambitious woman. I wanted so much more when it was over. I want more Miss Sloane movies or for this to be made into an HBO miniseries. I would watch her every day!

Her clothes are amazing. Her hair is amazing. And her makeup is amazing. Even if you hate the story, just watching Jessica Chastain be gorgeous for a couple of hours is worth it. This one is joining the permanent DVD collection. Oh, and Jack Lacy is in it and he is SO HOT.

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8. I loooooooooooooooooooove Sign of the Times by Harry Styles. I don’t know what that says about me, but I can’t stop listening to it.

9. I had these same thoughts as I finished the penultimate episode of Girls on Sunday. HANNAH WOULD NOT HAVE GOTTEN THAT JOB. Hannah is totally unqualified to even do the thing they are hiring her for, and there is no way with her professional experience that she would earn enough to get a house, furniture (where was that purple couch from??), and raise a child. I’m glad they finally have her getting a stable job, but that job is BULLSHIT. Writing online is not the equivalent of teaching “the internet.” As the article notes, there are multiple disciplines that would be teaching this, but “most traditional English departments give ‘zero fucks’ about writing for ‘the internet.'”

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10. This History of Japan video is the best. I’m going to hire a samurai for everything. I also like that the US joined the war and “helped the gang chase Germany back into Germany. And they also start chasing Japan back into Japan.” From this day forward that is how I will summarize World War II.