Blogs

We hope to have some blogs from our department to share with you shortly. In the meantime, you can look at other blogs written by the College of Arts & Sciences community.
rrehle0's picture

A guide to Día de los muertos celebrations in Lexington

It’s a good weekend to be a hispanista in Lexington. Granted we’ve had a great fall; from the Lexington Latino Festival to the many activities surrounding the Arts and Sciences Passport ¡Viva México! program, those of us who love the Spanish language and Hispanic culture have been busy. Still, this Friday and Saturday are special. 

This weekend we celebrate Día de los muertos, or Day of the Dead, a well-known holiday that has become increasingly popular in the US. On November 1st and 2nd, families throughout Latin America (but especially in Mexico) build altars and visit cemeteries to remember loved ones who have passed away. The holiday is joyous, despite the macabre theme. Día de los muertos is a time to laugh with death, to accept the fact that we’re all headed that way eventually, and to give those we have lost a place at our table for the night. Here are some suggestions for how you can celebrate this weekend, just follow the hyperlinks to more information about and directions to the events. ¡Qué vivan los muertos!

Preparations

jgwarr1's picture

Department of History Scavenger Hunt

The Department of History will be hosting a scavenger hunt beginning Saturday, November 9th through Monday, November 11th and invites all enrolled undergraduates to participate.  The rules are very simple:  Clues will begin to be posted Saturday afternoon and will appear periodically (during daylight hours) until the Monday afternoon.  Each clue will lead to a building, item, or landmark on the University of Kentucky’s campus and students will need to take a picture of the item to document that they found it.  The first team to arrive at the “finish line” (which the final clue will lead to) with all of the correct pictures wins.

Students may compete individually or in teams and are welcome to use the twitter hashtag #UKYtrivia or the Department of History’s Facebook page to find other students who might want to be on a team.  Each clue will be posted on the Department’s Blog, Facebook Page, and Twitter account simultaneously to make it easy for everyone to receive them quickly.

rrabel's picture

Crossroads

While going through Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" I noticed in Act 3, Scene2  this little speech from Robin Goodfellow:

My fairy lord, this must be done with haste,

For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,

And yonder shine's Aurora's harbinger,

At whose approach, ghosts wand'ring here and there

Troop home to churchyards. Damned spirits all,

That in crossways and floods have burial.

The play is supposed to be set in ancient Athens, but, of course, it's not. It's interesting that Shakespeare has knowledge of the practice of burying suicides in crossroads. Crossroads as liminal areas, places betwixt and between, places of filth and dirt, have a long, long history.

Images courtesy of Martin Liebermann: 

www.martin-liebermann.de".

 

 

 

cwhols2's picture

Бурана

This weekend a couple local friends and I drove out to Burana Tower, a former minaret in a town called Tokmok, about an hour by car outside the capital Bishkek. The minaret, along with mausoleums, grave markers, and castle remnants, is all that remains of a 9th century town in Kyrgyzstan’s Chui Valley. As usual in such a diverse country, Burana Tower makes for a fascinating and beautiful scene. The brick minaret and its winding staircase tower over the area, while grave markers resembling Easter Island statues are scattered throughout the valley. Yurts, the traditional form of Kyrgyz nomadic housing, are set up throughout the vicinity, and the ubiquitous snow-capped Kyrgyz mountains surround the entire valley. It was a fun trip with lots of adventures along the way, including asking a Tajik farm worker for directions, and stopping for кымыз, the traditional Kyrgyz refreshment made from fermented mare’s milk. All in all, a great way to spend a Sunday morning here in Киргизия.

kornbluh's picture

Higher Ed and the Presidential Election

Writing in the final days leading up to the 2012 presidential election, I am struck both by the importance of higher education to the presidential contest and the deep engagement of our College faculty and students with the election. As our nation debates its future, it is no surprise the future of higher education has become a key issue. Our future depends on increasing access to college; affordability of a college education and the availability of student loans are thus essential. Funding for research is equally essential. Public research universities, including the University of Kentucky, are responsible for more than sixty percent of the nation’s academic research and educate over seventy percent of the scientists, engineers, doctors, and professionals that we produce in this country. Continued public investment in our basic and applied research is therefore essential to the health, prosperity, and technological advancement of our nation.

cwhols2's picture

Грецкие Орехи

While on a командировка in Jalalabad, Kyrgyzstan this month, I had some free time to visit Arslanbob, the largest walnut grove on earth. In Russian, the term for walnut is грецкий орех, which literally translates to “Greek nut.” 

dsvoss's picture

From the Trenches #2: How Much Work Will College Courses Take?

The Lexington Herald-Leader recently ran an advertising supplement that purported to list ten things college professors wanted incoming freshmen to know.  I didn't necessarily agree with all ten, but one piece of advice offered by a UK chemist matched almost word for word the answer I give to students who ask: "How much work should I expect to put into your course if I want a good grade?"

Her answer started the same way mine does: "College is a full-time job," she said.  I agree: If you're a full-time student, you should approach it as a full-time job.

Neither answer may seem particularly helpful, because what students really want is a simple number: Exactly how much time should I expect to budget if I wish to succeed in a typical course?  Once you accept that a "full-time student" should be on the job full time, though, the answer calculates itself:

daange2's picture

MIT Opens its Doors to Online Ed...even wider!

Mit is developing a new online tool platform called MITx that will hopefully bolster MIT's already success OpenCourseWare by:

  • organizing and present course material to enable students to learn at their own pace
  • featuring interactivity, online laboratories and student-to-student communication
  • allowing for the individual assessment of any student’s work and allow students who demonstrate their mastery of subjects to earn a certificate of completion awarded by MITx
  • operating on an open-source, scalable software infrastructure in order to make it continuously improving and readily available to other educational institutions.

You can check out the full article here you can see the details on how they plan to revolutionize the quality of online education in America. Very exciting times indeed!

MIT President Susan Hockfield said,

                       “MIT has long believed that anyone in the world with the motivation and ability to engage MIT coursework should have the opportunity to          attain the best MIT-based educational experience that Internet technology enables..."

 

dsvoss's picture

From the Trenches #1: Students Keep Needing the Same Advice

I have never been good at following advice, especially when it comes to looking after my own interests.  Early in my graduate-school training, a well-meaning professor pulled me aside and said: “Steve, you have a lot of promise, but I’ve been watching you and you seem to enjoy working with undergraduates too much.  If you’re going to survive in a university setting, then when it comes to your teaching obligations, you’ll need to learn how to shirk.”  I was horrified!  Spreading knowledge was the main reason I cared about becoming a college professor in the first place.  How could I neglect my students?  So I ignored his counsel, rolled up my sleeves, and jumped back into my responsibilities.

jwfe223's picture

Jerusalem Cold and the Dirty Laundry Blues

Though the title of this post might make a good name for a band, it accurately reflects the sentiment of the last week.The Kotel/Al Aqsa in Snow 2008

(Photo credit Ynet, by means of snow in Jerusalem 2008 blog post)

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