Last week I was plenty ticked about those subway ads that went up around the city. Turns out I wasn’t the only one. The Awl started a little gallery of “modified” posters while sometimes CNN correspondent Mona Eltahawy took matters into her own hands. The MTA has since decided to review their process for ad approval and the whole thing will probably wind up back in court again. I know, I know – we’re all CUNY folks so we’re super-smart and this issue is really thorny because there’s the larger questions about freedom of speech looming behind the very immediate and visceral “hey, being racist is actually pretty awful” sentiment that’s guiding a lot of immediate reactions. The sound thing to do is (was?) to follow the rule of the internet and not feed the trolls but sometimes you really just want slap big stickers up over offensive posters.
Before I get on with the rest of the round up for this week I’d like to point you over to the GC’s Center for Place Culture and Politics site. A couple of days ago it was announced that the the much-beloved Neil Smith passed away. There’s been a really beautiful outpouring of condolences and memories on two tribute pages and another has gone up with some wonderful videos. By all accounts he was a marvelous educator and friend to many.
Roman Kossak had a great post up on teaching his “Math for Poets.” When I took a similar course as an undergrad it was called “Math for Lovers.” Roman talks about the ups and downs of teaching and speaks candidly about what went wrong in the classroom. It may be a little cliche but I think a good rule of thumb in education is that you always learn more from what doesn’t work. Sharing those moments is really insightful so thank you!
A new blog showed up this week. A.W. Strouse arrived sharing poetry and telling us more disappointing things about Ed Koch. Strouse has hit the ground running with a flurry of great post and I’m excited to see what’s next. Since we’re talking about Ed Koch I’ll share this little bit of New York apocrypha: As it turned out, Ed Koch wound up moving into the same building as author and ACT-UP founder Larry Kramer. It was holy hell in the building until the co-op board managed to broker some kind of treaty between the two. One day, after months of peace, the elevator door opens and Larry Kramer’s dog bolts out and races over to none-other-than Ed Koch. Larry snatches up the pooch and tells the poor creature (the dog that is), “Don’t go near him, that’s the man that killed all of daddy’s friends.” Ah, New York.
Finally this week, Jessica Yood sent us a dispatch from sabbatical. I was worried that the start of the school year would mean we wouldn’t get quite so many Associations posts. Instead we got more stellar writing on life in, and as, September. Glad to see you again!
Till next week.