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What keeps you sane?
Melissa Harris-Lacewell is Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of the award-winning book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought, (Princeton 2004). And she is currently at work on a new book: Sister Citizen: A Text For Colored Girls Who've Considered Politics When Being Strong Wasn't Enough. Her academic research is inspired by a desire to investigate the challenges facing contemporary black Americans and to better understand the multiple, creative ways that African Americans respond to these challenges.
Her academic research has been published in scholarly journals and edited volumes and her interests include the study of African American political thought, black religious ideas and practice, and social and clinical psychology. Professor Harris-Lacewell's creative and dynamic teaching is also motivated by the practical political and racial issues of our time. For example, her course entitled Disaster, Race and American Politics explored the multiple political meanings of Hurricane Katrina. Professor Harris-Lacewell has taught students from grade school to graduate school and has been recognized for her commitment to the classroom as a site of democratic deliberation on race.
Question: What keeps you sane?
Harris-Lacewell: Well I’m not particularly sane. I mean I . . . (Chuckles) . . . On any given day I struggle a lot. You know I’m a single parent. I’m raising the five year old daughter. You know there are days when I feel very unloved, and very broke, and very tired. And then there are days when I’m feeling, you know, fantastic and like I’m on top of the world. I think more than anything it is my sense of calling. Now whether it’s a religious sense or a more secular sense, I don’t think I could be doing anything else. I imagine, “Well what if I had just become a lawyer, or a doctor, or a physicist?” All great and noble professions. I can’t even visualize or imagine those things. This is what I do because it’s . . . it’s just what there is to do. And at some point maybe I’ll do something different. I don’t see it as a “for all time”, this will be the only thing I’ll do. I imagine lots of other kinds of possibilities at some other point. But right now to have a voice; to have the privilege of a place like Princeton undergirding my ability to do this; to have students who respond and who I respond back to; to have a kid who needs me every day; I mean it’s kind of like saying, “How do you get your kid to school every day?” Well what choice . . . You know because she’s gotta go! So I feel that same way about my work. I just feel compelled to it.
"On any given day I struggle a lot."
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- If you or someone you know is attending school remotely, you are more than likely learning through emergency remote instruction, which is not the same as online learning, write Rich DeMillo and Steve Harmon.
- Education institutions must properly define and understand the difference between a course that is designed from inception to be taught in an online format and a course that has been rapidly converted to be offered to remote students.
- In a future involving more online instruction than any of us ever imagined, it will be crucial to meticulously design factors like learner navigation, interactive recordings, feedback loops, exams and office hours in order to maximize learning potential within the virtual environment.
Placing science and religion at opposite ends of the belief spectrum is to ignore their unique purposes.
- Science and religion (fact versus faith) are often seen as two incongruous groups. When you consider the purpose of each and the questions that they seek to answer, the comparison becomes less black and white.
- This video features religious scholars, a primatologist, a neuroendocrinologist, a comedian, and other brilliant minds considering, among other things, the evolutionary function that religion serves, the power of symbols, and the human need to learn, explore, and know the world around us so that it becomes a less scary place.
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Studying voice recordings of infected but asymptomatic people reveals potential indicators of Covid-19.
A leading British space scientist thinks there is life under the ice sheets of Europa.
- A British scientist named Professor Monica Grady recently came out in support of extraterrestrial life on Europa.
- Europa, the sixth largest moon in the solar system, may have favorable conditions for life under its miles of ice.
- The moon is one of Jupiter's 79.
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A study finds people are more influenced by what the other party says than their own. What gives?
- A new study has found evidence suggesting that conservative climate skepticism is driven by reactions to liberal support for science.
- This was determined both by comparing polling data to records of cues given by leaders, and through a survey.
- The findings could lead to new methods of influencing public opinion.