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Week in Review

Most of the TVP Comms team was up in the air this week (multiple points for some of us), and we can all agree: something needs to be done about air travel etiquette. While our tips could fill volumes, here are some common courtesy moves from this week that could really make flying a more tolerable experience for everyone:
-Before you rocket your seat into recline, think about the person behind you. Stop, take a look, and recline slowly. Bonus points if you give your fellow traveler a heads-up on your actions.
-If there is a head lice infestation at your son’s summer camp, kindly check his head for a colony or two prior to boarding the plane.
-Please keep your socks on your feet and your feet on the ground, not on the armrest of the person in front of you. And definitely don’t fondle any elbows with your little piggies.
If you have any other courteous flying tips, let us know! The best time to share with us is next week at the College Media Conference—after all, the majority of team will be taking planes, trains and automobiles to get to Washington, DC. If you’ll be there, drop Teresa, Kristine, Ali or Erin a line—we’d love to see you. Otherwise, scroll down for the highlights from this week.
What’s new this week:
In the midst of controversy at Wisconsin, Chancellor Cathy Sandeen of the University of Wisconsin system weighed in on adjuncts, tenure, and academic freedoms.
Professor Megan Gerhardt of the Farmer School of Business offered expertise on the impact of the economic recession on millennials on an article for The Street.
Drake University had a double hit in The Conversation. Professor Mark Kende reacted to the SCOTUS decision on the Affordable Care Act and Professor Jennifer Harvey addressed how to teach race, including what it means to be white.
What we’ve been talking about:
It’s summer orientation season, but chances are, students aren’t taking away the mountains of information that schools are giving them. However, they are definitely taking away something valuable. Ali Lincoln weighs in on the true purpose of college orientation.
What we’ve been reading:
Teresa Valerio Parrot
I am an unabashed science geek and The New York TimesScience Summer blog put my nerdiness on alert. The short form stories and amazing photos are worth your time—each is a quick, yet surprisingly engaging, read. I’ve bookmarked the site and am happy to discuss the miracles of nature and science if you are interested. 
Kristine Maloney
While I have been lucky enough to work with some truly amazing colleagues during my career, many of whom I count among the nicest people I have ever met (honestly!), I think we can all relate to parts of this fascinating New York Times Sunday Review article on incivility at work. The piece covers why it happens and how it impacts productivity.  It also serves as a reminder that stress, a long to-do list and other distractions aren’t good excuses for treating others badly. Whether we’ve experienced it firsthand or heard horror stories from others, mean, rude behavior not only impacts morale, but also productivity overall—not to mention the detrimental effects it can have on peoples’ health. Can’t we all just get along??
Kyle Gunnels
Second only to communications, the other subject I’ve studied most in school is international relations. Foreign policy and the intricacies (both currently and historically) of how countries establish, retain and shift relationships are fascinating to me. This piece from Foreign Affairs explores the current decline of international studies in the U.S., as well as the historical context that made our country the world leader in the field.
Like most people, I enjoy a good conspiracy theory from time to time, especially those that become mainstream and part of our collective culture–the assassination of JFK and the truth about what’s stored in Area 51, for example. However, there is a very dark and damaging side to conspiracy theory for those personally affected by tragedies some believe to be fake/staged. This commentary examines a sociological approach to understanding conspiracy theory and those who harm others with their militant beliefs in cover-ups and conspiracies. 
Erin Hennessy
I don’t spend a lot of time on Glamour’s website, but I was riveted by this piece about Crisis Text Line and the woman who created it. Nancy Lublin previously ran Dress for Success and Do Something, and now she’s providing text message-based support to teens and adults in crisis.
Ali Lincoln
I believe Rock-Paper-Scissors (RPS) to be an extremely effective, unbiased decision maker. You can’t argue with the results because it’s the luck of the draw that determines who wins—or is it? This article about RPS strategies and psych-outs was fascinating. I’ve never thought of trying to game the game, but perhaps the next time I’m arguing with my husband over whose turn it is to do dishes, I’ll pull out some of these moves for a win.
When I served in TFA, I finally understood that buzzwords actually did buzz in your ears because of the frequency with which they were mentioned. One of the favorites back then (and still today) was “rigor.” I enjoyed this little commentary on the need for a new definition of rigor. I like the author’s take, that rigor is a result of challenging how students think. And while, especially with literature, it’s important to meet students where they’re at and push them further, I think it’s equally as important to hold them to high standards and expose them to classic or high literature. In fact, though we spent a lot of time with more “relatable” or seemingly simpler texts—Persepolis was a favorite, but it also came with some of my toughest vocab quizzes and deepest class discussions—I made sure to tackle some of the typical high school readings. And I had more than one student tell me after they completed my class how much Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, for instance, meant to them and how they found it relatable.
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