Blog

Update on Life

I have two finals next week: vector calculus on Monday, and linear algebra on Wednesday. After that, I'm done with my semester. I'm registering for summer housing today at 1pm, and the plan is to live in a double apartment in the whites. I bought some infrared film and an R72 filter, to do some nude photography. Infrared light is absorbed by veins, so they are much darker. It's a neat effect. I haven't finished the roll of film, but I'm hoping to make a detailed blog post in the future showing the comparison of different settings. People recommend shooting the Rollei 400 Infrared film with an EI of 25 or 6, so I'm shooting 6, 12, and 25 with the R72 filter, to see what happens. Supposedly, different exposure levels will make the skin look marbled and like stone, and other exposures show the veins more prominently. I first discovered infrared nudes on Steven Brauchli's website, and I'm glad to have finally gotten the filter.

There are some exciting things planned for the future. I'm starting a food cart, provided I can get one rented from a company in Portland and complete the requisite licensing. I'm also planning to garden produce, flowers, and tea. I got some chamomile and lemon balm seeds, and I'll keep looking for other tea plants. I'm trying to reduce my waste, and it seems absurd to buy your own tea if you can grow the plants and avoid industrial packaging. The same goes for other produce which is heavily treated with pesticides and other synthetic agents.

A lot of professors at Linfield are leaving, whether by retirement or through the separation packages, which evidently compensate 14 months' pay. This hopefully allows them to find other career options. However, we're losing at least 20-25 faculty and staff through these voluntary departures, and that represents a significant percentage of our total faculty. To make matters worse, it's rumored that on June 3rd, additional, involuntary cuts will be made, totaling another 10-12 professors. If that happens, we would be losing around 30-37 individuals, just over 20% of our faculty. This is completely terrible, and this disrespect for professors will not be tolerated. Our administration and board of trustees are ideologically at war with the liberal arts college, and this has never been about budget cuts. They invented a crisis which largely stemmed from a failure to market the college. In just this brief year, our incoming class size has increased beyond what anyone could have expected. The crisis is over, and Miles Davis has gone on the record stating that in five years, our enrollment of the incoming freshmen class should be back to normal.

This is exactly what we have been saying all along, that we could ride this out, let people retire, and invest into the college with new programs and more marketing. It turns out when you market your college, people come. There is no need to make cuts. Doing so is an affront to human rights, shared governance, and the liberal arts. Again, this is an ideological war, and we need to fight this more intensely. Standing around with a sign for 40 minutes is not enough.

Davis makes people feel good, and when he speaks, he gives the appearance of coherent information, but his words are unintelligible upon further scrutiny. A recent article by The Linfield Review demonstrates my point, and I'll link to it when they post it online. Some of the paragraphs make little sense. Davis comes from an institution that didn't have tenure, and he wants to remove it from Linfield. Or perhaps more accurately, the board of trustees wants to eliminate tenure. Just this past Monday, there was a board meeting, and Dave Baca proposed that tenure be eliminated. These people need to be expelled from our institution, because they intend to destroy it and rebuild Linfield into a market-driven place without broad learning through exposure to different disciplines.

If people want to save the liberal arts, they must take classes in those areas. Please take an art class. Please take a music class. Take a class on writing, or philosophy, or logic, or religion. Branch out, and diversify your mind. If students fail to take these classes, the administration will decide to cut them, because they don't have an interest in protecting liberal arts classes. It is up to the students. As Davis has said, "students vote with their feet." It's time we start using our power to protect the liberal arts by studying those classes. After all, isn't that why you came to Linfield?