Thursday, July 27, 2006

Clean-Up Day

Who Says Professors Can't Be Poetic? My friend Sandy Piderit recently returned from a couple weeks in Europe with the family, and decamped to Cleveland Heights with a new appreciation for the reinvigoration that vacations provide. "I am amazed at how refreshed I feel. It is as if my body and mind have rediscovered the beauty of an adagio movement in a symphony." But being the good management thinker she is, her inquiry didn't stop there. She
also takes up the larger business issue of vacation policies.

Sneak Preview of a Screen Godess. My wife was good enough to feed my Woody Allen fixation, by coming up with a pair of tickets to a sneak preview last night at Shaker Square Cinema of Woody's latest flick, Scoop. Woody's nervous, twitching schtick is getting really old now that he's a rheumy-eyed elderly gentlemen (with all the accumulated barnacles from his messy personal life), whose Brooklyn accent has long since become positively cloying. By now, it's almost impossible to remember how fresh and new his mannerisms seemed 30 years ago in Annie Hall, still one of my favorite movies ever. But he does still manage to get off some great lines in the new one. Of course, the real attraction is the dazzling Scarlett Johansson, whom I could watch on screen for, oh, about 25 hours before needing to get up and move around. And in this movie she plays an aspiring reporter who briefly dons a swim suit to get the story. Be still, my heart. I think I'll go see it again this weekend, just to bask in the technical accomplishments of this film, though...You can read more about Woody's thoughts on his career in this Q&A in Premiere Magazine.

Case Squib. I wrote a small piece on an interesting student-written guidebook to Case Western Reserve Univ. for this week's Free Times. It's in
City Chatter (fourth item, right above Anastasia's review of Blogapallooza). The book comprehensively rates a host of factors that students would care about when choosing a school. But I was struck by the fact that nowhere in the book does it ever even allude to the never-ending management turmoil of the university. Does that mean that these things don't mean much to students, or just that they don't always notice? You tell me...

I Always Knew We Shared Something. I've mentioned J.D. Lasica more than once. He's a brilliant Bay Area-based writer who
covers emerging digital media better than just about anyone. But then, he's been on this beat for at least a decade, ever since he covered new media in a decidedly old-media publication, the American Journalism Review, which didn't even have a companion website when Lasica began writing his column. I share many of his views about where journalism and media are headed, but I didn't know until today that we shared something else, as well: a birthday. Happy birthday, J.D.

16 Comments:

At 2:40 PM, Anonymous MilesB said...

My experience with college students leads me to believe that a schools's management woes don't even register as blips on their radar screens.

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

I'd have to agree with that, Miles. I'll bet perhaps no more than half of the students on the typical campus could so much as name their school's president, let alone know how or what they're doing. Of course, the problem is that all most college presidents are doing anyway is raising money.

 
At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anne said...

Hi John,

You are correct about college presidents and fund-raising. Kent State apparently needs two presidents (with sizable salaries) for fund-raising--see an editorial from the 7/24/06 Lorain Morning Journal (it can be accessed online).

If you haven't seen it, you'd probably enjoy the DVD, Girl With A Pearl Earring--Scarlett Johansson plays the young peasant maid working in the house of painter Johannes Vermeer who becomes his talented assistant and the model for one of his most famous works.

Happy Birthday!

 
At 4:57 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Thanks, Anne. I did see that Girl with a Pearl Earing, and found it captivating. Sorry to bore you and others with my recounting of my movie crushes, but why not chalk it up to some kind of high-concept sociology. Call it "A Peek Inside the Middle-Aged Married Mind." Or maybe "Middle-Aged Man Goes to the Movies to Savor Image of Pillow-Lipped Actress." Come on, male WWW readers, please back me up on this. Sometimes we're just programmed to react to certain stimuli.

That Kent State double president situation is interesting. I gather the new president says the predecessor needs to stay around in order to help introduce major givers and the like. It's sad that even at a public institution, funded (insufficiently, I might add) by the state, fundraising is the top order of business for the prez.

 
At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Phil Lane said...

Consider yourself backed up, John. Twice in the last week, Scarlet Johansonn has appeared on the late night talk show insomnia circuit. Not having, needing nor wanting cable, I lept into action, deftly adjusting tinfoil-covered rabbit ears to get a clear vision of this extraordinary beauty. The symmetry of her DNA is the genetic peer of Dvorak's "New World Symphony".

 
At 10:01 PM, Anonymous MilesB said...

Scarlet Johansonn. Very nice indeed.

For my money, seeing the Oh in Ohio, lousy script and poor comedy and all, was worth it just to see the gorgeous Mischa Barton. You want stimuli? Say no more.

 
At 1:29 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

As far as administration turnover goes at Case, it doesn't effect the daily lives of students. Even with all the changes and budgetary issues of the past year, no funding has been cut to student programs and our lives are the same.

For students who care about the long term health of the University, it is an issue. However, most are busy doing research, getting involved, or preparing for graduate school to worry about the politics of the administration.

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

What a splendid round of comments, and from a couple of new commenters, no less. And I'm especially glad that a student (Jeff) has weighed in. I love the detail about the rabbit ears, Phil. You'll have to drop me a note and tell me more about your New America Energy when you get a moment. I'd love to learn more about that. And Miles, you're right about that new face from Oh in Ohio. She is quite fetching as well (I'm going to assume she's the young woman who plays the teenage girlfriend of the main character).

Okay ladies, we'll stop now with our obnoxious male bantering about women and get back to our usual high-minded tone. Or at least we'll try.

 
At 12:25 PM, Blogger Jim Eastman said...

As a recent Case graduate, I wanted to add more support to the general idea that students don't care about university politics. A vast majority of my peers were certainly very uninterested, including those who were otherwise very involved in student orgs, student government, etc.

In general, the transient nature of a student's tenure in academia prevents most students from concerning themselves with the long term outlook for an institution.

 
At 12:34 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Well said, Jim, and thanks for visiting, and especially for commenting. Keep up the good work on your blog.

 
At 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see if the students at CASE notice a difference when they return this fall. The plant services and support staff have been cur drastically, to the point that they don't empty the trash from offices anymore. Lights burn out and seem to stay out for a long long time.

 
At 7:26 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Now that's interesting. But yes, the magnitude of budget cuts they've encountered--on the order of $40-some million--certainly can't come out of mere fat. With those kinds of numbers, there will be some muscle cut as well. But no longer emptying trash suggests that things are worse than I knew. Anyone else associated with Case have other stories?

 
At 3:59 AM, Blogger Sandy Kristin Piderit said...

Hi John,

thanks for the link and the compliment! I think of myself as metaphorical more than poetic, and musical harmony is currently a favored metaphor of mine. I wrote a chapter for an edited book on Women in Business and Management recently, arguing that we should not be studying work-family conflict or work-life integration, but work-life harmonization.

As far as the rumors about trash not getting picked up... I returned to the office to find a little hangtag on my door stating that from now on, my office will be cleaned on Mondays. This is fine with me -- I don't really need a daily vacuuming or trash emptying.

 
At 10:35 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Sandy,
Thanks for weighing in. And especially for clarifying the new trash policy. I kind of figured it was more a lesser frequency thing than getting rid of trash removal, especially since it was an anonymous person suggesting the latter. Hope we can hit our favorite smoke-free Coventry lunch spot together before classes begin again for you.

 
At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Lou said...

First, we just had a student through the Civic Engagement Program at Case. Very engaged, very community minded and very professional. Not bad for 21. The thing that struck me at a presentation was this talk about the "Case bubble". Not so much not being engaged with Case admin woes, but not being engaged with the community outisde the campus or "bubble". It sounds like an opportunity.

As for Scarlett, if not for her, would there have been a reason to see Match Point?

 
At 3:31 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Not much of a reason, Lou. But you just keep your eyes focused on impending fatherhood, you hear? Not much time for movies for another decade. Seriously, though, good luck with that. As for the bubble, I think anyone who attended college knows only too well how that works.

 

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