Category Archives: Professor Liang’s classes

Many professors say that teaching students how to email them properly is a necessary gift that keeps on giving: Inside Higher Education

all classes. so called soft skills, when you boil it all down, are less about “rules” and far more about a habit of mind — it’s about thinking of others as much as we think of ourselves. if you go through the class documents and underline every single rule and reminder involving thinking of others, i suspect you would have much of what i have written underlined. second important facet of these skills is that they must become a natural part of who you are — i.e., they cannot be faked or manufactured. so, it takes time to practice. the problem with rules and “how-to” lists is that, by my observation, they tend to induce anxiety, and when given to one another without deeper contexts, they are difficult to remember and to be made personally meaningful. this is why we will spend so much of the semester sharing with one another examples, experiences, stories. finally, an important point about these skills — they are universal, without regard for age and station in life. so yes, Inside Higher Ed is a publication for professors, and yes, how to write a proper professional letter is an important skill for students to learn. but as many of you have already discovered, no matter how busy i am, whenever i reply to students, i always try to write a proper, professional letter. partly because of the universality of these ideals, and partly as another way to teach and model them. the best part about college is that you are all old enough to handle complex, difficult ideas, yet by definition these are still forgiving years — room to make mistakes, learn, and improve. another reason to move away from the rules/how to model. Professor Liang

Many professors say that teaching students how to email them properly is a necessary gift that keeps on giving

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/08/29/professors-offer-advice-teaching-students-how-email-them

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Political ‘Science’: Duluth to Denver? Airport seeks federal funding for direct route: Duluth News Tribune

Poli Sci 2019. this is a really good, local example of why the usual big government versus no government frame of American political debate is so limiting. i can already hear the two extremes of keyboard warriors. on one side the “if it’s profitable then private business would have already invented this route ….” in which case Duluth and surrounding communities would have disappeared decades ago; and the other side, “government should pay for even more routes” …. in which case we would go bankrupt even faster than projected. while i myself am a government skeptic (based upon decades of skepticism towards any form of power and bureaucracy ….), i also know that most of the small to medium sized towns north, west, and south of the Twin Cities would have disappeared had it not been public policy — taxes, government budget, etc. so, perhaps the argument ought to be less about big versus no government, but over how and when — this is why in different classes i have made such a big deal about public policy — between election rhetoric and hyper polarized political and journalistic worlds, roads still have to be maintained, schools paid for, elders cared for, and ultimately, those are not products of theoretical political arguments, but public policy compromises. Professor Liang

Duluth to Denver? Airport seeks federal funding for direct route

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/business/transportation/4625519-Duluth-to-Denver-Airport-seeks-federal-funding-for-direct-route

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Politics of Globalization: Threatened by globalisation, indigenous children from Taiwan revive lost songs of their ancestors: Malay Mail

Globalisation 2019. the paradox of globalisation is that the more connected the globe has become, the more we realize how much we share in common while at the very same time the urge to draw distinct boundaries becomes more radicalized, militant, and often violent. part of this has to do with the unusual pace and scale of this global connection — what used to take thousands of years now occur weekly, daily. part of this has to do with a sense of chaos and lack of control — and loss of dignity — whether it is indigenous groups, oppressed groups, laid off auto workers, members of a small town. and of course, part of this has to do with the very unequal engine driving globalisation — imperialism is the engine driving this process, hence, the natural reaction. much as i love efforts like these — and as often as i volunteer my time and donate money to any effort to save the historic, the local, the quirky — in the larger context i also believe this: a culture/civilisation is alive when it isn’t spending a lot of time thinking about what it is or isn’t, and the moment one sees efforts to “save” it or to “revitalize” it, then something dreadful has already occurred. my application of this sense is pretty universal, all the way from efforts to make English as the official language of the US, to efforts to save Taiwanese as a language. in any case, this is the broadest theoretical framework for our semester, as always, open to debate, discussion, counter-examples, improvements, and so on. Professor Liang

https://www.malaymail.com/news/life/2019/08/23/threatened-by-globalisation-indigenous-children-from-taiwan-revive-lost-son/1783496

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