Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully

Teacher Advocacy

NCTE Council Chronicle March 2009

Teachers typically do not enter the profession intent on becoming political advocates. Their focus is how best to help individual students, leaving others to look out for students’ and teachers’ interests in the wider world. However, many teachers are recognizing that their classroom efforts are being hampered by forces outside the classroom. In order to counteract those forces, some teachers have become advocates for their profession and their students in the public arena.

The Friends of Dick Russell club

Illinois Alumni March 2009

How do you tell the story of a man whose career with the CIA is classified information? A man who subsequently suffered from locked-in syndrome, a condition in which the patient retains all cognitive function but cannot move most of his muscles, not even to speak?

You tell the story of his friends.

Microbes: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Biomarker: Institute for Genomic Biology December 2008

People don’t always like to be reminded of it, but microbes are everywhere. There are more microbes on one human hand than there are humans in the world. The vast majority of these organisms are benign, and many are even beneficial: they help us breathe and digest our food; they contribute to the development of our immune systems and impact the effectiveness of drugs we take.

Broken by the Blacklist

Illinois Alumni December 2008

“‘Ma, … how do you really feel about the blacklist? Angry? Frustrated? How?’”

“That needed to be answered, and I thought about it a lot. Angry? No. To me, anger is a futile emotion. I think I can sum it up in two words: deep sorrow. Not for myself - I’ve survived, and my life is full of joy - but a deep sorrow for [my husband] Larry that will be with me in my heart for the rest of my life.”

Stories of Us:

NCTE Council Chronicle September 2008

Jackson walks by Adam in the cafeteria and purposely spills his food on Adam. Later Jackson grabs Adam’s book and, despite Adam’s protests, throws it out the window. A teacher asks what is going on and Adam says “Nothing.”

Language of Love

Illinois Alumni May 2008

Eyamba Bokamba joined the University of Illinois Department of Linguistics 34 years ago, and since then he’s made it resound with the intonations of a continent.

Bokamba has grown the African languages program from one language to five and developed more than 35 African language courses, as well as more than half a dozen African linguistics ones. By the mid-1980s, the UI program in African languages had become the most comprehensive of its kind in the country.

Charles Simic

NCTE Council Chronicle March 2008

As a child, poet Charles Simic played in the bombed-out buildings of his Belgrade neighborhood. His earliest memories include being thrown out of bed and across the room by the impact of a bomb, and seeing flames and dust and smoke so thick it was like nighttime at noon. Perhaps even more surreal were his experiences as a “displaced person” in France, where his family fled from Hitler’s forces.

By the Book

Illinois Alumni magazine February 2008

Tall, slim, and perky, dressed in a turtleneck, tailored pants and sensible shoes, Betty Burch Mohlenbrock ‘62 ED, EDM ‘64, could be a woman who merely lunches with friends, entertains in her home and dotes on her grandchildren.

Except for the grandchildren part, the rest couldn’t be more wrong.

The Strengths of Sampson

Illinois Alumni magazine January 2008

The first time Henry T. Sampson Jr., MS ‘65 ENG, PHD ‘67 ENG, lost himself in the microfiche room of the UCLA library, it was to blunt the trauma of his recent divorce. Little did he know that out of that misery would emerge his “passionate obsession,” a decades-long quest that would bring to the world the previously untold history of American blacks in film, television and radio.

No-Vacation Nation

Perspectives December 2007

It is no secret that Americans work more hours and have fewer paid vacations than any other developed country. For example, while European Union nations have a legally mandated two-week vacation policy and most workers get far more, the United States has no laws requiring paid vacation. Typically, employees have to work at a large U.S. company for 10 years before they get 15 days of paid vacation.

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