Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Today at Clear Spring I had 1st through 4th grade students doing paper sloyd projects. The 1st and 2nd grade students decided to use the envelopes they were making to write letters. In the process of making one of the projects that involved tying with string, I discovered that some of our students don't know how to tie their shoes. These days you can get around shoe tying by wearing slip-ons or velcro, but I suspect there are some important developmental things that happen in the process of tying string. One student had to take me aside to tell me, so that he wouldn't feel embarrassed. So there is one more thing that we need to practice. One more basic skill that is being ignored as we launch ourselves head-long into the virtual plane.

This afternoon, I got a disappointing email. I had applied for a Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant to help me go to Finland in the fall. The email informed me that my application wouldn't be forwarded for consideration because I lack a Ph.D. degree. I had suspected that my application would meet academic bias at some point, but to be thrown out so early was a shock to me. I quote a part of the email: "Professionals and artists outside academe require recognized professional standing and substantial professional accomplishments in the selected discipline and specialization."

I don't intend to just roll over dead. The hands don't teach complaisance. It is always refreshing to get stirred up by exhibitions of academic idiocy.


  1. You may not be shocked at their response, but it would be a shock to the academe if you wrote them yours.

    A will finds a way!

  2. Dana, thanks for your kind thoughts. I knew there was bias against non Ph.Ds in the academic community and really didn't expect the Fulbright committees to be any different. It is understandable, they have a great deal invested in their positions.

    I pointed out to the reviewer that the rules did not specifically exclude the participation of non Ph.D's from outside academia, so I've been given the chance to clarify and fine tune my application. It helps sometimes to be pushy and to stand up to such stuff.

  3. Anonymous5:27 AM

    Stick to your guns! You have both the standing and the respect in your field that they look for. I'm also an educator, also without a PhD, and have run across that bias quite a few times.


  4. Good luck with your second attempt.

    I just read your review of Arrowmont on your website. Very encouraging. I might take a class there in 2009. I'm booked at ESSA for 2008 all I can already!

    Hope to meet you in person some day. I enjoy your blog.