July 4th Holiday-Good Book
We had a much needed break in the over 95 degree weather. It’s amazing how good a low humidity 85 felt! Today, I go to DC as the temperature inches toward 100. Three day weekends are a great time to catch up with work (although in this job, I never really catch up) and to get some recreational reading done.
I read the The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance by David Herlihy It’s a non-fiction account of Frank Lentz’s attempted solo, round-the-world cycling trip. Lentz was one of the first people to take up the “new” safety bicycle, which looks more like today’s bikes than the bikes of the day that were built on oversized tires. Can you imagine riding all those miles alone, including across a China not used to seeing Western people? Lentz was murdered in Turkey as he approached the last stage of the journey. In some countries through which Lentz traveled, people had never seen someone riding a bike and stoned him and called him a devil. It’s a reminder yet again that successful innovations become so much a part of the vocabulary that we forget that there once was a world without bicycles, and they were a threat to the unfamiliar. As I get older, I try harder to be open to new ideas. It’s so easy to be comfortable with what we know.
Speaking of which, there are a lot of misconceptions about Facebook. Some of the people with whom I’ve spoken about it seem to think it’s a bunch of kids sharing sexual exploits. That’s way too simplistic. Facebook is a global social phenomenon with real value for young people, especially. I am reading The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick. Today, there are over 500 million global Facebook users speaking 75 different languages. Each month, 20 billion pieces of content are posted. Millions and millions of those people use Facebook instead of email to communicate with their social networks. People around the world spend about 8 billion minutes on it every day, and the service is growing about 5% each month. According to Kirkpatrick, Facebook users catalyzed marches of over 10 million people against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) in Columbia and globally (February 4, 2008). And this is just one example of its global strength. My colleagues and I in higher education better figure out how Facebook fits with what we do. Our students have the answers; most of us don’t.
We’re glad that our reaccreditation process ended successfully. Of course, now reaccreditation is a process that never ends. So, with thanks to everyone who helped, here we go again!
Happy Monday. Barbara