“I go back to …

… us …”

Kwantlen accolades

From the news release:

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) is a top employer in B.C.—again.

In an annual competition that is widely considered the “Oscars of Employment,” the university has been named a B.C. Top Employer for 2017 for the 10th year in a row. …

Employers are evaluated based on physical workplace, work atmosphere, benefits, employee communications, training and skills development, and community involvement, among other criteria. …

I love my university and am endlessly grateful for my gig there.

A new publication from Miles Basil, MD

Weight Loss and Abdominal Pain Caused by Pancreatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma.”

The closing sentences are close to poetry. Really.

“Strong Claims, Inadequate Evidence”

From Emory University professor Scott Lilienfeld’s recent paper on “microaggressions”:

The microaggression concept has recently galvanized public discussion and spread to numerous college campuses and businesses. I argue that the microaggression research program (MRP) rests on five core premises, namely, that microaggressions (1) are operationalized with sufficient clarity and consensus to afford rigorous scientific investigation; (2) are interpreted negatively by most or all minority group members; (3) reflect implicitly prejudicial and implicitly aggressive motives; (4) can be validly assessed using only respondents’ subjective reports; and (5) exert an adverse impact on recipients’ mental health. A review of the literature reveals negligible support for all five suppositions. … Although the MRP has been fruitful in drawing the field’s attention to subtle forms of prejudice, it is far too underdeveloped on the conceptual and methodological fronts to warrant real-world application. I … call for a moratorium on microaggression training programs and publicly distributed microaggression lists pending research to address the MRP’s scientific limitations.

Columbia University professor Musa Al-Gharbi’s response to Lilienfeld’s paper provides some edifying context.

This is a very contentious topic on campuses, as you can imagine. This New York times story from last fall gives you a good picture.

h/t to C on clarissasblog

“If you are pro Black, pro Hispanic, or pro Asian, why don’t you say so … ?”

After we got back in touch with each other in 2009, Lorraine sent me the correspondence below – between me and a ‘literary agent’ – which she had kept after leaving Prometheus Books decades before.

Lorraine wrote me: “In one of my periodic cleaning binges, lo — my Prometheus ‘DO YOU BELIEVE THIS’ file re-emerged this week, after a disappearance of nigh onto twenty years! The attached provided me with a cascading set of giggles.  I hope you will still find the exchange as amusing as I did.” I did, and do. Thank you, Lorraine.

(I’ve obscured my antagonist’s information.)

Note #1 to my students: The approach I chose here is generally not recommended for your own workplace correspondence. Please stay courteous! Your goal, almost always, is to foster and maintain relationships.

Note #2 to my students: You also might want to avoid misspelling *your own job title* in workplace correspondence. I was the senior “Acquisitions” editor for a year before I remembered that “acquisitions” has a “c” in it. (That was around the same time I was shocked to see that “smooth” wasn’t spelled “smoothe.”)

PS – The “LMP” is The Literary Marketplace guide.

aquisitions

johnagenty

Lorraine Marshall

lorraine

My old friend Lorraine passed away in her sleep yesterday. We worked together closely in the late ’80s and early ’90s, at Prometheus Books, where she was the Marketing Director. She was very funny (and very thoughtful); she was lovely.

Her Facebook page had this Lou Reed quote on it: “There’s a bit of magic in everything, and then some loss to even things out.”

Writing Experiments

Here.

Do your best!