My Daily Read: Dr. Carol Higginbotham

November 30, 2011

Dr. Carol Higginbotham is a Professor of Chemistry.  Dr. Higginbotham, received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Montana State University and has been teaching at COCC since 1999.

 

ConXn: What is the first thing you read in the morning?

Carol: Honestly?  It’s typically Facebook.  I like to pick up personal messages before I get hit with the news.  But once I have seen what my friends have been up to, it’s the newspaper, online.  After that I’ll sometimes check a few favorite blogs, and by then I am usually draining my coffee cup and getting out the door.

ConXn: What newspaper and magazines do you subscribe to or read regularly? What do you read in print versus online versus mobile?

Carol: I am an online subscriber to the New York Times, and I look at it at least once a day.  I also read local news at ktvz.com and oregonlive.com, and I look at npr.org and opbnews.org.  In print I’ll read parts of the Source on weekends, when I am a bit more chilled out and have the time to pay attention to the longer articles it contains.  I absolutely love reading The Atlantic as a Kindle mag, and I have subscriptions to Runner’s World and to American Scientist that come the old fashioned way:  in my US Mail box.

ConXn: What books have you recently read? Do any stand out?

Carol:  Each fall I try to take up a long classic book, so as the days get short I can curl up and read seriously.  This year I am trying to get through Moby Dick.  I also picked up and read both the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip von Winkle this Halloween season, because I wanted to get to know those stories in their original forms.  All these were basically free or one-dollar reads I got for my Kindle.  The best book I’ve read in the last six months was The War of the End of the World, by Mario Vargas Llosa, who won the Nobel prize for literature last year.  It’s an amazing, big, fat, epic book.  I have also recently read An Anatomy of Addiction, the Emperor of All Maladies, and The Poisoner’s Handbook.  All of these are popular science books.  Currently I am in the middle of two books:  the Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman.

ConXn: Has your reading of professional journals changed in the past 10 years? If so, how?

Carol: Absolutely.  I used to read more in scientific research journals, and these days I read more education stuff.  I am a regular reader of the Journal of Chemical Education.  I keep an eye on advances in research through aggregator websites that sort and summarize scientific advances for me.

ConXn: Do you use Twitter? If so, whom do you follow?

Carol: I joined Twitter several years ago when it was new, but at the time it wasn’t very popular.  When the people I wanted to connect with weren’t using it, I lost interest.  My account is probably still out there but I haven’t used it in a very long time.

ConXn: Do you blog? If so, why?

Carol: I used to blog.  My students were hungry for connections between the chemistry we were discussing in class and their lives outside of school, so I developed a blog as a place to explore these connections.  It was great fun for a while, and I am glad I did it.  However I found that I really needed feedback to keep up my motivation to write, so over time a lack of comments caused me to drift away from blogging.  If you want to look at it, it’s http://chigginbotham.blogspot.com/.

ConXn: What are the guilty pleasures in your media diet?

Carol: I get more pleasure than is reasonable from reading blogs about sustainability, and bike commuter culture.  I like reading bikeportland.org, the Daily Score from Sightline.org, and copenhagenize.com.  These blogs are guilty pleasures for me because they mostly reinforce things I already believe in.  They don’t challenge my ideas, but they express things I already like in ways that make me like those things even more.

I also always come home from library book sales with cookbooks.  The more unusual they are, the more I enjoy them.  My collection includes a Finnish cookbook and a cookbook by Liberace.


My Daily Read: Dr. Karen Huck

November 16, 2011

“My Daily Read” is a new feature of ConXn, shamelessly borrowed from The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Chronicle Review weekly feature, in which they interview famous academics about their daily reading habits. 

Our first “My Daily Read” featured academic is Dr. Karen Huck, Professor of Speech.  Dr. Huck, who received her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Utah, has been teaching at COCC since 1988.  She is the 2009 recipient of the COCC Faculty Achievement Award.

(factoid: Kake lives in a house of books – at least 7,000 volumes!)

ConXn: What is the first thing you read in the morning?

Dr. Huck: The Bend Bulletin or student work I need to hand back in a few hours.

ConXn: What newspaper and magazines do you subscribe to or read regularly? What do you read in print versus online versus mobile?

Dr. Huck: I hate hate hate reading off the computer.  I read the Sunday New York Times, New York Magazine, The New Yorker (hmmm, do we detect a pattern here?), Poetry, Bend Bulletin, Source Weekly, Harpers and Atlantic if I have a free subscription.

ConXn: What books have you recently read? Do any stand out?

Dr. Huck: The Poisoner’s Handbook:  Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York.  Best book of the summer.  I don’t usually read long books (novels and short fiction) when seated — I read by ear when dog walking and walking to school.  Right now I’m in the middle of reading three different books at those times when I’m sitting and not grading or watching.  I’m enjoying each —  No Vulgar Hotel:  The Desire and Pursuit of Venice by Judith Martin;  Blue Sky Dream:  A Memoir of America’s Fall from Grace (set in my home county during the time I was growing up) by David Beers; and Love Wins by Rob Bell, an evangelical Christian who doesn’t believe in hell.

And, on yeah, in the spring I reread The Mirror Cracked, by Agatha Christie — a classic in which the unpleasant murder victim is killed largely because she was an enthusiastic non-thinker and busybody.

ConXn: Has your reading of professional journals changed in the past 10 years? If so, how?

Dr. Huck: Yes.   I skim only the articles in which I’m interested, generally those which have “immediacy behaviors” or “gay” in the title.

ConXn: Do you use Twitter? If so, whom do you follow?

Dr. Huck: No.  I’ve decided that Facebook and Youtube are enough for me right now.  Plus, I think tweets are boring (well, okay, I did spend about 5 minutes following tweets from the supposed riots at Penn State).

ConXn: Do you blog? If so, why?

Dr. Huck: Rarely — generally when I have something to say and don’t care if anyone hears me say it.

ConXn: What are the guilty pleasures in your media diet?

Dr. Huck: I have no guilt about my consumption habits except on those occasions when English teachers send me nonverbal messages that I am not a serious person because I don’t read enough. Oh yes, and when I get similar nonverbal messages of concern from my students when I openly admit to enjoying Sponge Bob Square Pants.