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.