The Return of Mary Queen of Scots to Edinburgh, James Drummond, 1870
Signs Your Children Returned to College
by Laura
The kitchen has been clean all day.
All of your cars now fit in the driveway.
There are enough clothes hangers in the house.
The dog has been cuddling by you all day.
No one has attempted to change the thermostat.
You haven’t tripped over shoes lying in the laundry room.
There have been no complaints about what groceries you bought.
No one has asked to borrow your bluetooth speaker.
Their random friends have not shown up when it’s time to eat dinner.
There’s plenty of ice in the freezer, and you’ve unhidden your favorite chocolate.
There have been calls about the cost of plastic tubs at Target.
And, all of the box fans are sold out – how can that be?
You’ve also fielded inquiries about the safest way to put up a poster, and
Been told that the cafeteria has five types of non dairy milk.
A panicked call asked if you’d immediately scan and send immunization records – there’s a hold on her registration.
Yet another wondered if taking Spanish makes more sense than French.
Texts have also popped up – some with pictures of the roommate’s unmade bed (so messy!);
Yet others ask about coming home for Labor Day weekend.
One actually said she misses you.
Now settled, near midnight the night before classes begin, the calls and texts
Have stopped, and the house is too clean, too quiet, and too empty.
Returning to old friends: proFile of Jyotika Saksena

by Suzette....
One of the things I have loved most about my academic career is meeting women from around the world. This was particularly the case in graduate school, when many of the women in my classrooms were international students. While we often get busy in our careers and move on to our respective positions all over the country and around the globe, I regularly reflect fondly on those graduate school days when we worked hard, yes, but also enjoyed an occasional (or regular) brunch or beer with classmates. Jyotika Saksena is one of my favorite memories from my graduate school days. She and her husband, Milind, taught me much about their home country of India – and about the necessity of building bonds, even when it may be difficult to maintain them over long distances and time. This is my conversation with Jyotika about her nearly two-decade career at the University of Indianapolis. It has been a pleasure to return to an old friend for her insight and wisdom about the life of women in academia.

Could you tell us about your background – where you grew up, where you went to college, what you studied and why?
I grew up in Delhi, India. I did my undergraduate majoring in Political Science from Delhi University and Masters in International Relations and an M.Phil. degree in American Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi. JNU was one of the top schools for International Relations in India. One needed to take an entrance exam to get admission. After getting two degrees from there though, I wanted to go somewhere else for my PhD. I decided to follow in my father's footsteps and took the GRE to study in the United States.

You have studied in both India and the United States – how do you compare those experiences?
They are both very different styles of education system though with some overlaps. In India, we were not assigned any books but were given a list of books that we could consult to make our notes. I paid in total $100 or less for my undergraduate and graduate studies. I did go to a top women's college for my undergraduate education in India. We had good lecturers that allowed for class discussion and more interaction. One major difference was that, in general, both at school and college level there were more female teachers/professors than male. Teaching has always been considered a good profession for women, so it is heavily tilted in favor of women. I have found a more obvious bias against women professors in the United States that I did not see in India.

In addition, there is much more emphasis in the US on teaching how to write, especially focusing on issues of plagiarism, than there is in India. I love the flexibility of the US education system, which allows you to select and change your major with ease. In India, the process is very difficult and you are forced to make very definite choices right after the 10th grade in high school. Also, the concept of student evaluation does not exist in India. This means that teachers do not have an incentive to stay on top of their teaching material. On the other hand, I feel that both students and faculty are much more well-rounded in India and have a broad knowledge even outside their fields of interest, whereas in the US most are very narrowly focused and are not embarrassed to say that they know nothing about another area within their discipline. For example, an Americanist in the US will say very proudly, “I know nothing about International Relations.” You could not get away with that in India.

Return of the Trends

by Kari
It is interesting what trends return and what trends never come back (thankfully). Sure, you can live with making a bad fashion choice, but some of the fashion trends we are photographed in can make us ask for forgiveness years down the road. What was I thinking? typically comes to mind; “It was the style back then!” is often uttered. But the reality is, if we look around and see everyone else rocking a trend (aka making the same silly mistake), it can be tough to resist. For some reason, seeing shoulder pads for the thirteenth time on someone makes it finally feel “okay.”

I am guilty, too. I remember seeing the skinny jean on someone for the first time. Most times “what’s in” makes me cringe. The skinny jean made me almost laugh out loud (I withheld, not wanting to hurt feelings). Now my closet is full of – you guessed it – skinny jeans. These are the ones that are tapered all the way down and make us wonder if bellbottoms or boot cut will ever make a comeback. Chances are, unfortunately, yes. And when they do, guess what will find its way back into my closet? Wide-legged wonders.

Why do we tend to go with trend? Honestly (brutally), not all things happening on the runway and in department stores necessarily look good on everyone. There is a lot to take into account when a trend returns:

What’s My Age Again?

I hate to say it. And it hurts. Working in higher education means the students stay the same age. However, we get older each year. Some things don’t look as youthful (or somehow “right”) on me as they do on my 18-year-old student. Face it: overalls might not look as cute on you at work as they do on your student arriving to class. Who wants to pull an ultimate “twinkie” moment with someone half your age? Save the new overall return for the weekend and garden woes. You can thank me later. (Spoiler alert: overalls are huge right now . Don’t believe me? Just wait).

Back to School Playlist
Returning Emails Too Often During the Day? There Are Consequences.

by Laura
I’ll begin with a confession. When I’m up at four in the morning suffering from insomnia, the first thing I do is grab my phone and check email – all my email accounts. More often than not, I find benign messages. These are from listservs, or the occasional night owl student. Sometimes I even find a gem – a former student thanking me for my indelible mark on his or her life. But other times, I find a message that prolongs my sleeplessness; the complaint or request for information that will take hours to generate.
I’m not alone in my email addiction. According to Mashable, many of us average over two hours a day on emailing , and extending that time into our personal life may be detrimental. I have also noticed a growing impatience when it comes to email: so many of us demand an immediate response, and this has forced email into a near synchronous experience. In fact, one report states that nearly 75% of workers return email within one hour . This was my experience in July when I was teaching an online section of composition. One Sunday, a student sent the same email to both my regular email and D2L email three times within the span of an afternoon, the implication being that they were expecting a rapid response.
As my concern grows for how much my academic life disrupts my personal life, I have wondered how I can become more strategic when checking email. One idea came last semester as I read a colleague’s syllabus submitted for an award I was adjudicating. She had the most revolutionary statement next to her email address: “Please note that I do not answer emails from 5PM on Friday until 9AM on Monday.” My first thought was, Should I do this? My second thought? I probably won’t . Checking my email is an obsession – one that may be counterproductive, but an obsession all the same.