Joe Chaney

The Trouble With Being Correct

Jun 29, 2018

Amid debates over the costs of higher education, I’ve been reflecting on what it means to be a student. What kind of citizen are we trying to produce, and what is that transformation worth? Some of the things that universities do are virtually spiritual missions. One core mission is to help students develop an internal sense of authority.

 

Facing the Tiger

Apr 13, 2018

The best art is not tame, but wild, like a caged animal whose enclosure seems at first to be a protective barrier but expands and grows around us, so that almost before we know it we are alone with the tiger. Such art convicts us of our inadequacies, helping us to live with a refreshed sense of honesty. It makes us more serious about our lives. This happened to me in Tokyo last year, and I’ve been reliving the experience all this week during the visit of Taiko drummer Erika Fujii.

Tony Krabill

Before the winter weather hit, my wife and I were deeply into the quest of finding a new house. Nothing is forcing us to move. Maybe we’re driven partly by consumerist urges. Clicking through online photos of dens and kitchens and sunrooms and backyards, we were looking for the right combination of features. We were patient shoppers. With each day we were getting a better sense of what we wanted, but as we clarified our goals, the flaws of particular homes seemed more significant, causing us to hesitate.

On Formality

Dec 29, 2017

My resolution for the new year is to become more formal. As a professor, I have to decide whether my students should call me Professor Chaney, Dr. Chaney, or just plain Joe. My bias has been toward informality. I came up in the profession in California, where informality is the rule, and when I first arrived at IU South Bend, many of my students were actually older than I. There were many non-traditional students in those days. Now my students are much younger, and they seem to need and want the formal distance, along with the idealism that it can foster.

Wonder Woman in America

Nov 3, 2017

The recent sexual harassment scandals involving movie moguls and other powerful media men has led to thoughtful commentary on the sexualizing of women. We hear how some of the male perpetrators regularly discussed the sexual appeal of female performers. Call it the “locker room talk” of the news and entertainment business. Outside the locker room of executive offices, this evaluation encourages women to strive for attention from men.