Skip to content

The Alumni Blog : freedom to speak

  • Average rating:
    My Life as a Geek: Defining Moments

    Just this week, the United States National Science Foundation released its annual report listing the "geekiest cities in America." The findings were less than surprising. Hello, San Francisco! Great to see you, San Mateo! How's the weather, Boston? A few dark horses threw themselves in here and there (Nice to meet you, Destin, Florida!), but for the most part the so-called "geekiest" cities were just about where you'd expect them to be. What was surprising about the report was the definition of "geek" as detailed by the Foundation. According to them, a geek is "any worker with a bachelor's level of knowledge and education in science or engineering-related fields or workers in occupations that require some degree of technical knowledge or training." Now, granted, this definition of geek works specifically within the parameters of the Foundation itself and is meant more as a broad term for those engaged in the technical or scientific professions. But then are they really geeks? Are...

    More >>

    Posted by Mrs. Katie Mauro Zeigler on Aug 10 2011 8:24PM | 2 comments

  • Average rating:
    When It's Dangerous to Write - art as insurrection

    During the spring, I was telling audiences on the West Coast that my book would likely be banned in China for its scenes of peasant protests. “Does anyone have connections to publish it underground?” No one raised their hand; a few smiled.

    Ai Weiwei, the artist that China’s government loves to hate, was taken away by authorities in early April. Until his release on bail just a few days ago, he had effectively been disappeared for almost three months. Internationally known for his art and activism, he was a persona non grata in China. It’s a harsh reminder that my freedom to write as an American cannot be taken for granted. I wonder if I would really have the courage to push the boundaries of artist expression if I lived in China, where the personal is increasingly political, and art is seen as insurrection against the state. And if I published this blog in Chinese, on my native soil, would the authorities come after me, too?

    It’s e...

    More >>

    Posted by Ms. Li Miao Lovett on Jun 25 2011 9:14PM | 0 comments