Time for a change

I haven’t blogged here and needed a fresh start in order to get going again. So, hop over to maxsussman.com where I’ve got all the old posts and comments and some new ones already.

(This means I won’t be blogging here but will keep writing as much as I can at the new site).


Chaiten Volcano

I’m way overdue for a post, and this isn’t that post. But in case you didn’t know, the Michimaguida (which the media has apparently renamed the Chaiten Volcano) blew and Chaiten and Futuleufu have been evacuated. Chaiten was the closest town to one of Martin Pescador lodges. I was about two hours further south. It’s kind of hard to find information online about the towns further south of Chaiten, but I emailed a coworker who lives there so hopefully I’ll hear back from her. Luckily I don’t think there have been any reported injuries from the volcano, which is continuing to erupt.

Cake, Fire

I recommend drawing a diagram first if you plan to light a cake on fire.



In Support of Tenure for Andrea Smith

One of my most inspiring professors at U of M was recently denied tenure:

Also check out this more personal post from Greater Detroit.

Statement of University of Michigan Students and Faculty in Support of Andrea Smith’s Tenure Case
CONTACT: TenureForAndreaSmith@gmail.com

On February 22nd, 2008, University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA) issued a negative tenure recommendation for Assistant Professor Andrea Lee Smith. Jointly appointed in the Program in American Culture and the Department of Women’s Studies, Dr. Smith’s body of scholarship exemplifies scholarly excellence with widely circulated articles in peer-reviewed journals and numerous books in both university and independent presses including Native Americans and the Christian Right published this year by Duke University Press. Dr. Smith is one of the greatest indigenous feminist intellectuals of our time. A nominee for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Smith has an outstanding academic and community record of service that is internationally and nationally recognized. She is a dedicated professor and mentor and she is an integral member of the University of Michigan (UM) intellectual community. Her reputation and pedagogical practices draw undergraduate and graduate students from all over campus and the nation.

Dr. Smith received the news about her tenure case while participating in the United States’ hearings before the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Ironically, during those very same hearings, the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court decisions that restricted affirmative action policies at UM specifically were cited as violations of international law. At the same time, there is an undeniable link between the Department of Women’s Studies and LSA’s current tenure recommendations and the long history of institutional restrictions against faculty of color. In 2008, students of color are coming together to protest the way UM’s administration has fostered an environment wherein faculty of color are few and far between, Ethnic Studies course offerings have little financial and institutional support, and student services for students of color are decreasing each year.

To Support Professor Andrea Smith: The Provost must hear our responses! Write letters in support of Andrea Smith’s tenure case. Address email letters to ALL of the following:

* Teresa Sullivan, Provost and Executive VP for Academic Affairs, LSA, tsull@umich.edu
* Lester Monts, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, LSA, lmonts@umich.edu
* Mary Sue Coleman, President, PresOff@umich.edu
* TenureForAndreaSmith@gmail.com

Voice your ideas on the web forum at http://www.woclockdown.org/

To Support Women of Color at Michigan and the Crisis of Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies: Attend the student organized March 15th Conference at UM!!!! Campus Lockdown: Women of Color Negotiating the Academic Industrial Complex is free and open to the public. Speakers include renowned activists and scholars Piya Chatterjee, Angela Davis, Rosa Linda Fregoso, Ruthie Gilmore, Fred Moten, Clarissa Rojas, and Haunani-Kay Trask. For more information and to register, visit: http://www.woclockdown.org/.


Making Oven-Dried Tomatoes

We can’t really buy anything fancy down here (yes, dried cherries, rye flour, and rice vinegar fall in that category) plus making stuff from scratch is fun, so we (meaning I) make oven-dried tomatoes every week, for sandwiches and pizza.

Here’s how. Take some sliced tomatoes, and squeeze out the part with the seeds. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little brown sugar if you are so inclined. In a few minutes the tomatoes will begin sweating our their juices.
Oven-dried Tomatoes Step 1

All right, then put them in an oven at 200F. After a few hours, the tomatoes’ liquid has evaporated off, leaving sweet, richly flavored, tomato-y goodness.
Oven-dried Tomatoes Step 2

Our Greenhouse

So this is our greenhouse. In it we have cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, cilantro, basil, parsley, and swiss chard. There’s a garden on the left with fava beans, peas, and more herbs. There’s a lot of greenhouses down here, probably at least 10 or so (it’s a lot in a town of 500), not counting the greenhouses owned by Don Fito, the amazing mostly-organic farmer who supplies us with most of our produce. The weather is pretty similar to Michigan from what I’ve seen so far (we’re on nearly the same latitude here).  They’re far from fancy, either, since there’s not too much extra money down here.  Mostly wood and some plastic tarp, and it gets the job done. Makes me think putting up a small greenhouse isn’t really that hard after all…

Chasing the Cow

So, from what I gathered, at the rodeo, two caballeros chase around a small cow and then try to ram it into the wall, or get to run in the other direction. I couldn’t really understand the details, but it didn’t seem like that much fun the the cow. In answer to this, my Chilean co-workers said, “Yes, but in Spain it’s way worse.” Touché?