Sunday, January 12, 2014
Inside Higher Ed: Kindness Is Possible:
Word association game time.
First word: Academic.
Chances are, “kindness” wasn’t the first thing that came to mind. (Indeed, much has been said and written about the abundance of just the opposite in academe: pettiness, to put it nicely.) But a new blog aims to change that. The Academic Kindness Tumblr is a place for students and professors to post random and not-so-random acts of kindness they’ve witnessed during their studies or work, to remind themselves and others that colleges and universities may not be so inhospitable after all.
The Tumblr seeks “outtakes from peer reviews, emails, marginal comments on seminar papers, and other examples of kindness to publish as a testimony that not all academics are brutish self-centered narcissists who delight in tearing apart the work of others for sport,” according to a post from its moderator, Rabia Gregory, an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Missouri at Columbia. “Many more do pay it forward with gifts of time, inspirational words, and random acts of kindness. By publicizing these acts of academic kindness I hope to document that generosity and compassion are normative in academia.”