February 4, 2007

"Clinical and podium faculty" ... podium faculty?

"Podium faculty"? Is that what we're going to start calling lawprofs who don't teach in the clinics? A Google search shows that this term, which I encountered on a faculty email list, is a new coinage.

Ironically, at my law school, all the podiums were ripped out when the building was last renovated. Without a ramp, podiums are not wheelchair accessible. I understand, though I still find it uncomfortable to teach in a room with banked seating designed in relation to the now-nonexistent podiums.

But much as I like real podiums, I balk at being called "podium faculty." It sounds pejorative, but is it apt? "Pod-" means "foot," and we're just standing there, being pedantic; and "ped-" also means "foot," the appendage beneath which you might want to see us crushed for thinking teaching could be done with nothing but language.

16 comments:

Kirby Olson said...

You could have somebody make you a podium for about 50 dollars or less. And then carry it around with you. I can't understand clinical faculty. Clinical sounds like biology faculty or chemistry.

We have podiums in the basement of our building that can be used by the few that still like to use them. I think they send the wrong message to my own students. I want them to be able to talk with me, but the podium sends the message that this is going to be a one-way conversation.

How many students do you have per semester? Do you have seminars where you "talk about law" with the students, or is this all lecture format?

vbspurs said...

Fancy a podcaster balking at being called podium faculty.

Do you not go to a podiatrist? Do you wince at being referred to as a pedestrian?

The words impeach (Lat. -pedica, to snare), octopus, trapeze, pajama, pioneer, and pilot all come from the words for feet/pod.

Or is it perhaps the impudic sound to the phrase, "podium faculty" that irritates?

Would "sympodium faculty" be more to your taste?

Of course, that word is a quasi-homophone, but not a synonym for podium.

Sympodium:

A primary axis that develops from a series of short lateral branches and often has a zigzag or irregular form...

Ziz-zag or irregular form...

That may well describe your lectures. I say, go for it.

Cheers,
Victoria

Ann Althouse said...

Kirby: Actually, the thing they took out of the room couldn't be carried around. It was two feet high and about 20' x 10' -- a stage that you could pace around on or, for maximum dramatic effect -- fall off of.

Smilin' Jack said...

But much as I like real podiums, I balk at being called "podium faculty." It sounds pejorative, but is it apt? "Pod-" means "foot," and we're just standing there, being pedantic; and "ped-" also means "foot,"...

So you like podiums (podia?), and "pod-" = "ped-"...Hmmm...I'd say you're very close to being a pedophile.

Ann Althouse said...

Smilin' Jack: It should mean foot fetishist then. Original spelling: paedophile.

Bissage said...

Podium faculty? That's a mighty ugly sounding combo.

Still, it's better than "dais teachers."

Well, maybe.

Peter Palladas said...

...Cheers,
Victoria


...whatever planet that woman inhabits I want to be there. Surrealists' paradise and my own home. Buy me a ticket someone.

Simon said...

"Ironically, at my law school, all the podiums were ripped out when the building was last renovated. Without a ramp, podiums are not wheelchair accessible. I understand..."

I'm not sure that I do. If the problem can be resolved by either removing the podiums (which self-evidently serve a valuable function) or by installing ramps, why not just install ramps?

The Drill SGT said...

What Ann calls Podium Faculty was in my experience called "Platform Instruction" and what they ripped out was a raised platform, not a speaker's podium.

I think that what Ann is seeing is a subtle attempt to redefine instruction by the more progressive elements (e.g. clinical types) to the detriment of the faculty dinosaurs (e.g. Podium faculty)

vbspurs said...

...whatever planet that woman inhabits I want to be there. Surrealists' paradise and my own home. Buy me a ticket someone.

Woo. I must be getting rather good at this Maxine Weiss hommage thingie.

BTW, last time I heard Loose Change was on its 400th revision, but the first, the best version was the one which still had their "pods" theory.

Good stuff, that.

Cheers,
Victoria

Ann Althouse said...

Victoria: Why be just a commenter when you can be a persona?

Simon: You have to put the ramp somewhere. This is a classroom, and there were doors on either side of the stage. Just nowhere to put a ramp. Ramps have to be pretty long in relation to the height. They take up a lot more room than steps.

Peter Palladas said...

Woo. I must be getting rather good at this Maxine Weiss hommage thingie.


OK it's official. Ann, Victoria and I are now a threesome. Vblogs will be available to the highest bidder - but only if you have impeccable (that is not sinful) taste. No pervies need apply, just folk needing to cut past known boundaries of experience.

Cheers...;)

Simon said...

Re ramps, I guess that makes sense if it wasn't physically feasible to fit a ramp into the space available.

vbspurs said...

Victoria: Why be just a commenter when you can be a persona?

Because pretending to be something that you're not is rather neurotic?

Of course, if one's real personality is eccentric, without any work on one's part, just nature being nature, then there's no need to rely on being interesting as a persona.

Divas, of all people, can relate.

Anyway, Maxine is fun (hey Maxine!). Thanks for making me come around to that fact, Ann.

Cheers,
Victoria

Riikka said...

Now I get it. Like an entrance ramp to a bridge in Manhattan requires about a quarter or a half of a mile, while the bridge itself could be less than that. So taking it out is sort of like removing the tree from the Sea-Tac airport. If everybody can't use it, nobody can.

I think that this is the same logic.

Bissage said...

Come to think of it, there probably should be "gonopodium faculty." In the Biology Department.