29 May 2009

Becoming a teacher and a Michigan Wolverine

I'm excited to report that I have decided to enter the University of Michigan School of Education's Secondary MAC (MA in Education with Secondary Certification) program in mid-June. The program is 12 months long and includes over 1,000 hours of classroom experience as a student teacher and substitute teacher, resulting in full certification.

I look forward to finding unique ways to show my students the importance of learning and reading as well as the value of informed engagement with current events and politics. I also want to grow into a caring and effective mentor. And, finally, I hope to learn from my classroom experience in order to become a more informed and articulate advocate for education reform.

I am very, very sad to be moving from Chicago after living here for five years. I will miss my tiny apartment in East Lakeview and having easy access to my favorite places - the lakefront, Mickey's Grille, Avenue Tavern, and Stella's Diner in East Lakeview, the Noble Tree Cafe in Lincoln Park, the Grind and the Old Town School of Folk Music in Lincoln Square, the Pub and Powell's Books in Hyde Park, Myopic Books in Wicker Park, Lao Beijing in Chinatown, and the Borders on Michigan Ave., among others. But I will be visiting at least once a month over the next year.

The next three weeks will be incredibly busy. I'll be packing, moving, finding a subletter in Chicago and a temporary place to stay in Ann Arbor, working for a few more weeks, and spending as much time as possible with my friends in Chicago. But I am thrilled to be entering the program and stepping into the next stage of my life and career.

15 May 2009

Out of Range: The ethics of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan

My latest op-ed, "Out of Range," appeared in this morning's edition of Antiwar.com. In it, I explore the ethical dilemma of the U.S.'s ongoing campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan. This is shaping up to be one of the hottest contemporary debates in foreign policy circles.

I write: "Technology and wealth have made it possible for the U.S. to exercise decisive military power anywhere in the world. But our technology and our wealth often outrun our wisdom, our prudence, and our moral sensibilities."
"With the exception of the pacifist and nonviolent traditions, most of our moral thinking about war acknowledges that there are at least some circumstances under which violence and killing, including organized political violence (or war), is morally acceptable. But are our theories about the ethics of warmaking up to the task of determining when, if ever, it is permissible to kill a relatively impotent enemy from a safe and anonymous distance, by robot or missile?"
"For their operators, controlling these 'drones' must not be so different from playing a video game – something almost fictional, bearing at most a tangential relationship to the reality of face-to-face killing and dying that informed our ability to understand the depth of the tragedies of previous wars we have fought."

If you enjoy the op-ed, please take a moment to pass it along to others who might be interested.

Other columnists featured on Antiwar.com today: University of Chicago international relations theorist John J. Mearsheimer (also my former M.A. thesis advisor!), legendary New Left activist Tom Hayden, University of Michigan historian Juan Cole, Senior Editor at Time.com Tony Karon, and Salon.com contributor and Constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald.