President's Corner

What I'm Up To Paul LeBlanc

reading
I'm reading:

The Milkman by Anna Burns, the 2018 Booker Prize winner, felt like slow going for the first bit, a leisurely stream of consciousness (not my favorite thing) first person tale of an adolescent girl during “the troubles” in 1970’s Northern Ireland. And then enough plot emerges to pull the reader along and tie the frequent and increasingly delightful digressions into the psychology of terror, sexual threat, adolescence, and a community (and world) that will create your narrative and your identity no matter what you know and believe about yourself. It’s layered, full of black humor, and powerful. It also somehow resonates for our times, where we navigate a newfound dread. It’s way more enjoyable than I just made it sound. One of my favorite reads of this young year.

watching
I'm watching:

I escaped back in time and started re-watching the first season of The West Wing. It is a vision – nostalgic, romantic, perhaps never true – of political leadership driven by higher purpose, American ideals, and moral intelligence. It does not pretend that politics can’t be craven, self-serving, and transactional, but the good guys mostly win in The West Wing, the acting is delightful, and Sorkin’s dialogue zings back and forth in the way of classic Hollywood movies of the 50s – smart, quick, funny. It reminds me – as has often happened during our current crisis – that most people are good and want their community to be a better place. When we appeal to our ideals instead of our fears, we are capable of great things. It’s a nice escape.

listening
I'm listening to:

Out of nowhere and 8 years since his last recording, Bob Dylan last Thursday dropped a new single, the 17-minute (the longest Dylan song ever) “Murder Most Foul.” It’s ostensibly about the murder of President John F. Kennedy, but it’s bigger, more incisive, and elegiac than that alone. The music is gorgeous, his singing is lovely (a phrase rarely used for Dylan even in his prime), and he shows why he was deserving of his 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. It’s worth listening to again and again. The man is a cultural treasure and as relevant as ever.

 

tweeting
I'm tweeting at @snhuprez:

A President's Reflections

Steps to Offer Hope and Empowerment: A Message to the SNHU Community

Posted on June 1, 2020

MEMO To: SNHU Community From: Paul LeBlanc Date: June 1, 2020 Subject: Steps to Offer Hope and Empowerment I have written to you after other events that have shocked our collective conscience – white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, the shootings at the Pulse nightclub, the school shootings in Parkland. With each of those terrible incidents, we felt […]

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Pop Picks

Pop Picks – April 1, 2020

Posted on April 1, 2020

What I’m listening to:  Out of nowhere and 8 years since his last recording, Bob Dylan last Thursday dropped a new single, the 17-minute (the longest Dylan song ever) “Murder Most Foul.” It’s ostensibly about the murder of President John F. Kennedy, but it’s bigger, more incisive, and elegiac than that alone. The music is gorgeous, […]

Read More »
A President's Reflections

Smart, Curious, and Civil – Let’s Give It A Try

Posted on February 3, 2020

The political season has gone from warm to red hot as we move into the presidential primaries and then the general election. As always, New Hampshire is ground zero for much of the nation’s political drama, at least in the first act, though we share that space with the Iowa caucuses and the impeachment trial […]

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Additional Categories:
Current Issues
Pop Picks

Pop Picks – February 3, 2020

Posted on February 3, 2020

What I’m listening to:  Spending 21 hours on airplanes (Singapore to Tokyo to Boston) provides lots of time for listening and in an airport shop I picked up a Rolling Stones magazine that listed the top ten albums of the last ten years. I’ve been systematically working through them, starting with Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. I […]

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A President's Reflections

2019: An Extraordinary Year for SNHU

Posted on January 9, 2020

2019 was an extraordinary year for Southern New Hampshire University. Throughout the year, we celebrated more than 21,000 graduates, gained new friends and colleagues in Tucson, and supported more than 40 organizations across New Hampshire. As the year comes to a close and the SNHU community continues to grow, I wanted to share some of […]

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Pop Picks

Pop Picks – January 2, 2020

Posted on January 2, 2020

What I’m listening to:  I was never really an Amy Winehouse fan and I don’t listen to much jazz or blue-eyed soul. Recently, eight years after she died at only 27, I heard her single Tears Dry On Their Own and I was hooked (the song was on someone’s “ten things I’d want on a deserted island” list). […]

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Pop Picks

Pop Picks – November 25, 2019

Posted on November 25, 2019

My pop picks are usually a combination of three things: what I am listening to, reading, and watching. But last week I happily combined all three. That is, I went to NYC last week and saw two shows. The first was Cyrano, starring Game of Thrones superstar Peter Dinklage in the title role, with Jasmine Cephas Jones as Roxanne. She […]

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A President's Reflections

In Praise of Mistakes and Humility

Posted on November 18, 2019

Universities are “expert cultures,” where status accrues with each successive degree and being really smart is valued most. In such a culture, mistakes are often treated as failures of intelligence or capacity and asking for help or admitting struggle is seen as weakness. The irony here is that universities, of all organizations, mostly squander the […]

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A President's Reflections

The Power of Hope

Posted on November 1, 2019

I recently spent three days at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, one of the world’s largest with nearly 200,000 displaced people, with my colleagues in the Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship. Our Global Education Movement (GEM) works to bring full Southern New Hampshire University degree programs to refugee learners in the camp, so our team knows the […]

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Pop Picks

Pop Picks – October 31, 2019

Posted on October 31, 2019

October 31, 2019 What I’m listening to:  It drove his critics crazy that Obama was the coolest president we ever had and his summer 2019 playlist on Spotify simply confirms that reality. It has been on repeat for me. From Drake to Lizzo (God I love her) to Steely Dan to Raphael Saadiq to Sinatra […]

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