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  • Confessions of a Community College Dean

    In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.

Friday Fragments
March 22, 2012 - 8:45pm

Note to software/hardware vendors: if you want to make the case that what you’re selling will overturn teaching and learning as we know them, don’t do so with a four-hour lecture.

I’m just sayin’.

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A rare “bravo!” to Colorado for considering legalizing a multiyear contract system for college faculty.  The only way we’re going to move to sustainable fairness is to get away from the Manichean tenure/adjunct dichotomy.  Here’s hoping the idea starts making its way East.

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The Girl demonstrated some unnerving ingenuity last week.  We stopped for ice cream in celebration of The Boy’s terrific school conference, and TG had a cone.  She poked a hole in the side of the cone, about an inch up from the bottom, and stuck her straw in it.  Then she started sucking the melting ice cream through the straw.  

Yes, dear readers, my daughter invented the ice cream bong.

I am fairly bursting with pride.

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You read that your local community college has a 25 percent graduation rate.  Leaving aside the crimped definition of ‘graduation rate’ that has become the industry standard -- in which students who transfer elsewhere before finishing, then finish there, count as dropouts -- does it then follow that if you enroll there, you have a 25 percent chance of graduating?

No.  

If you don’t understand why that is, please don’t write articles and books in which you attack community colleges.  Because you literally don’t know what you’re talking about.

Hint: different demographic niches of students graduate at very different rates.  Different majors graduate at different rates.  Students who intend to graduate do so at much higher rates than those that don’t.  The overall institutional number is the average of all of those.  But you aren’t.

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Great Moments in Parenting: The Boy is casting about for this year’s science fair project.  He’s trying to come up with some sort of renewably-powered engine.  Conversation ensues:

TB: Wouldn’t it be cool if I could make a car that runs on poop?

TW: Or maybe one that runs on Daddy’s farts!

DD: They are renewable.

TB: No, that’s a fossil fuel.

DD: I am not a fossil!

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Of course, to a ten-year-old, I am a fossil.  Sometimes I forget.

 

 

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