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October 19, 2007
What are the odds? There was actually a staggeringly brilliant piece in the New York Times yesterday! (The piece is here.) Gail Collins fired off several great ones, but my personal fave:
October 19, 2007
I’m in Chicago, since Crazy Larry finally got me a comp ticket to the play he’s in. It’s a good deal.
October 18, 2007
A former cc administrator -- who is not me -- did a piece in the Chronicle about deans and chairs needing to trust faculty. Much of the piece is actually spot-on. I can't imagine issuing a bathroom break policy, or walking around the hallways with a stopwatch and a clipboard. And the point about distrusting negative gossip is both true and easy to forget in those early days.But then there's this:
October 17, 2007
A regular correspondent writes:Lots of people are showing up in class these days who have been cut off from their computer accounts because of unpaid bills. There they are, ready to write--but I'm supposed to send them to the business office to settle their bills.I tell them the business office is mad at them for owing money, and they need to get down there PDQ. So far, so good. Then I log them into my account so they can have class and write.
October 17, 2007
My friend Chip wants to be my life coach. He said those words. When I asked what he meant, he said he has the objectivity to help me make important decisions—mostly writing- and career-related—that will “get you where you want to be.”I rarely put good advice to use, let alone that of a guy who orders three entrees when he goes to IHOP so he can be sure he’s not missing out on something.
October 16, 2007
One of UD's readers sends her an article from the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia, which represents an instructive fable on the importance of maintaining honor among thieves. In this sequence of events, one diploma mill fraudster brought down another, only to be brought down himself by the guy he brought down. If you catch my drift. It's a bit complicated. Let's take a look at the article:
October 16, 2007
The Girl is in training to be Supreme Ruler of the Earth.She has already conquered the opposite sex. One of the boys in her nursery school class – I'll call him Millhaus – has taken quite a shine to TG. We got a call from Millhaus' Mom saying that every day when he gets home, it's TG this and TG that, and would we like to set up a playdate?TG's first date.The Wife asked TG if she knew Millhaus. TG's response: “Who?”After all these years, it's nice to be on the other side of that one.
October 15, 2007
In the debates over health insurance, I've rarely heard anyone make the point – obvious, to anyone who works in the public sector – that one of the drivers of cost increases for us is the number of employees we have whose spouses use our health insurance to allow them to start their own businesses or to work part-time.
October 15, 2007
Last Thursday I was already worn out by early afternoon, and when I had let my last class go, I listened to Mrs. Churm’s message in disbelief. If I remembered, she said, we had theater tickets, and not in town, but at the University of Illinois’ Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. I hadn’t remembered.
October 13, 2007
One of my own professors said that when he retired he was going to put on his jammies and spend the rest of his life watching Bergman on DVD. That doesn’t sound crazy to me, though I might throw in a really good library and an endless supply of crisp refrigerated pickles.

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