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May 19, 2008 - 5:29am
I received a letter with this title from “Amanda” -- a PhD student at an Ivy League institution who wants to know if she should jump ship. Her letter is excerpted here:
May 19, 2008 - 5:16am
This weekend, TW and I had a chance to visit a couple of really well-known college towns a few states away. (If you're in higher ed, you know them.) My Mom valiantly volunteered to watch TB and TG, so off we went, sans children. The travel was grueling - my kingdom for a cure for traffic - and our other obligations daunting, but we were able to set aside some time to wander the downtowns. I had forgotten how much I missed college towns.
May 17, 2008 - 10:57am
Under the terms of the ACUPCC, Greenback University's greenhouse gas inventory is due in September. The heavy lifting is now done -- we have the numbers in hand. We have reasonable estimates of Greenback's emissions from building operations -- HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), electric, etc.; operation of the campus fleet; commuting by students, staff and faculty; and GU-paid air travel. Also a couple of other activities, but those are the big ones.
May 16, 2008 - 5:48am
1. Need goes unmet for extended period. 2. Unmet need strikes someone with connections. 3. New aid program proposed. Much fanfare. 4. "Christmas tree" amendments added, costs understated, bill passed, hosannas all around. 5. A year of implementation glitches, but spirits remain high. 6. Word gets out - more people than anticipated take advantage of the program. 7. Cost overruns. 8. Idiotic (possibly apocryphal) abuse case gets high public profile. 9. Means test proposed. Committees formed. Abuses investigated.
May 16, 2008 - 5:42am
Recently I have been having many issues with getting all my day to day goals met. Between moving, summer research, grading finals and buying a house (not to mention finally getting on Facebook to keep in touch with students – HUGE TIME SUCKER): life has gotten far more complicated. So I started this new regime where I write my to do list to myself in “letter form” as an email. I write it the night before or first thing in the morning in chunks of four. I feel like three chunks of four seem more accomplishable then a list of 12.
May 15, 2008 - 2:46pm
It's probably just my northeastern liberal elitist upbringing, but when I think of colleges and universities that "get it" on the subject of sustainability, I think first of Oberlin, Middlebury, Harvard, Tufts, maybe Penn or Penn State. Half a beat later, the UCal system (like, what list are they not on?) and The Evergreen State College (gotta love that name, and there's a lot more under the surface) come to mind. But, truth be told, massive multiversity campuses in hydrologically challenging locations don't generally come to mind.
May 15, 2008 - 12:09pm
Last month I went to an organizational meeting for anyone on campus interested in teaching courses (off-campus) for people who traditionally haven’t had the chance to go to university. It’s a worthy project that would help with a number of social ills, but the organizing body doesn’t want publicity at this early stage—not everyone would be down with it politically—so I can’t offer specifics.
May 14, 2008 - 9:56pm
Although I am not a preacher, for the past dozen years or so I've spent my Mother's Day in a black robe. A mortarboard with a tassel hangs awkwardly on my head and about 700 other people around me have the same attire. We file in to music we all know by heart and we sit through speeches and names, endless names, until, at the end, the very end, a large portion of the group throw their mortarboards in the air. At that precise moment, the promise of a new beginning swells up in every person in attendance.
May 14, 2008 - 9:47pm
The story of the Norfolk State professor fired for failing too many students (see IHE's story here) is a kind of inkblot test. My own reaction is conflicted.
May 14, 2008 - 11:11am
The end of every semester is, in a sense, a finality; all those minds I’ve been living in for four months withdraw suddenly and leave only silence. But it’s also false closure, a pretense that students have learned some difficult thing once and for all, when I know good and well that Dr. Trinkle will sit reading their lab reports next fall in his office on the engineering quad, shaking his fist in the direction of the English Building.

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