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April 3, 2008
A friend of mine, at SUNY's School of Environmental Science and Forestry, forwarded me this email, which apparently went out to every student:
April 2, 2008
Dr. Crazy has a terrific post about the differences between pseudonymity and anonymity. To oversimplify, pseudonymity attaches a persona to the writing, where anonymity doesn't. Over time, a sustained pseudonym becomes a character, an alter ego, generating reader expectations of relative consistency. Anonymous posts are more like shouts in the dark.
April 1, 2008
A frustrated correspondent writes:I work in a service department. Another department, which is a large client of ours, has scoured the records of grades to determine which instructors in our department are easy graders and which are hard graders. They are now advising their students to try to get into the sections taught by the easy graders.
April 1, 2008
Happy April Fool’s Day, from registered fool number one. Here are three video clips for your amusement. You don't have to be an adjunct to view them, but it helps.
March 31, 2008
At dinner last night with The Wife, The Boy, and The Girl:TW: How was CCD today?TB: Good.TW: Did you get to sit next to Kelsey?TB: No, but I got really close.TW: How close?TB: Almost right next to her. She loves me.TW: She does?TB: Mm-hmm.TW: How do you know when a girl loves you?(pause)TB (smiling shyly): They give signs.DD: (snuffled guffaw)TW (accusingly): Did you teach him this?DD: Hey, I'm innocent here.TW: Did Daddy teach you this?TB: No.
March 31, 2008
Sometimes, it's what you don't plan that goes well.Earth Hour, an event which originated only last year on the other side of the world (Sydney, Australia), and which has gotten some promotion from the World Wildlife Fund, was something which came upon us sustainability administrators almost unheralded.
March 30, 2008
...laptops tend to mean you're not getting any. 37 percent of Americans bring laptops (and other disconnect-anxiety stuff) to bed with them; more and more people "choose the internet or TV over intercourse," worries the tech news site, Switched. The professor gazing at rows of laptops in her classroom is gazing at a roomful of witless celibates.
March 30, 2008
A longtime reader writes:I'll be starting a Ph.D. program in History in the Fall. I know the risks, and I took three years after I got my B.A. to decide whether academic life was really that important to me. In the meantime, though, I've done a number of different jobs. Most recently, I've been substitute teaching in a few local school districts.
March 29, 2008
Paycheck envy aside, I'm glad I'm not a university president. Long hours, too many constituencies bringing too many competing priorities, little chance of establishing consensus criteria for success (crisis situations aside), and employees who are unmanageable and (often) proud of it.From time to time, though, university presidents do get a chance to say something important. Larry Edward Penley, president of Colorado State, recently did so in these pages.
March 28, 2008
Champaign-Urbana is not a small town, though it’s often thought of as one. It’s actually two cities, of course, with separate governments. Urbana is the county seat and address of America’s 14th-largest campus; Champaign is home to the second-largest food manufacturing plant in the world, a 1.6-million square foot Kraft facility that makes enough processed American cheese slices in a year to “stretch from Champaign to the moon."

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