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December 18, 2007
No.Oh God, no.No, no, no.Nein. Nyet. Non. Huh-uh. Negative.I'll qualify that. Extra credit that's built into the syllabus from day one, available to all students equally and in advance, can be defensible. I'd worry if it counted for very much -- a course grade should ultimately reflect performance on the core of the course, rather than the periphery -- but I can see an argument for moving a B to a B-plus in an art history class if the student does (and documents) some museum trips, say.
December 18, 2007
There has to be a better way.I have what seems like thirty thousand logins, each requiring its own username and password combination. (That's not even counting PIN numbers.) Since the identity theft awareness campaigns have gained steam, some of these systems have changed their password rules to prevent anything easy toremember. As the number of username/password combinations has metastasized, I've found exactly three ways of dealing with the information cascade, none satisfactory.
December 17, 2007
It's specious, writes Philip Larkin in his fear-of-death poem, Aubade, for philosophers to tell us thatNo rational beingCan fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing thatThat this is what we fear: no sight, no sound,No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with...
December 16, 2007
This is really an exercise in idea-stealing, rather than a developed thought.Have you seen (or do you work at) a cc that does a consistently good job of presenting its faculty in public settings as local experts?
December 14, 2007
I can explain later (or not), but I'm quite serious. Please answer the following:John or Paul, and why?
Me
December 13, 2007
Paul has said, famously, that the song “Yesterday” came to him in a dream. It was so complete that he couldn’t believe it was original and went around humming the tune to see if people had heard it before.
December 12, 2007
This week I ran into another of those "the policies make sense, but the application is silly" scenarios. A wonderful, well-credentialed, hardworking, and well-respected leader of the full-time staff asked me about redefining her job so that it would include a half-time teaching component in her field of expertise. (It's a relatively specialized area, and her academic credentials are more than good enough.
December 12, 2007
This is a dirty little industry secret.In some necks of the woods -- moneyed ones, especially -- this is the time of year when we start to see a parade of young men and women with hangdog expressions and very angry parents. The students went "away" to expensive residential colleges in September, and partied their way to a GPA that starts with a zero. Come December or January, their parents drag them to the local cc as a sort of combination boot camp and purgatory, usually with some sort of "improve or else" mandate to the student.
December 11, 2007
In a story in yesterday's IHE about for-profit companies taking over nonprofit colleges -- the gist of the story was that the "trend" is tiny and unlikely to grow anytime soon -- a particular quote really jumped out at me.
December 10, 2007
It’s nearly finals time, and parents everywhere are worried for their children, who live so far away at university and are under such stress.

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