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November 11, 2007
A left coast correspondent writes (this is a long one):We have had a kerfuffle blow up today at my CC. This morning our VP of Student Services sent out the following email:
November 11, 2007
My friend Dan and I grew up together. He and his wife are the godparents of our sons, and they have two children about the same ages.
November 9, 2007
I had thought parents’ night at Starbuck’s kindergarten was for the kids to show us their artwork, which hung around the walls. They’d made enough fruit salad earlier in the day to fill a gigantic punch bowl, and the bananas had gone black. There were also six baby carrots and six celery sticks. It was long after dinner, nearly the kids’ bedtime, and none of the parents touched the food. The kids served themselves neat, perfect portions and stood eating them from paper plates, like small faculty members at an honors banquet.
November 8, 2007
Becky Hirta's recent post about grades got me thinking. My college doesn't give 'plus' or 'minus' semester grades -- you can get a B, but not a B-plus or a B-minus. The topic comes up for discussion about once a year.The argument for pluses and minuses is basically that they offer greater precision. There's some distance between a B-plus and a B-minus, but in our system, that difference is erased. By the same token, if a student is on the border between two letters, there's more at stake in the decision which way to go.
November 8, 2007
My cc, like most community colleges and many lower-tier four-year colleges, doesn't have dorms. Since it's located in suburbia, public transportation options are extremely limited and not very good. So most students, and almost all employees, drive. (A select few ride one of the rare buses.) We even refer to it as a commuter college.
November 6, 2007
Apparently, there's a candy now called "Nerds." The Boy got some in his Halloween loot, and opened the box after dinner last night.The following ensued.TB: NERDS!The Wife: (chuckle)DD: Ouch.TB: I like nerds!The Wife and DD: (chuckle)TB: Mmm. Nerds are sweet.TW/DD: (snarfle)(TB spills some.)TB: Uh-oh! There's a nerd by The Girl!TW: There certainly is.DD: Harumph.TW: How do you feel about that, DD?DD: Exposed. I've been outed.TB: Huh?DD: Do you know what a nerd is?TB: No.
November 6, 2007
When, in 2004, UD started blogging at her flagship campus, University Diaries I, she was amazed at the story of Kerri Dunn, a visiting psychology professor at Claremont McKenna College who earned her own Wikipedia page, a year in prison, and a $20,000 fine for covering her car with gruesome symbols, including a swastika, and then claiming to have been the victim of a hate crime.
November 5, 2007
A new correspondent writes:So here it is: I teach (adjunct) Anthropology and Cultural "Survey" at a local art college that awards a BA in Visual Communication. I taught Anthro. last semester, and it was well received by both students and faculty (they asked me back.) We have a new "academic advisor", who has decided that all syllabi will follow his "meta-chart", including course content, goals, learning objectives. The problem is ... there is no Anthro. committee or other faculty. This advisor teaches Design, and has never taken an Anthro class in his life.
November 4, 2007
An occasional correspondent writes:After many years as a full-time faculty member at a community college, I have decided to apply for tenure track positions at four-year colleges. My question is about letters of recommendation. Who should I ask for letters? For several reasons, I do not want my current dean to know that I am "on the market," which means I can't ask him for a letter of recommendation. Are letters from faculty colleagues ok? What about former students? What are hiring committees looking for in letters of recommendation?

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