Blog U › 
  • Call to Action: Marketing and Communications in Higher Education

    A space to discuss the ways in which we market and communicate about higher education and the collegiate experience.

  • College Ready Writing

    A blog about education, higher ed, teaching, and trying to re-imagine how we provide education.

  • Confessions of a Community College Dean

    In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.

  • Digital Tweed

    Digital Tweed® is the work of Kenneth C. Green, founding director of The Campus Computing Project. If successful, these posts will inform and entertain, and at times also annoy. A little dissonance can be a good thing.

  • Getting to Green

    An administrator pushes, on a shoestring budget, to move his university and the world toward a more sustainable equilibrium.

  • GlobalHigherEd

    Surveying the Construction of Global Knowledge/Spaces for the ‘Knowledge Economy’

  • GradHacker

    A Blog from GradHacker and MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online

  • Higher Ed Beta

    MOOCS and beyond.

  • Just Visiting

    A blog by John Warner, author of the story collection Tough Day for the Army, and a novel, The Funny Man, on teaching, writing and never knowing when you're going to be asked to leave.

  • Law, Policy -- and IT?

    Tracy Mitrano explores the intersection where higher education, the Internet and the world meet (and sometimes collide).

  • Library Babel Fish

    A college librarian's take on technology

  • Mama PhD

    Mothers attempting to balance parenthood and academics.

  • Prose and Purpose

    After 25 years on the job, a former provost examines the world on campus and in higher ed.

  • Sounding Board

    Analysis and advice on questions and issues of individual ethics and institutional integrity, from Jane Robbins.

    Do you have a question or comment that you wish to make anonymously?

    Click here to send it to me.

  • StratEDgy

    The StratEDgy blog is intended to be a thoughtful hub for discussion about strategy and competition in higher education.

  • Student Affairs and Technology

    News, tips, and practical insights about technology for student affairs practitioners by Eric Stoller.

  • Technology and Learning

    A space for conversation and debate about learning and technology

  • The Education of Oronte Churm

    Oronte Churm is the pen name of John Griswold, who teaches in the MFA program at McNeese State University, proudly nestled in Cajun country on the Louisiana Gulf.

  • The World View

    A blog from the Center for International Higher Education

  • University Diaries

    A professor of English describes American university life.

  • University of Venus

    GenX Women in Higher Ed, Writing from Across the Globe

3600 Seconds
February 7, 2010 - 4:53pm

Still experiencing the afterglow of being in the presence of the transcendent artistry of Nina Stemme’s magnificent performance as Ariadne in Thursday night’s performance at the Met, I turn again to studying for the course. Hearing something like Stemme’s performance also, for me at least, produces a deep sadness: I will never do anything as well as she sang that role. Nonetheless, I must go on with my struggle to continue.

Today, Sunday, as I wait to head to my local to watch Super Bowl LXIV (my head says Colts, my heart wants the Saint -- I’ve never been to Indianapolis, but I find it hard to imagine I’d like it as much as New Orleans), I’ve decided to revive my fortunes in the course with one hour of studying.


I had planned to start this hour about two hours ago, but I had first to eat breakfast, vacuum my apartment, re-organize my closet, hear Tom Waits 1978 live performance of “On the Nickel” on the BBC’s “Old Gray Whistle Test,” read the latest of Tony Judt’s luminous memoirs in the New York Review of Books, bask in my relief and joy that my elder son was accepted into his dream high school, Beacon, answer some e-mails -- in short, anything but actually start studying. But now, with music switched from Van Morrison to some far less distracting Mozart horn concerti, I will...

Well, that was … well, I don’t know what that was: to be sure, I gave my full concentration to the text (by which I mean that, more often than not, I thought only about what I was reading) and I could see how it was building one formula on top of another as it explained light and its relationship to everything from pollution to sun tans.

Yet, I did not grasp it in the same way I would have grasped an hour’s worth of study of Plato’s Euthyphro. There are many reasons for this, most so obvious I need hardly recount them, but the main one, at least for today’s reading, is that it lacked a narrative.

Narrative aside, the main problem is that one hour is a drop in the ocean. If I was taking “Energy and the Environment” as a normal student, it would be one of four courses. I do not remember exactly how much studying I did for each course when I was an undergrad, but I’m certain that it would have been, over the course of three days, far more than 3600 seconds. I console myself that it is a necessary start, but I cannot delude myself into thinking that it is remotely close to being sufficient.


Please review our commenting policy here.

Search for Jobs


  • Viewed
  • Commented
  • Past:
  • Day
  • Week
  • Month
  • Year
Back to Top