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December 5, 2010 - 6:45pm
For several years during my early 20’s, I kept a journal that I called the “Read Me Journal.” There are three volumes, all written in floral hardbound notebooks, with the words “Read Me” scrawled across the front in black nail polish. They are all fat and include various newspaper and magazine clippings, drawings and a few dashes of perfume to supplement the handwritten account of my life. Each has a detailed table of contents, written in A.A. Milne style, beginning with the words “In which…” They also include handwritten comments from my friends on whatever I had written.
December 5, 2010 - 3:53pm
When I was growing up, a vacation meant two weeks in Florida visiting my grandparents. Delray Beach, with its palm trees, warm beaches in midwinter, poolside restaurants and hibiscus hedges, seemed like another planet to this suburban NY kid. Most of my friends also visited relatives over school breaks; some of the more affluent went skiing in Vermont or Colorado, or on a Caribbean cruise. Only occasionally did we hear about someone going to Europe or Israel. Africa and Asia really were like other planets, as far as we were concerned.
December 5, 2010 - 2:45pm
Editors' note: our sincere thanks to Stephen J. Toope, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of British Columbia, for his thought provoking contribution below.
December 2, 2010 - 9:31pm
The benighted “MRS” degree bore a particular meaning for my mother’s generation. Young women went off to college with minimal interest in their major and maximum interest in securing a mate. Their graduation took a distant second to their wedding as evidence that they had successfully concluded their college experience. Think of Elizabeth Taylor in Father of the Bride.
December 2, 2010 - 9:16pm
In response to Wednesday’s 'helpful hints' post, several people asked about special tips for adjuncts applying for full-time jobs at the college where they already teach.Internal candidates have been on a winning streak lately at my college, though there are no guarantees. Are the rules different for them?No, but some of them think they are. That’s how good adjuncts can torpedo their own candidacies.
December 2, 2010 - 9:01pm
Libraries are often in a tricky place when it comes to removing books from the collection. It makes some people think we we are so enamored of shiny new electronic toys that we have turned our backs on the traditional purpose of libraries, or that we want to devote space to trendy espresso bars and gaming rooms for adolescents who should be writing papers instead of goofing off. Sometimes we are so eager to demonstrate how hip we are, it makes some people think we hate books and the people who love them. And when we actually throw books away, those awful suspicions are confirmed.
December 2, 2010 - 8:47pm
I'm writing this post under the intoxicating influence of Kevin Kelly's "What Technology Wants". Blame Kelly for any hyperbole.(Are you also ridiculously influenced by whatever book you are currently reading? Why is it that books exert such gravity, so much more than visual media?)
December 2, 2010 - 7:40pm
I met a fellow math professor at a conference several weeks ago who is teaching a class on the idea of infinity. He told me of a story he tells his class about how difficult the idea of "infinity" can be. He described a class that a student wants to sign up for with an infinite number of seats. There are, however, already an infinite number of students enrolled, so each seat is already taken. A new student comes into that class, and wants to enroll, only to find every seat taken.
December 2, 2010 - 4:48pm
OK, look. This has only a metaphorical connection to sustainability, and probably no relevance at all to higher education. Nonetheless, if you haven't seen this Travelers Insurance commercial, you owe it to yourself.No, I'm not endorsing any insurance companies. But I definitely endorse whomever it was that made this piece of admittedly commercial art.
December 2, 2010 - 8:14am
Last night, after a long day at work, I collapsed on the couch with my husband and six-year old daughter to watch A Christmas Carol. It was our daughter’s first time watching it and she was a bit scared by the ghosts, especially the mute and shadowy figure of Christmas future. Her face was a picture of childish delight at the end when Scrooge dances, giddy with happiness on Christmas morning, the ghosts gone and the day bright and full of possibilities for change. Family members are still willing to forgive and Tiny Tim is still capable of being saved.

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