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  • 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.

Friday Fragments
September 6, 2012 - 9:23pm

This year, for the first time, we made new student orientation mandatory. By “mandatory,” I mean that a new student who doesn’t attend any of the orientation sessions would get his schedule dropped.  (Obviously, we had to run a whole bunch of sessions on different days and times, so we did.) People on campus keep commenting on how unusually smooth the first few days of class have been. I can’t prove it yet, but it's almost as if there's some sort of connection between students being prepared, and students having fewer last-minute emergencies. We've also noticed that the sun tends to rise in the East. Sometimes it's the obvious stuff that helps.


The Girl:  Mom, do you ever see things when you close your eyes?

The Wife:  Yup.

TG  [The Boy] says it's your mind.

TW:  It's your imagination.

TG:  Right now my imagination is orange.


TW received an award from the local teachers' union for her work putting together the 5k fundraiser last spring. The kids and I attended, and I have to admit that it was a blast to see her get a standing ovation from an auditorium full of people.  And it was fun to be able to spend an entire “annual kickoff” meeting sitting in the audience.


The second-to-last draft of the book manuscript is in. Naturally, the very next morning I thought of an entire chapter to add. Deadlines are good for production, but there's something about the day after a deadline that's good for inspiration. This, in a nutshell, is my argument against Intelligent Design.


Kevin Carey’s recent piece on Silicon Valley and higher education is a must-read.  Check it out if you haven’t already.


In our first new semester after the “ability to benefit” test went away, the first-blush results indicate a relatively minor impact.  I admit being pleasantly surprised.  Even the lowest level ESL classes are full; I expected that they would take a severe hit.  No explanation, at this point, but sometimes it’s nice to be wrong.


BWI airport is falsely named. It's Baltimore. There's no non-awful way to get to DC from there. At least Newark has the common decency to call itself Newark, instead of New York City South.  


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