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May 11, 2009 - 9:59pm
It’s been just over a year since I started writing this blog. Last May I was just coming off sabbatical, and we had just made significant decisions about our children’s next steps. I spent the summer writing, traveling, and planning for the fall, while my daughter graduated from high school and made her first forays into political organizing and retail sales and my son enjoyed his last summer before middle school.
May 11, 2009 - 8:36am
As a parent, teacher and Greenback University staff member, I get to attend multiple commencement ceremonies each spring. I glory in what commencement celebrates, I share in the elation of the graduates as they rise and march out full of pride and potential, and I dread the two hours (sometimes more) of agonizing boredom in a folding chair that is the passive participant's lot. And in the category of "passive participants" I include most of the graduates; the commencements when I sat among the students weren't any better, as I recall.
May 10, 2009 - 9:22pm
Congratulations on your achievement. I've heard some grumbling among you, and I have to acknowledge the truth: you're graduating into a nasty job market. It's a brutal time to try to break in. This isn't your fault, and it isn't your college's, either; sometimes the market just breaks that way. As painful as that is, it's worth giving some thought.
May 10, 2009 - 5:29pm
I have been asked to write about a dilemma many academics face now: whether to stay or go. What do you do if you hate your job, or if your hours are non-negotiable and incompatible with your kids’ schedules?
May 10, 2009 - 12:56am
Do you know the writer Thomas E. Kennedy? I’m embarrassed to say I only learned of his work a couple of years ago. Though he’s had devoted fans for decades and won many of the top prizes, Kennedy is one of those people who’ve lived several lives—writing or otherwise—without due notice, a mistake that’s being rectified now as mainstream publishing, the media, and critics catch on.
May 8, 2009 - 6:32am
The unusually large reductions in state appropriations to higher education in many states and the impact of the current record setting economic decline on other sources of university funding has pushed institutional responses into high visibility. We usually interpret America’s never ending economic crisis in higher education as instances of unique phenomena, each one requiring new dramatic response. We react with surprise, alarm, and exceptional rhetoric to the cyclical downturns in public funding or private support. We dramatize the dire consequences that reduced funding will cause.
May 7, 2009 - 9:41pm
--Blackboard is buying Angel. As soon as we got the news, we made an appointment to meet with some counterparts who use Moodle or Sakai. Blackboard has been colossally unhelpful in its upgrade cycle -- Angel had been one of the more viable alternatives. Now, not. I anticipate a sharp spike in the use of open source platforms.
May 7, 2009 - 8:58pm
If, God forbid, your sister was violently murdered, to what ends would you go to make sure no one else ever suffered the same fate? That question is a question that has occupied the prayers and thoughts of one of the local Ursuline Sisters, as she discerned what her actions should be to protest the role of the U.S. in training the people many believe were responsible for the brutal deaths of her local fellow Ursuline Sister, Dorthy Kazel and three other American Churchwomen in El Salvador in 1980.
May 7, 2009 - 3:50pm
A week ago, Paul Krugman published an op-ed piece which pretty much sums up the relationship between sustainability and the US economy. In a nutshell, he explains why the objections being pushed by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Club for Growth, the American Enterprise Institute and similar organizations are entirely bogus, and why some sort of climate-based environmental regulation is precisely what we need to create economic growth.
May 7, 2009 - 4:41am
For the last three months a German film student has been living in the basement of my Chicago home. David is a foreign exchange student, but he is also an intern who is assisting my partner and me with completing our latest documentary.

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