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March 26, 2009 - 8:45pm
My daughter came home the other day with words that made my Math Geek heart leap for joy. She told me that she is going to start learning “sub-crack-tion”. It seems that in the race between nature and nurture, nurture had just pulled ahead.
March 26, 2009 - 8:31pm
Last night, after dinner, as The Wife, The Boy, The Girl, and I chat in the family room: TW: You know, TB told me that the girls fight over him at recess. DD: Really? TB (smiling): Yeah. (pause) TG (puzzled): Why?
March 26, 2009 - 4:52pm
I'll admit to being a little bit anal when it comes to math. I'm not sure "anal" is the right word, but I do expect numbers to make sense and people who can't make sense of numbers to stay as far away from them as possible. So, I want to squeeze in one last "the press is so stupid" post before the month is through.
March 25, 2009 - 9:51pm
During this sabbatical year I promised myself that I wouldn’t even *think* about teaching until the summer. After all, this is my chance to focus exclusively on scholarship. I am enjoying the opportunity to focus on one project, to read a new book in its entirety, to work uninterrupted. However, as our university plans the fall schedule I’ve begun to think about my return to the classroom.
March 25, 2009 - 9:43pm
In discussion with some colleagues from other colleges, I realized recently that different colleges handle 'stopouts' very differently. 'Stopouts' are students who interrupt their degree path, and then return. From a curricular standpoint, brief stopouts during which curricula don't change are no big deal. Someone takes a semester or a year off, then picks up where she left off. We can handle that.
March 25, 2009 - 5:52pm
I was in a grocery store checkout line last week. The woman in line ahead of me had two children with her: a small baby and a girl about three years old. As I started unloading my cart, I heard the three-year-old informing the cashier, quietly but firmly, that she was not a princess. I was, of course, immediately impressed with the kid's firm grasp on reality. (On the other hand, three-year-olds can be very literal-minded.)
March 25, 2009 - 4:09pm
A theme in budget reduction processes in some states is an enthusiasm for cannibalizing some institutions in the hopes of keeping others from suffering the effects of a state revenue reduction. This is of course a highly political issue, not easily resolved by rational discussions because the number and type of public universities and community colleges in a state reflects the accumulation over a long time of decisions by elected political representatives.
March 25, 2009 - 8:07am
Earlier this week I came across this old Time magazine article, which reminded me of an interesting character, Dr. Theo Colborn.
March 24, 2009 - 9:32pm
I'm increasingly convinced that one of the most common flaws of so many administrators is a misguided urge to be nice. This often manifests itself in some long-undiagnosed but longstanding performance issues hitting a crisis level, but with a paper trail of relatively positive evaluations. The managers explain the positive evaluations with variations on “I didn't want to upset them.” Grumble.
March 23, 2009 - 9:43pm
I’m not sure I’ve ever had a week like this as an academic. My week started with a meeting, and it will continue with meetings and teaching and conferences and travel — and, maybe, a trip to the Grand Ole Opry? No, I know I’ve never had a week like this.

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