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April 8, 2009 - 8:55am
 
April 7, 2009 - 9:55pm
Despite lower attendance, this year's AACC conference occasioned some wonderful conversations about all manner of topics, both officially and unofficially. (As always, the unofficial stuff was, by far, the most interesting.) As someone with – God willing – many more years of career ahead of me, the chance to look forward and count backward is remarkably valuable.
April 6, 2009 - 10:46pm
I'm one of those people who reads the conference program, picks out the panels in advance, then changes the itinerary six or seven times, depending on nothing I could name. The only rules of thumb I've found consistently helpful have been to vary the topics, to pay attention to fatigue, and to sit on the aisle whenever possible. (Aisle seats make graceful getaways easier, if the cell phone goes off or the panel explores new depths of awfulness.
April 6, 2009 - 10:13pm
 My sixth-grade son Nick recently had to write a “reflection” piece after finishing a sixth-grade math project. It began with a sentence something like this: “I basically just scraped by at the last minute on this one.” This was the occasion for a teachable moment at home — how aware is he of his audience? What is the purpose of the reflection piece? What, in other words, did he learn?
April 6, 2009 - 8:57pm
I was speaking recently with the dean of faculty at a small US polytechnic. Toward the end of the conversation, he mentioned that he was planning on giving up his job sometime next year. I asked why, knowing that (1) his hardest battles were now behind him, and (2) he couldn't yet afford to retire -- certainly not given current financial market conditions. His answer: "Well, I've been there about 15 years. When you've been in the same spot for fifteen years, it's time to move on."
April 6, 2009 - 9:26am
Reader, I attended five panels on Sunday, so you don't have to. You're welcome.A few highlights:
April 5, 2009 - 9:28am
First, the throat-clearing. Since Arizona doesn't do daylight savings time, it's three hours behind the East Coast during the spring and summer. This means I'm fighting monumental jet lag. And for reasons nobody here has yet explained to me, the district that includes the convention center, a branch of ASU, Chase Field, and all manner of new construction doesn't have a single convenience store or drugstore. How you can have high-rise dorms and multiple high-rise hotels without a single place to buy toothpaste is beyond me, but here it is.
April 3, 2009 - 6:34pm
Hemingway felt it in Paris:[Y]ou could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning, Sometimes the heavy cold rains would beat it back so that it would seem that it would never come and that you were losing a season out of your life. […] When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason. In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.
April 3, 2009 - 3:14pm
The American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (or "PCC") has been around for a couple of years now. Over 600 schools have signed on, and many of those have completed and filed their initial (baseline) greenhouse gas inventories. Completing a GHG inventory is the major deliverable due one year after a school signs the PCC.
April 2, 2009 - 10:36pm
When the Titanic sunk on April 15 of 1911, I am sure that a young couple named William and Carroll living in the Italian section of Yonkers, New York, paid little attention to the news. They were busy with caring for their newborn daughter, my grandmother. She turned ninety eight last week, and a call from my daughter to her to wish her a happy birthday (“can we go to her party?”) led me to think about her life and of a Chinese proverb that wishes “may you live in interesting times.”

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