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October 4, 2007
One of the two best college teachers I ever knew—an older Ph.D. candidate who became an adjunct himself here for a while—once told me we’d never know how we’d affected students’ lives; the students themselves wouldn’t know for 20 years. Coming from anyone else, it might have sounded like a defense against student criticisms or justification not to teach, but with him it was grace under pressure. I’m starting to understand what he meant.
October 4, 2007
A new correspondent writes:I'm a sophomore at a snooty-but-trying-not-to-be Private Liberal ArtsCollege who has recently discovered your blog and is tearing throughthe archives. I'm afraid I'm one of the folks from the kind of town(bedroom community where all the parents have grad degrees) wherepeople only go to CCs to get ahead in high school, for summer credit,or because they didn't get in anywhere else. After reading, however,I'm starting to understand the idea of getting cheap Gen-Ed credit andthen transferring.
October 3, 2007
Dear Mayor Daley,I've seen some idiotic pronouncements over the years. “The insurgency is in its last throes,” “The Segway will change everything,” “Ladies and Gentlemen – Britney Spears!” Among the consolations of middle age is the realization that the worst-laid plans of mice and men at least occasionally go astray.Still, you've really outdone yourself. Even a jaded academic like myself stands awestruck.
October 2, 2007
An alert reader noticed my passing comment in a post last week and wrote to ask why I would support a preference for Ph.D.'s when hiring faculty at a cc. After all, he noted, cc faculty are primarily teachers, and Ph.D.'s are really research degrees; there's no reason to believe that someone with a doctorate is necessarily a better teacher than someone with a Master's.It's a fair question.
October 1, 2007
One of the drawbacks of writing with a pen name is the restriction it places on topics. I can’t tell you about interesting lectures or readings I attended, or offer my take on a newsworthy event here, or even praise the best things about Hinterland University, because they’d be sure tip-offs to both place and identity.
October 1, 2007
Since at least the early 20th century, it has been fashionable to attack college athletics as distorting the priorities of American colleges and universities, and there is often much evidence to support the attacks. The difficulty in taking these challenges seriously is that they are often unclear about the context within which college athletics functions and undervalue the significance of the constituencies that support this part of the American collegiate enterprise.
October 1, 2007
Brown University student, 2007:'...so as to end up flaccid, immobile, alone on the carpet of a dorm room, shirtless, wheezing, intellectually menopausal, cutting lines on an IBook with a pre-paid Discover card, watching consecutive hours of user-generated porn, in the dark, in a hoodie, apolitical, remorseless, eating salt-and-vinegar potato chips from a bag without a napkin: like some hero, pretending to be otherwise, on a Wednesday, during discussion section.'
October 1, 2007
There's an eyebrow-raising discussion over at New Kid's, in response to a first person piece in the Chronicle.
September 28, 2007
Yep, just as Revelation predicted, on the heels of war comes famine—the strange self-chosen famine of the overfed society—announced by a black
September 28, 2007
A returning correspondent writes:

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