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February 16, 2010 - 10:19am
I’d forgotten how fun, even exciting, the early stages of research on a novel can be. This week I’ve gotten to shop for boats, since one of the characters in the novel I’m writing owns and probably lives on one. He longs to impress people with it, but it’s some hulk he dragged off a tidal flat in Central America, and he’s barely got the cash to buy the diesel its misfiring engines guzzle.
February 16, 2010 - 9:12am
I don’t remember the title of the first book I read in college, but I do remember how I read it. It was a hefty tome on the state and as I read I wrote notes (“p 12 – state more capacious term than government” etc) on a pad. I remember feeling good -- all student-y, even intellectual, as I moved slowly through the text. After reading 50 pages, I decided to take stock. I had 20 pages of notes. I was new to the whole student thing, but I knew something was up.
February 15, 2010 - 9:30pm
I know I'm supposed to believe that standardization, state or national rules, or anything beyond local control is of the devil, a corporate conspiracy, and of a piece with water fluoridation and the metric system on the list of communist conspiracies against our way of life. I get that. But I'm still at a loss to explain why we leave some really fundamental decisions in the K-12 system to local control.
February 15, 2010 - 9:01pm
February, not April, is the cruelest month. Ask anyone in the mid-Atlantic states who's been pummelled by snow for the last couple of weeks. Here in central Virginia it's only raining today, but in some ways, that's worse: it's grey and cloudy and cold and there's not even a chance that anything will be cancelled for it. In the meantime mounds of snow are still piled up in the parking lots and along the sides of streets, and the potholes have appeared from under the now-melted ice and snow, making the simplest drive an obstacle course.
February 15, 2010 - 3:27pm
Mark Twain, I believe, once wrote that there are two ways of lying artfully -- telling the truth but not the whole truth, and telling the whole truth but telling it in such a manner that your audience believes you're lying. A story on NPR this morning pretty well accomplished the latter.
February 14, 2010 - 9:24pm
Every time I hear about a shooting on a college campus, I wince. This one was especially surprising, given that the (alleged) shooter was a professor and a woman. It seems that Amy Bishop, a professor in the biology department at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, opened fire at a department meeting, killing several colleagues and wounding several more. She has been taken into custody, and she will face murder charges.Although it's hard to know immediate causes, Prof. Bishop had recently been denied tenure, and this was to be her final semester at Alabama.
February 14, 2010 - 6:27pm
I have just made my airline reservations to Fort Lauderdale for the middle of February. This is not a vacation; rather I am serving on an ABA reaccreditation team for Nova Southeastern Law School. Over the years, I have served as a Middle States periodic reviewer (most recently as the first reviewer for Johns Hopkins and the second reviewer for American); ABA reviewer (most recently for Memphis Law School) and during my earlier life as a business school dean, I served not only on visiting teams but as a member of the Initial Accreditation Committee of AACSB.
February 14, 2010 - 5:10pm
Thanks to everyone who drew my attention Kerry Ann Rockquemore’s very interesting post on the myth of balance. As noted last week, I’ve been too overwhelmed to do a lot of reading lately, and this post is definitely worthwhile.In the comments to last week’s post, "Doug" pointed out that the issues I described "aren't restricted to women, alas. I've been where you're at, and so have plenty of other men I know. I've never regretted any choice that made my family's situation priority."
February 13, 2010 - 4:59pm
Starbuck, who’s seven, wanted to know the rest of the lyrics to the sea chantey “What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor,” which I’m assuming he heard on Muppet Treasure Island.
February 13, 2010 - 4:01pm
Amy Bishop, a Harvard PhD, a wife and mother, a successful biology researcher, a University of Alabama professor whose students seem to admire her, took out a gun during a biology department meeting on the Huntsville campus yesterday, and shot everyone in sight. She killed three of her colleagues, including the department chair, and left three people (two professors, one administrator) in critical condition. Police arrived within seconds and took her into custody within minutes. Within hours, her apparent motive emerged: Denial of tenure.


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