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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.
May 6, 2009 - 9:52pm
TB: Yesterday I was scared when I was in my room. I thought I saw an alien go by outside the window. DD: Really? TB: Yeah. I thought he landed on the roof. DD: He couldn't land on the roof. It's slanted. TB: Santa lands on the roof. (pause) TB: Santa has magic, though. DD: True. Aliens would slide off the roof. And when was the last time you saw an alien lying on the ground, saying “that's gonna hurt tomorrow”? TB: (laugh) DD: Besides, aliens seem to like deserts better. There aren't any deserts around here.
May 6, 2009 - 5:19pm
When my novel (due out July 1) was accepted for publication, I announced it here under the title, “Hot Dog! My First Book!”. Today I have the pleasure to say I’ve signed a contract for my second book, a brief nonfiction history of the community where my novel is set, with The History Press.
May 5, 2009 - 9:30pm
A month or two ago, I got into a colloquy on the blog about average ages of community college students. An alert reader send me an email exchange he had with the AACC on this exact question. The AACC Fast Facts page for 2009 has the following to say about average ages of cc students: Average age: 29 21 or younger: 47% 22 to 39: 40%
May 5, 2009 - 5:51pm
One of my favorite songs has always been "All the things you are", by Kern and Hammerstein. It appeals to my sense of order, of proportion, of flow. It also has the rare characteristic of not resolving to its tonic (the main chord of the key it's in) until the very end of the melody. (You know this song, even if you don't know you know it.
May 4, 2009 - 9:46pm
In graduate school my friends and I occasionally amused ourselves by imagining what our dissertation topics said about us. Female violence? Prostitution and “fallenness”? Sibling incest? They may have been safely “literary” topics, but what did it say about us that we had spent so much time on these topics rather than, say, gardens?
May 4, 2009 - 9:31pm
For reasons too sensitive to blog about, I've recently had occasion to revisit the idea of grade appeals. From this side of the desk, I'm convinced that a commonly-held student perception, and a commonly-held faculty perception, are both wrong. (For the record, I'm referring here to grade appeals that go beyond just talking to the professor. This is the stuff that happens after the professor has already said 'no.' Whenever a student appeals a grade at this level, the first question is always "have you talked to the professor?" If not, the process stops until they do that.)

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