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February 25, 2009 - 8:51pm
Several alert readers sent me links to this story in the New York Times. The headline -- “In Tough Times, Humanities Must Justify Their Worth” -- pretty much captures the tale. It's yet another decline narrative, lamenting the loss of respect for the classics, for a time in which young people sought truth and meaning and appreciated the ineffable blah blah blah. You can fill in the rest. As with so many Times stories, it goes off the rails in the last few paragraphs.
February 25, 2009 - 4:42pm
Conventional wisdom has it that 70% of the information received from a message is based on how the messenger looks, 20% on how the messenger sounds, and only 10% on what the messenger says. I'm sure those numbers are accurate, because they've been cited by Eddie Izzard in public presentations, and if he's not an expert, who is?
February 25, 2009 - 9:45am
As I've said, one of the nice things about the AWP conference was meeting in person some of those whom I've only known online. One of these was Sean Carman, a very funny writer I've appreciated from afar. I asked Sean if he'd come on over to my blogging house for a day, and he graciously agreed.
February 25, 2009 - 4:27am
  Last fall I broke my pinkie toe. Already running late, I had rushed back into the house to grab a warm jacket for my daughter when I tripped over the luggage our houseguests had conveniently placed by the door in preparation for their departure. It wasn’t anyone’s fault—our guests weren’t expecting me to come racing back into the house at top speed. But the painful days afterwards (a broken little toe is no little thing, I quickly discovered) were a reminder that sometimes I live a bit too close to the edge—it’s always rush, rush, rush.
February 24, 2009 - 5:01pm
Rule One: Never make your reader laugh when she's not supposed to.SUNY Binghamton got blasted in the New York Times for running a typically scummy Division I basketball team. Big deal. Tell it to Auburn. SUNY should have ignored it. No one cares.
February 23, 2009 - 9:23pm
  Just under a year ago, I wrote my first piece for Inside Higher Ed. It wasn’t for this blog, which was still in the planning stages; rather, it was a piece on teaching and tae kwon do. It was a “coming out” of sorts — it was the first time I’d written anything public about my tae kwon do practice, which still felt rather new to me.
February 23, 2009 - 9:04pm
The indefatigable Lesboprof has a great post up about a couple of legislators from Georgia who are using the economic crunch as an excuse to launch a purge of feminists, gays, and anyone whose politics or lifestyle they consider "special interest areas" from public colleges and universities. And it isn't just points of view they're out to silence; apparently, they've going after entire subject areas.
February 23, 2009 - 2:36pm
  A while back, I said it would be a bad idea to bail out the auto companies. I noted that (1) they had neither expertise nor apparent plans to build the cars America -- and the world -- needs, (2) the loans they were asking for at the time were probably just a first installment, and (3) even on the basis of just the first installment amounts, it would be cheaper to buy them outright.   Since then, the situation has changed – and by “changed” I don’t mean “improved” in any sense.  
February 23, 2009 - 3:38am
As the year has become progressively more surreal, I've been finding much more value in the occasional meetings I have with my counterparts at nearby cc's.

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