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December 1, 2010 - 9:19pm
An occasional correspondent writes:I have been offered a course at a reduced rate because the enrollment is not 100%. My objections to this go beyond mere self interest (I think). Here are some potential issues:#1: Instructors have little control over enrollment, but do have some. For example how many students pass a 100 level course has a direct impact on how many students move on to a 200 level course we might teach. If our rate is based on warm bodies might not an instructor be tempted to pass students just to increase enrollment in a higher level course?
December 1, 2010 - 1:15pm
If there’s one thing blogging regularly for years has made obvious to me, it’s that the mind roams restless as a spirit on the landscape of time. When I have reason to look for something I wrote here previously I can rarely tell, before I find it, when it was posted. I’m often wrong by years; it seems certain I was thinking those particular thoughts during the Eisenhower administration, not the Nixon.
December 1, 2010 - 11:18am
For my husband and myself, our Thanksgiving weekend was pretty low-key. Turkey at our friends’ house (we only had to cook side dishes!), catch-up on work (our computers are forever on), some yard work, neighborhood walks, a family board game. For my 6th grade daughter, there was a school project. The project was to build a totem pole to represent her family. Guidelines: no more than 5 inches diameter; 12-24 inches high; needs to be stable; use more than two different kinds of materials (clay, wood, cereal boxes, pipe cleaners); “Think outside the box”.
December 1, 2010 - 4:21am
It’s been a while since I’ve done a “how to get the job” piece. Judging by a recent flurry of emails on the subject, it looks like the time is right for a new one.If you’re applying for a full-time faculty job, you can assume that the folks who read your cover letter will be academics. For all their quirks, academics tend to be pretty good readers. That means that your cover letter will actually get read closely, probably several times. Craft counts.Please don’t open with “My name is...” We’ll figure it out when we get to the signature line.
November 30, 2010 - 10:30pm
How much time per day do I spend on social media? And how does it compare with, for example, the time I spend writing an academic article or reading a scientific book or preparing a research project? It is worthy to dedicate so much time networking on Twitter, Facebook or other social networks, exchanging e-mails or making comments instead of silently worshiping the silence of the libraries and the quiet lonely meditation about the last book I’ve read followed by a sophisticated writing account?
November 30, 2010 - 10:15pm
Okay, so maybe this won't be that epic, or an ode for that matter, but I've been thinking about email a lot lately. Email often becomes the villain when we talk about communication tools. Email is portrayed as something that needs to "die." Well, my view is that email is a juggernaut. Email is not going anywhere.
November 30, 2010 - 10:00pm
I'm unsatisfied with the options for virtual book clubbing. This seems like a solvable problem. The place I go most is Visual Bookshelf, a Facebook App from LivingSocial. Visual Bookshelf shows that I have 36 reading friends reading 52 books, but almost nobody is active on the site.
November 30, 2010 - 3:15pm
A couple of family members are into coaching sports, from very young kids up to NCAA Division 1. Over turkey, we got to talking. One of them brought up a program called "I Play Green" and wanted to know if I had heard of it.
November 30, 2010 - 8:00am
China has experienced a dramatic expansion in higher education since 1999. With more than 29 million students, China has the largest higher education enrollment in the world. In 2009, the gross enrollment rate in higher education reached 24.2%. According to Martin Trow’s definition, China has entered the stage of mass higher education, which generally has a tertiary enrollment rate of 15% to 50%.
November 29, 2010 - 9:45pm
A few years ago my college tried one of those ideas that makes sense on paper, but that crashed and burned in the real world. I was reminded of that today in discussing a proposal that would have repeated the same mistake.

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