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May 2, 2009 - 11:00am
The more biographies I read, the more I sense the difficulties of the form. Many are patchy, uneven; the herky-jerk of a life doesn’t play to the modulated rhythm of story. Biography may be the most self-contradictory literary form: It portrays randomness even as it pretends to coherence. Yet there’s almost always power in a biography, the experience of decades intensified into a few reading days, like watching a speeded-up film of a seedling that grows to die.
April 30, 2009 - 8:57pm
Last week, I looked out at my classes and found many more empty desks than I had expected to see. In this hectic time of the semester, many of my students are skipping class to finish work from other classes. As I looked out at my semi-filled classroom, I was reminded of the last time I skipped a class as an undergraduate, and of the economic concept of “opportunity cost.”
April 30, 2009 - 8:17pm
'Tis Spring – almost finals – and you can tell on campus. The characteristic signs are there:
April 30, 2009 - 5:23pm
(Arguably, the title should be "Green IT now", but I prefer not to shout.) Anyways, a number of interesting bits of information in regard to more ecologically friendly information technology -- theory and practice thereof -- have crossed my desktop in the past 24 hours.
April 29, 2009 - 10:27pm
Last week I had the honor of speaking on behalf of Mama, PhD at the Arkansas Council for Women in Higher Education Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas where I met a wonderful group of mother professors, administrators, and students, many of whom were African-American. Although I was the guest speaker, the most inspiring stories were from the women of Arkansas.
April 29, 2009 - 9:26pm
As I've gotten older, and more aware of the unintended consequences of things, I've become pickier in selecting acts of rebellion. I don't curse in public nearly as much, I keep the road rage to myself, and snark attacks (not counting on the blog) are fewer and farther between than they used to be. That said, I have no patience for the inbox police.
April 29, 2009 - 2:54pm
Today I have the pleasure of posting an interview with Catherine Gass, who’s been the Photographer at the Newberry Library for the last ten years. The Newberry, an independent research library open to the public without charge, is one of my favorite places in Chicago, and Catherine’s work is vital to their mission of research, preservation and education.
April 28, 2009 - 10:25pm
It's almost May, which means that the classes are winding up, and the students are winding down, and the faculty are wending away. The campus will belong to us Morlocks (I mean ... staff members) again, and not a minute too soon.
April 28, 2009 - 9:23pm
TB had to write a piece about his hero for school. (Keep in mind, he's in second grade.) Enjoy! My hero is a scientist. Every day they mak EXITING discoveries. They also make AWESOME potions, space probes and cool new ships. They launch rockets and space ships. I like it when the Space Shuttle goes up. It always makes me think of the scientists who made it. Scientists are really cool! Potions and space probes. That's my boy!
April 28, 2009 - 8:06pm
2009 is the centenary of both Malcolm Lowry and James Agee.James Dickey coupled them:

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