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May 24, 2011
Can we declare the era of the timed exam (almost) completely over? 6 Reasons to End (Almost) All Timed Exams*:1. Level the Playing Field: Does it really make sense anymore to separate some timed exam and un-timed exam groups? When all exams are un-timed, nobody needs to request accommodation or make separate arrangements. What do we lose by setting time boundaries on exams? Seems to me we are often testing the ability to take a test within a certain amount of time, rather than student understanding.
May 24, 2011
You know that awful feeling when you’re stuck in a lane that’s moving so much slower than the lane next to it that it’s actually unsafe to move over? The other lane is moving so fast that you couldn’t possibly get up to speed quickly enough not to get hit, so you just sit there. If you were moving faster, you’d have the option of trying something else; as it is, you’re so badly off that you can’t. You just keep losing time.I’m convinced that some committees are like that.
May 24, 2011
The title of my honours thesis was “Religiosity and Neuroticism’s Effects on Death Anxiety.” Really? I suppose there isn’t any uncertainty surrounding the topic of my examination, but still…it lacks…poetry. My final paper for my course this past Winter? ““You're totally lesbi-gay” and Other Sexual Dynamics in Teen Horror Films.” Now that’s a line that will grab some attention.
May 24, 2011
Two recent pieces came together in my mind this afternoon.
May 24, 2011
The month of May has been terrifically busy for me. I moved 3,000 miles from Corvallis, Oregon to Columbia, South Carolina. That's right, a Beaver alum has entered Gamecock country. Many have asked why I made the move from the Pacific Northwest to the Southeast. The answer is very simple: I fell in love.
May 23, 2011
Higher education faces a combination of challenges today. First and foremost, the concept that education is a public good is on the wane. What are its effects? For over a generation now, private college tuition has risen faster than inflation to the point that on average it costs in the ballpark of $50,000 per year per student, a sum that has become the subject of concern, if not invective, from parents and students who graduate with degrees that do not provide jobs that safely allow them to pay back the debt.
May 23, 2011
There hasn’t been a whole lot of “mothering” talk on this blog lately — both because I’ve been busy with work and because my kids are in a mostly self-sufficient, and privacy-protecting, stage. Which is just fine.But this week marks a first in parenting for me: my daughter is home from college, “visiting,” and I am not at home. I’m participating in a week-long workshop on course design—something I signed up for over a month ago, long before Mariah’s plans were firm. And once they became firm, I’d already committed to the workshop.
May 23, 2011
“But Joey’s parents let him play Call of Duty!”Sigh.We’ve hit the age at which our biggest parenting obstacle is other parents.TB is almost ten, and we’re discovering that different parents have very different ideas of what that means. The catch is that ten-year-olds talk to each other and compare notes.Bedtimes, acceptable tv shows, violent video games, trips to Hooters -- we’ve had to deal with variations on “but my friend...” for all of these.
May 23, 2011
The Company Town: The Industrial Edens and Satanic Mills That Shaped the American Economy by Hardy Green.I live in a company town. Wouldn't have it any other way. Hardy Green misses the college town in his tour of the history and workings of the company town, an oversight in an otherwise excellent book.
May 22, 2011
It’s a commonplace that Americans hate Congress, but love their individual Representatives. Some of that has to do with the kind of residential self-selection Bill Bishop wrote about in The Big Sort, and some has to do with patronage/favors, but I suspect much of it is a function of the difference between an abstraction and a person.

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