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April 8, 2009 - 11:06pm
Last night a former student took over my kitchen, riffling through my cabinets, grabbing spices -- chopping, simmering, zesting, and improvising with random vegetables and the remains of an ancient bag of rice. I did buy a nice piece of steak but otherwise I took him at his word that he could make a fantastic meal out of whatever we had on hand. And he did.
April 8, 2009 - 10:56pm
After five days away, upon opening the door: silence... silence...silence...“DADDY!” Three flying-tackle hugs nearly knock me over.For the rest of the night, the game was “who can hug Daddy the most.”
April 8, 2009 - 9:21pm
Greenback U. has lots of administrative information systems. It used to have more -- before last decade's ERP implementation -- but it still has quite a number. Energy management systems. Student information systems. Building access systems. Employee information systems. Library information systems. Space management systems. Parking management systems. The list goes on.
April 8, 2009 - 8:55am
 
April 7, 2009 - 9:55pm
Despite lower attendance, this year's AACC conference occasioned some wonderful conversations about all manner of topics, both officially and unofficially. (As always, the unofficial stuff was, by far, the most interesting.) As someone with – God willing – many more years of career ahead of me, the chance to look forward and count backward is remarkably valuable.
April 6, 2009 - 10:46pm
I'm one of those people who reads the conference program, picks out the panels in advance, then changes the itinerary six or seven times, depending on nothing I could name. The only rules of thumb I've found consistently helpful have been to vary the topics, to pay attention to fatigue, and to sit on the aisle whenever possible. (Aisle seats make graceful getaways easier, if the cell phone goes off or the panel explores new depths of awfulness.
April 6, 2009 - 10:13pm
  My sixth-grade son Nick recently had to write a “reflection” piece after finishing a sixth-grade math project. It began with a sentence something like this: “I basically just scraped by at the last minute on this one.” This was the occasion for a teachable moment at home — how aware is he of his audience? What is the purpose of the reflection piece? What, in other words, did he learn?
April 6, 2009 - 8:57pm
I was speaking recently with the dean of faculty at a small US polytechnic. Toward the end of the conversation, he mentioned that he was planning on giving up his job sometime next year. I asked why, knowing that (1) his hardest battles were now behind him, and (2) he couldn't yet afford to retire -- certainly not given current financial market conditions. His answer: "Well, I've been there about 15 years. When you've been in the same spot for fifteen years, it's time to move on."
April 6, 2009 - 9:26am
Reader, I attended five panels on Sunday, so you don't have to. You're welcome. A few highlights:
April 5, 2009 - 9:28am
First, the throat-clearing. Since Arizona doesn't do daylight savings time, it's three hours behind the East Coast during the spring and summer. This means I'm fighting monumental jet lag. And for reasons nobody here has yet explained to me, the district that includes the convention center, a branch of ASU, Chase Field, and all manner of new construction doesn't have a single convenience store or drugstore. How you can have high-rise dorms and multiple high-rise hotels without a single place to buy toothpaste is beyond me, but here it is.

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