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September 25, 2008 - 3:04pm
Like everybody else, I'm following what's happening in Washington with regard to the possible bailout of financial markets. What strikes most me is the paucity of actual thought involved -- in the proposed solution (spend lots of taxpayer money to buy assets which the market currently considers worthless), in the sales pitch (if you don't do this right now, America turns into a third-world country -- trust us both to understand the problem and to administer the solution without oversight), and in the lack of substantive press coverage (will Democrats? won't Republicans?
September 25, 2008 - 11:08am
Suicides, especially the suicides of sensitive writers we love (Virginia Woolf, Randall Jarrell, Sylvia Plath, David Foster Wallace), are a serious body blow. They anger and demoralize us. They make us brood. Even if he'd left a tightly argued, thousand page suicide letter -- with endnotes -- we'd find what Wallace did mysterious, unaccountable. Yet if suicide is a million miles away from our experience, it's also luridly intimate.
September 24, 2008 - 11:48pm
Some issues are difficult. They feature the conflict of valid goods, a shortage of critical resources, or clashes of identity or behaviors so central to one's personhood that rational conversation becomes nearly impossible. Other issues, by contrast, are so obvious that any sentient being should be able to dispose of them immediately. This is one of those.
September 24, 2008 - 3:52am
A new report from the American Council on Education (see it here) entitled "Too Many Rungs on the Ladder? Faculty Demographics and the Future Leadership of Higher Education" manages to notice something this blog has been saying for the last four years: a dearth of young tenure-track faculty now means a serious leadership vacuum in higher education in the near future. Some of the stats cited in the report are worth checking out. Among them:
September 24, 2008 - 3:42am
These last few weeks starting kindergarten have been hard! I remember this from my older daughter too; the adjustment is painful for my kids. Every morning I cheerfully walk my daughter into her classroom, trying to dispel her tears and anxiety with light banter, and she grips my clothes to keep me next to her just a little while longer.
September 23, 2008 - 11:00am
An article by Elizabeth Redden in yesterday's IHE noted that more than half of the charter signatories to the ACUPCC were late in filing their greenhouse gas inventory results.
September 22, 2008 - 10:26pm
There's almost too much important news these days to choose something to blog about. The economy, the election, the weather -- all of these defeat me, though I read and think and talk about them constantly. The news on the career and family front is related to these bigger issues, of course, but it is coming in, lately, in smaller, more manageable chunks.
September 22, 2008 - 10:20pm
This week's New York Times supplement on teaching once again skipped community colleges completely, even though it found several pages to dedicate to professors' clothing. That said, it had one article that actually brought up a worthwhile issue, if indirectly.
September 21, 2008 - 9:55pm
The recent game of "let's see, where did I put that hundred billion?" is likely to lead to some ugly fallout for public higher education. Putting on my prognosticator's cap – and like Easterbrook says, all predictions guaranteed or your money back – a few likely scenarios:
September 21, 2008 - 9:46pm
I taught for several years at a state school of fairly low rank and then taught at a very diverse urban public university, which I loved. Now I teach at a fancy liberal arts college on occasion, which has been great, but it doesn't quite thrill me. I feel like I'm not really teaching them much of anything or it doesn't really matter because they're gonna make it no matter what. At Urban Public U., students cried when I left.

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