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March 10, 2011
My university has one of the worst health records around. In the past five years, four colleagues and two staff members have died due to coronary heart failure and stroke. There are also quite a number of workers who have suffered heart attacks. The succession of deaths (and the rate of hospitalization for others with chronic illness, particularly borderline diabetes) was so alarming that HMOs have to charge us more than a 100% increase in our annual group premiums.
March 10, 2011
I am commonly struck with a mixture of pride, relief and fear when I hand in my column each week. The fear comes from a realization that I need to write another column next week. This was not the case for long last week. After reading the comments posted to my column from last week, I realized that I wanted to dust off some of my text books from my Labor Economics classes I taught long ago. In them are some thoughts about why it is that women are often paid less than men, a common theme among the respondents to my column last week.
March 10, 2011
David Roberts has an interesting post on Grist, asking whether climate change denialism has roots in postmodern theory. In general, he seems to come down on the side of "not really", but that's just the way I recode his text. <rofl>
March 10, 2011
Dear Danya, Lisa, and Melissa, and Trina,
March 9, 2011
A career in educational technology means days spent working with people who (hopefully) know more than you do about almost everything. I started this life teaching college (sociology); everything I know about technology (and learning design for that matter) is attributable to the generosity of my colleagues.
March 9, 2011
In grad school, postmodernists were thick on the ground. I learned quickly that the greatest sin one could commit, in the eyes of a postie, was naïveté. “Naïve realism” was one that stuck with me, since its implications were so staggeringly arrogant: “how could you possibly believe in the reality of your world? We can see through it, why can’t you?” It was fine to be “transgressive,” or “subversive,” and of course it was wonderful to “problematize,” but you didn’t want to “solve,” or “improve,” or (shudder) “clarify.”
March 9, 2011
Since I became an administrator, I have had a yearly performance evaluation. Over all, they have been positive, but I am consistently criticized for one thing, year after year: my lack of “swagger.”It is a confusing thing to be criticized for. When I look up “swagger” on dictionary.com, I find:–verb (used without object)1. to walk or strut with a defiant or insolent air.2. to boast or brag noisily.–verb (used with object)
March 9, 2011
Amid all the hubbub about popular uprisings in North Africa (calls for social and economic sustainability) and in Wisconsin (resistance to attacks on the same), here's a message from the northeastern USA. It's about extending our role as teachers into the public sphere. Professionally, but forcefully. Calmly, but insistently. And if we deigned to do it on a regular basis, probably effectively.
March 9, 2011
The state university in Campinas, UNICAMP, one of the leading research universities in Brazil, has announced a new experimental procedure for student admissions[1]. Instead of the traditional entrance examination, 120 students will be selected from all local public schools based on their scores in the National Assessment of Secondary Education – ENEM – one or two per school.
March 8, 2011
David Schatsky of Green Research just released the results of an interesting survey of senior business executives with corporate sustainability responsibility. After some 30+ interviews, what he came up with is the unsurprising conclusion that different businesses define sustainability in different ways, that they attempt to achieve it by different methods, and that they exhibit quite a range of underlying motivations.



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