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November 7, 2010
The retirements are nearly upon us.My college, like so many, hired a bunch of people all at once, then relatively few for a very long time. In terms of age cohorts, it looks like a pig in a python, and the pig is getting near the end.The dam hasn’t broken, but it’s creaking.Looking ahead just a few years, I can see the majority of the administration changing. It’s alarming, because in many areas, there’s really nobody in the pipeline to come next.
November 7, 2010
Those first days of teaching were disastrous, but I didn’t know it.I started out teaching at a community college right after finishing my master’s degree in journalism. Entrusted with the campus’s only two sections of the introductory Mass Communication class and given little guidance about how or what to teach, I was thrilled to find ready-made PowerPoint slides from the publisher included with the textbook.
November 7, 2010
American Colossus: The Triumph of Capitalism, 1865-1900 by H.W. Brands1. Maybe the best way to understand the first third of the 21st century is to learn about the last third of the 19th.
November 7, 2010
Last night I had the pleasure of attending the drama department production of Cabaret. I thought our students did a terrific job and the production was without doubt at a professional theater level. During the intermission, I went over to a senior faculty member in drama and we had a chance to catch up for the first time since last spring. The faculty member commented on how much harder it has become for faculty from throughout the University to just get a chance to talk. And he talked with fondness about on-site registration.
November 7, 2010
A recent New York Times article describes an incident in which two young people on bicycles ran down an 87-year-old woman on a Manhattan sidewalk, knocking her to the ground. The woman suffered a hip fracture that required surgery. A judge has ruled that they can be sued for negligence.You might think a lawsuit is a light punishment for that degree of reckless behavior—unless you consider that the perps were 4 and 5 years old, and their bikes had training wheels.
November 7, 2010
I was sitting in a session on InCommon at Internet 2 this week when I noticed my spouse’s name pop up in my inbox with the subject line "Trouble." Oh no, I thought, what could be wrong? Her mother has been ailing lately, and so my concern went immediately to her as I clinked on the message. Here is what it said in full:Hi
November 5, 2010
I was speaking with a Greenback student and the question was raised, "what's a good example of a sustainable product?"Even limiting it to consumer goods, a number of different possibilities came to mind. A good pair of work boots. A well-made hand tool (hammer, screwdriver, wrench). Much hardwood furniture made in this country before about 1980.But then it struck me.Corningware.
November 4, 2010
An occasional correspondent writes:

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