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January 9, 2011
There is a section of my (virtual) bookshelf (stored on the Audible/Amazon cloud) that could be titled: "Why You Are an Idiot". When my spouse, kids, boss (or you) asks me how I can be so dumb so often, I can just point to these books. My most recent addition is, Blunder: Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions by Zachary Shore.
January 9, 2011
When my son was around ten, we discovered that we could access Jay Leno’s headlines on the computer. Since we both have a taste for low humor that my husband doesn’t share (for example, at one time we could reconstruct the “Asshole” routine from “Spaceballs” verbatim), and because I work late on Wednesday evenings and miss dinner, we developed a private Wednesday night ritual: I come home and fix a light meal for myself, and then we pull up the headlines and laugh hysterically as I eat.
January 7, 2011
Concern is developing over how theses and dissertations in creative writing programs get deposited in order to satisfy graduation requirements. Institutions have begun electronically archiving creative final projects, along with scholarly ones, which could make them available online with varying degrees of access.
January 7, 2011
Mr. John Galt and I have been engaged in an interesting discussion about rights; if you are curious, please take a look at the last couple of posts and the comments that follow.It might be worth making a connection here between that discussion and some recent national Internet policy issues. The F.C.C. neutrality matter is a case on point.So what do Locke, Freud and the net neutrality have in common? [Again, for the Locke (rights) and Freud reference, see the previous post/comments.]
January 7, 2011
The end of the year offers some time to review the previous year and think about teaching. I am thankful for all the students who are engaged and generally want to learn. These students fill my cup and make teaching a real blessing. I am also thankful (at times) for the students who just are not sure about the material and this entire “college” thing. These students make me work more to catch their interest and attention in the subject matter and in the discipline of Political Science.
January 6, 2011
This time of year, I take a break from my higher-ed wonkery and indulge in gadget wonkery. It’s the Consumer Electronics Show! (Sadly, I’m not there. Just musing...)Unfortunately, the folks at CES seem to be obsessed with the wrong problems. I’m not waiting with bated breath for the forty-seventh variation on an Android tablet. I don’t especially care about 3D tv, and all the cool 4G stuff just serves to remind me that my neck of the woods barely has 3G. Any time y’all would like to leave to cozy confines of New York City and San Francisco, feel free...
January 6, 2011
I am a Basecamp failure. I have failed at Basecamp. I have failed 37 Signals. Today I cancelled my Basecamp account. I admitted defeat, and in this space I own up to my inadequacies.Basecamp is terrific. Elegant, simple and affordable software. The fault must lie with me.
January 6, 2011
Grades from last semester are only a distant memory for most of us, but, as a new semester stretches out before us, I find myself thinking about last semester’s classes. I am particularly interested in feedback on an idea I have had for several years.
January 6, 2011
Two items of good news for the environment, one of them potentially very significant.
January 5, 2011
I ended last semester with 58 student research papers to read and grade in 10 days. 700 (digital) pages to digest, analyze and write comments for. After staying up until 6:00 AM on the last night that grades were due, I wondered to myself, “What’s my problem with multiple choice exams?”

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