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September 4, 2008 - 10:16pm
Classes have started, and the usual first-week crises have ensued, so I'm far too wiped for a proper post. Instead, it's the return of Friday Fragments. My Mom sent The Wife some old pictures of me, from high school and college. Actual conversation: TW: You look so skinny! Look, you barely have shoulders! You're like a rail! The Girl (reassuringly): Now you're nice and big, Daddy. Uh, thanks, honey. Conversation from earlier this week: The Boy: Dad, do I have to go to grad school? DD: Noooooo. Noooo, you don't. Nope.
September 3, 2008 - 11:59pm
Have you had the experience recently of your physician turning her computer screen toward you and googling something she needs to know? I have, twice in a month, and I have to say, it was a little disconcerting.
September 3, 2008 - 9:00pm
I've been slapping myself on the forehead all week, so I figured it would be safer to stop slapping and start writing. In the last few weeks, two of the biggest, most respected and sought after employers in our service area told me, independently and without prompting, that they desperately want bilingual employees. In the fields the employers represent, the ability to communicate with the population that actually exists is hugely important, and they've had a terrible time finding bilingual workers with the skills they want.
September 3, 2008 - 8:55pm
This week’s Chronicle of Higher Education contains an essay by Roger H. Martin, a former college president who spent a year as a freshman at St. John’s College in Maryland. Unlike Rebekah Nathan’s recent book, My Freshman Year, Martin, 61, did not go undercover in order to study undergraduates. Yet both experiments point out how radically our perspectives change when we become the students. However, professors are used to the intellectual climate of a classroom.
September 3, 2008 - 4:08pm
So ... "climate disruption", you say? I think I like it! Meanwhile ...
September 3, 2008 - 8:59am
My baby started kindergarten last week. Well, she’s actually five, and very ready for kindergarten, but she’s my youngest. I’ve been anticipating this for months now, with some trepidation. I haven’t so much been worried about her experience; I know the school and the teachers and I know she’ll enjoy it once she settles in. But I’ve had the creeping feeling of increasing pressure as I advance towards a time when it feels harder to call myself a full-time mom.
September 2, 2008 - 3:48pm
As we wait for the next water to break on the Palin story, it's worth recalling that one of the country's most high-profile conservative thinkers, Charles Murray, has been promoting a book which argues, among other things, that college should be reserved for America's intellectually gifted. The cognitive elite, Murray says, is the group most likely to be running government and industry; and, given these crucial responsibilities, it should be as seriously educated as possible:
September 1, 2008 - 8:49pm
Although community colleges have a more age-diverse student population than most of the rest of higher ed, the average age of cc students has been dropping for a while. Our fastest growth sectors are traditional-aged students and dual-enrollment students still in high school. Since we're getting more of the classic fresh-out-of-high-school crowd, we're seeing more first-time parental dropoffs than in the past.
September 1, 2008 - 8:22pm
Only two weeks ago I confidently announced that "it's not a race," that I'd be able to keep my head above water, my feet on the ground, my mind in the game . . . OK, I didn't really employ all those cliches, but I watched a lot of Olympic coverage and they snuck in there. In any event, all the pre-semester planning made it seem as if I'd get right back into the swing of the semester, and still have time for myself.

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