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August 18, 2008 - 8:59pm
So the bathroom floor doesn't need replacing after all; instead, we need a termite guy. It may be more expensive than replacing the floor, but it will be less disruptive, so all in all I'm not too disappointed.
August 18, 2008 - 4:19pm
Higher education is all about information -- parsing it, passing judgment on it, and passing it on. Sustainability work is largely about keeping up with information -- with a problem complex enough to encompass the atmosphere, the biosphere, and the socio-sphere, new knowledge emerges daily and anyone's understanding is always incomplete. If you have to combine the two (as any university sustainability administrator must), a high tolerance for complexity is critical. Unfortunately, this same tolerance for complexity can lead us to over-think and over-explain.
August 17, 2008 - 9:31pm
A few months ago, I just broke up with my ex. We have a child together...a 3 year old. The hard thing for me is juggling between raising my child and going to graduate school full time. I am just so busy, and I feel as if I am not spending enough time with my son. Do you have any tips for me?
August 17, 2008 - 9:21pm
This year I'm seeing again some very creative definitions of the word 'emergency.' It's a special word, since it gives license to ignore the usual rules about all manner of things. It's easy to come up with cases in which a drastic, sudden change in circumstance required some improvisation in the short term – natural disasters, a string of snow days in a row, an unexpected and abrupt death. When things like that happen, there often isn't enough time to fulfill every procedural nicety, and there's a general understanding that some slack need be cut.
August 15, 2008 - 5:03am
A frustrated correspondent writes:
August 15, 2008 - 5:00am
I was out to breakfast with my good friend and his son the other day and his son ordered waffles. The waitress brought the waffles and syrup but didn’t bring butter. He stared at the plate. He stared at her. He didn’t say a word. When the waitress left he told his dad she forgot the butter. “Why didn’t you ask?” his father said. The boy just shrugged. He was shy. I know this feeling. I remember this feeling from when I was nine, but I also know it from my present life. It has become an interesting challenge as I begin work at a new institution.
August 14, 2008 - 10:08pm
Part of my job at Greenback U is to go around to other departments on campus and update them on the University's latest sustainability efforts. A portion of any update is often context setting -- sharing with folks why what we're doing improves sustainability, and pointing out some of the steps other universities have taken or new technologies now or soon to be available. Sure, we have a website, and send out an electronic newsletter, but there's nothing like face-to-face communication when you're trying to help people form an impression or an understanding.
August 14, 2008 - 9:49pm
Where to learn to shoot? Where does a fiftyish female English professor with bad aim and a bad attitude go for some bangbang? UD contemplated this. She considered an NRA class; she considered the many kind shooting invitations from gunnies that she got via this Inside Higher Ed series. She considered taking things slower, the way professors do, sitting around libraries reading about guns rather than shooting them...
August 13, 2008 - 10:26pm
Lately, I’ve been enjoying long walks with a good friend and colleague on our city’s arboretum trails. Years ago, we started walking together a couple of times a week at the end of the day. These walks were a great way to vent our frustrations about departmental politics, share teaching moments, and touch base with each other about our lives. I learned about the challenges faced by small departments and long-distance academic couples while she empathized with the death of my father and my new marriage.

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