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May 16, 2010 - 9:31pm
Commencement is one week away and the end of the semester activities are in full swing. I presented my annual comprehensive report to the full faculty last Monday, the University’s major annual fundraising gala was last Thursday and before, after, and in between there were and are end of the semester gatherings covering virtually every area of the University from the Phi Beta Kappa induction ceremony to the Senior Athletes Recognition Dinner.
May 16, 2010 - 9:02pm
I'm not trying to pay homage to Nicholas Carr and his new book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. I don't think I'll read Carr's new book, as the article that it grows out of -- "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" -- sort of annoyed me.
May 16, 2010 - 7:06pm
The responses to last week’s column have resonated with me in an especially intense way this week.
May 14, 2010 - 2:05am
What's the best way to convey meaningful lessons in financial literacy to 18 year olds? I'm consistently struck at the disconnect between "what's supposed to be true" and "the real world."
May 14, 2010 - 2:00am
I received a few e-mails this week from people who work in the online for-profit sector, following my offer to review and report on their online courses. The communications, I think, we're aimed at trying to suss out any “anti for-profit” biases that I may harbor, particularly if they were going to let me loose to evaluate their courses. Fair enough.I thought it made sense to think about my own biases, and then state them for the record.
May 13, 2010 - 8:22pm
Imagine a number line, extending in both directions infinitely. Above this line we might graph bars that represent the proportion of observations of something that fall within any given interval on the number line. We can do this for much of the data sets that show up in nature, such as the length of a leaf on a tree, the height of a grown woman, the average body temperature or even the length of a human life. When we start graphing these data that show up in nature, we notice that they tend to all look slightly similar.
May 13, 2010 - 8:18pm
Next year is the 50th anniversary of the original (French language) publication of Frantz Fanon's classic, The Wretched of the Earth. It's one of the books that's on my "top 50 sustainability tomes" list, but that didn't make the list put out by Greenleaf Publishing. Of course, Fanon rarely appears on anyone's list of "sustainability writers", and almost certainly wouldn't have considered himself in such terms. However, approached with an open mind, he has quite a lot to say on the subject, and all of it is important.
May 13, 2010 - 4:35pm
Pay my title no mind: I was listening to Tom Petty’s Wildflowers on my long drive up this short mountain. Besides, it’s no secret that I feel pretty darned good with the semester over, notification that my novel has won the Eric Hoffer Award in the micropress category, and a working vacation in progress to begin a new book.
May 13, 2010 - 8:30am
Like fellow blogger, Libby Gruner, I too spent the end of the semester in a lively discussion about teaching.
May 12, 2010 - 9:43pm
To get a sense of the stuff that drives administrators crazy, see if you can spot the hole in the three decision rules:1. Students need academic advisors from day one.2. Students' academic advisors should be faculty in their chosen majors.3. Students shouldn't have to change advisors.If you guessed "but students don't always know what they want to major in," you win! (I'd also give credit to "but students change their majors all the time!")


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