Greenback U has a lot of recycling containers on campus. Many are for paper only, some are for paper and cans/bottles/plastics in a single stream, and some are for paper and cans (etc.) separately. In addition, we have specialty recycling/disposal containers for batteries, for aerosol cans, for corrugated cardboard. If I get my way, we'll have a couple of specialty recycling containers for cell phones.
I’ve been planning a birthday party this week with my daughter. Her birthday is Feb. 13, sandwiched right in between Charles Darwin’s birthday on the 12th, and Valentine’s Day. With Darwin and my daughter both celebrating big decades this year (my daughter her 10th, Darwin his 200th), love, family and Darwin’s legacy have been on my mind.
We're starting to use the R word in a really serious way. Even with reducing the number of deans, we may not save enough to save every faculty job. While the dust is far from settled on next year's budget, it's pretty clear that we've blown well past our previous worst-case scenarios. Now we have to start looking at faculty retrenchment, at least on a contingency-plan basis.This is nobody's idea of fun.
I’m wondering if I should make Jill Biden my role model. It’s too late, of course, but I’m impressed by what I’ve seen of her so far. Raising three kids, teaching, going back to school for the doctorate later in life — she was impressive as a senator’s wife and, to me, even more so as the “Second Lady.” News reports snark at her for going by “Dr. Biden” when she’s not an M.D., but where I live that’s the norm: I never went by Dr.
Netbooks strike me as some of the best news for community colleges in a long time. In many cases, all we need for a rolling lab is internet access and decent keyboards, and netbooks offer those at much lower prices than standard laptops. (I can't imagine typing, say, an entire blog post on a smartphone keyboard, but I could on a decent netbook.) They're cheap enough that we won't need to buy extended warranties, saving even more. But I'm a little annoyed at Microsoft for not allowing manufacturers to put more than a single gig of ram on a machine that runs XP.
As the economy has gone into the crapper, so has the market for most recyclable materials. It just doesn't pay to ship tons of used cardboard, or even steel, across the Pacific to use in making new products (and the packaging for new products) when sales are down across the board. Plants are closing. Even the Japanese car companies are showing annual losses. And -- this just in -- the current recession is already the worst in terms of job losses since WWII, and there's no sign that it's hit bottom yet.
I remember reading once that one of the great paradoxes of American politics is that most Americans hold Congress in utter contempt, yet keep re-electing the same representatives. It's not necessarily a contradiction, in the strictest sense, but it's certainly counterintuitive.I'm finding that a similar dynamic holds with faculty attitudes towards deans.
I’m working to clear the decks for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Chicago next week, including polishing the essay I’ll read there. I had hoped to stream my reading of it for those who couldn’t attend, but as it turns out the hotel wants $8,000(!) to plug my Mac into their sound system.
Every once in a while, I drop by a nearby mall on my lunch break just for a change of scene, and sometimes to play with the cool stuff at the Apple store. No good can come of playing with cool stuff at the Apple store, but like a moth to a flame...Yesterday was particularly demanding, so I made a break for it at lunch.The mall was by far the quietest I've ever seen. Plenty of parking, nearly empty corridors, ample open seating. I noticed employees draped, bored, over counters, openly complaining of having nothing to do.I've never seen that before.