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November 16, 2008 - 7:19pm
A new correspondent writes:I'm a postdoc at a big research university. We have a confluence of events at our University which could really lead to something really great happening, but no one seems much interested, and it wouldfrustrate me to no end if the opportunity is missed. So I'd like to know -- what's the best way to pitch a new idea to a new Dean?
November 16, 2008 - 5:17pm
Norman Maclean, an Aristotelian, learned deeply what Aristotle taught: tragic art is cathartic. Toward the end of his life, he wrote a small American tragedy, A River Runs Through It, and in writing it released himself from decades of grief and confusion over his murdered brother.
November 15, 2008 - 7:17pm
Over the last year or so I've gone to 1 or 2 conferences, taken 1 or 2 training classes, visited a number of campuses outside the Backboro metropolitan area. Traveling always presents me with a quandary -- do I really need to go? if I really need to go, what's the most ecologically responsible way to get there? is being ecologically responsible worth the hassle?
November 14, 2008 - 11:59pm
It’s interesting and strange to me how easy it is to sink into a willful belief that the Internet has everything we might want to know, loaded up by handlers into its magic boxes, if only we knew where to look.
November 13, 2008 - 9:37pm
Charles Manning, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, acknowledged that adjuncts teach a large share of the classes at the board's institutions. "They are critical," he said. Asked if they were well paid, he said that they are "clearly not." At the same time, he defended the decision not to raise the maximum [pay] level. "That would raise expectations when we don't have the money," he said.It's not a matter of enlightening the suits. We know. The problem is deeper.
November 13, 2008 - 9:18pm
This is the time of the school year when many of us are running around looking for people to teach classes for us as adjunct professors. This brings back memories of the times I worked as an adjunct professor when I was in graduate school, acquiring experience as I was paid minimally for my time. Today, as chair, I see the market for adjuncts from another perspective. I want to take a minute today to discuss the economics behind the market for adjunct professors, and how this might help potential adjunct professors find the best possible position.
November 13, 2008 - 7:53pm
UD has stepped in the same river twice, and reread, after twenty years, Norman Maclean's story, A River Runs Through It. She hasn't seen the film again, but she remembers admiring it.Maclean was an English professor at the University of Chicago when UD was a graduate student there. He must have been retired, or almost retired.
November 13, 2008 - 1:27pm
So if the title is "Tuesday", why am I posting this on a Thursday? Simple -- when the conference ended late Tuesday afternoon, I rode/drove back to Backboro, arriving in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. As a result, I was wiped out yesterday. And when I'm wiped out, I can hardly read, much less write.
November 13, 2008 - 4:57am
Last night I attended a parents’-night talk on healthy eating at my daughter’s preschool. I had no intention of going; as an avid reader of books on nutrition and someone who cooks absurdly healthy meals, I knew they would be preaching to the choir. But my daughter was in a frenzy of excitement and begged that we attend the “party at school,” so I forced my husband to sit for an hour in an uncomfortable chair while two nursing students nervously lectured to 15 parents about the food pyramid.
November 12, 2008 - 10:00pm
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that community colleges will be the next beneficiaries of their largesse. A few responses:First, Woo-Hoo! (insert video of DD doing the Snoopy dance)Second, I hope they're willing to recognize the work that has already been done, so they don't spend great googahs of money reinventing the wheel. Philanthropists have been known to do that.

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