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September 7, 2010 - 10:20pm
The first week of classes has a charm all its own. Students are everywhere, professors are rested and ready, nobody’s behind yet, parking is a nightmare of Biblical proportions, a few professors turn up missing at the last minute, and everyone -- everyone -- complains about the bookstore.It’s the same every year. It’s actually sort of reassuring.I can count on hearing certain things, and have already gone through most of the list for this year:“Books are too expensive!” Yes, they are.“Can you believe what some students wear in public?” No, I can’t.
September 7, 2010 - 9:45pm
The comment posts and discussion in yesterday's blog post on "3 Ideas for For-Profit Communication" are fascinating. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far to the discussion. (The debate and questions raised in the comments section are fascinating - and I'm particularly pleased that people from the for-profit and non-profit world are contributing).I was struck by what MiddleMgmt wrote:
September 7, 2010 - 6:15pm
Often, when I'm talking to someone of a certain age -- not so much students as parents of students -- about shifting American society in a more sustainable dimension, I get the definite impression that they think I'm trying to force us all back into a stone-age lifestyle. I'm not, and I wouldn't, and I don't want it for me or my kids, but the case that such a shift is orders of magnitude more drastic than anything that would be necessary takes longer to make than casual conversation can sustain.
September 7, 2010 - 2:00pm
Sometimes if you just wait long enough, everything falls into place.In terms of the ideas, that is what has happened in the Google/Verizon issue for this set of blogs. Intentionally I wanted to provide background for my opinion: that American society would benefit from strong regulatory presence in this area of “net neutrality.” In the meantime a couple of important developments have occurred. In two New York Times stories last week evidence for my position emerged: the F.C. C.’s request for more comment and consumer pushback on Google.
September 7, 2010 - 4:15am
I'm currently a two calendar person. For my academic advising position at OSU, I utilize Outlook as my primary calendar. Advising appointments are placed on my calendar throughout the day. During peak advising, it's not unusual for my calendar to have 12 advising appointments on it for every day of the work week. Outlook tells me where I am supposed to be at every hour of the work day.
September 6, 2010 - 10:16pm
A new correspondent writes:After completing my MA in Rhetoric and Writing in 2008, I started adjuncting at a community college, teaching multiple sections of academic writing. After one quarter of teaching, the economy tanked, the state slashed funding to higher ed, my college felt the squeeze, and sections were cut. As a new adjunct with no seniority, I was among the first to be told the college wouldn’t be able to offer me any teaching work in the foreseeable future.
September 6, 2010 - 10:00pm
There was an interesting story in the New York Times Magazine this past Sunday on a simple, inexpensive, and effective means of bringing malnourished children back to health. It’s a gooey fortified peanut butter called “Plumpy’nut,” and if you want to know how to make it, here’s the recipe.
September 6, 2010 - 9:45pm
Whatever you think about the pros or cons of the for-profit educational sector, one thing I think we can all agree on is that the for-profits are losing the communications game. Perhaps my circle of colleagues is unrepresentative, and perhaps the for-profits are unconcerned what educators in the non-profit world think, but I've seen a real shift in recent months toward a more critical stance about for-profits among my peers.
September 6, 2010 - 7:47pm
My second year at Richmond, I became the coordinator of the Women’s Studies Program. I had not intended to take on administrative duties that early in my career, but the previous coordinator had already served nine years and needed a break, and I had come to an early meeting and expressed an interest in the program that seemed, I guess, promising to those who’d been working in the trenches for some time.
September 6, 2010 - 7:45pm
Vacation is supposed to be a time away from one’s normal routine – an escape from the drudgery of day-to-day life. However, when you are trained to critique and engage in critical dialogue, it becomes virtually impossible to unplug and escape. This is the conundrum of an academic on vacation. We can’t stop thinking and we don't really want to.

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