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December 27, 2007
I'm in Poland, in freezing Krakow, a city marvelous enough to overcome even shitty weather. The old town's full of twisty streets and aromatic cafes, and UD's happy. Though cold.
December 21, 2007
Aaahhhhh.Hear that? That's the sound of no-students, the sound of final grades being deposited in a bank of computer servers. It's the sound of our cat, Gargantua, eating our Christmas tree.Happy holidays, everyone!
December 21, 2007
A few highlights of the Christmas preparation season:
December 20, 2007
I suppose this was inevitable.The unholy convergence of unaccountable tenure decisions; the up-or-out nature of tenure; anti-discrimination clauses; and adventuresome lawyers has given birth to this.
December 19, 2007
My sincere thanks to all of you who responded to my Funky Easy 1-Question (Okay, 2) Sociologica
December 18, 2007
No.Oh God, no.No, no, no.Nein. Nyet. Non. Huh-uh. Negative.I'll qualify that. Extra credit that's built into the syllabus from day one, available to all students equally and in advance, can be defensible. I'd worry if it counted for very much -- a course grade should ultimately reflect performance on the core of the course, rather than the periphery -- but I can see an argument for moving a B to a B-plus in an art history class if the student does (and documents) some museum trips, say.
December 18, 2007
There has to be a better way.I have what seems like thirty thousand logins, each requiring its own username and password combination. (That's not even counting PIN numbers.) Since the identity theft awareness campaigns have gained steam, some of these systems have changed their password rules to prevent anything easy toremember. As the number of username/password combinations has metastasized, I've found exactly three ways of dealing with the information cascade, none satisfactory.
December 17, 2007
It's specious, writes Philip Larkin in his fear-of-death poem, Aubade, for philosophers to tell us thatNo rational beingCan fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing thatThat this is what we fear: no sight, no sound,No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with...
December 16, 2007
This is really an exercise in idea-stealing, rather than a developed thought.Have you seen (or do you work at) a cc that does a consistently good job of presenting its faculty in public settings as local experts?
December 14, 2007
I can explain later (or not), but I'm quite serious. Please answer the following:John or Paul, and why?

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