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September 16, 2008 - 9:50pm
My kids have been playing soccer since they were 4 years old, and just this week, I found out that the mother of one of my youngest daughter’s teammates is an author of a novel. As we watched our 7-year-old daughters warm up before a game, I asked her what her novel was about. Being in the military. Turns out that she graduated from West Point, and had had a full military career before becoming an author and a full-time soccer mom of 5 soccer-star children, ranging in age from 18 to 7. Wow, I had no idea that she had gone to West Point.
September 15, 2008 - 10:10pm
I'm teaching Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein in one of my classes right now, and somehow it's striking a different chord this week than it usually does. Perhaps it's because one of the commenters last week used the term "career suicide," which is one of those phrases that come up when folks talk about balancing academic careers with parenting.
September 15, 2008 - 10:04pm
A new correspondent writes: The small, regional university at which I teach in the Midwest has a new president. He has what I believe to be a unique approach to administration: his wife is present with him at every school function, and is always introduced as "First Lady of (insert school name)." This has recently progressed to her appearing in newsletters and promotional materials as "First Lady of..."
September 15, 2008 - 2:37pm
I got an email recently from a PR person, including a link to a report her client is currently pushing. The client is a major supplier to information technology departments, both on campus and off. The report focuses on energy efficiency (hence the tie-in to sustainability) within IT operations.
September 15, 2008 - 5:00am
I had a conversation last week with the chair of the Human Services program (think Social Work), in which she made the point that she didn't know how her program should be categorized. As she explained her dilemma, I realized I didn't know, either.
September 15, 2008 - 4:56am
Okay, first up, people, ASK ME QUESTIONS. I'm kind of bad about remembering to write this column on Friday, which no doubt tries my editor's patience, but it doesn't help when I have NO QUESTIONS to answer.
September 14, 2008 - 2:08pm
One of the decisions each campus has to make, early in the process of doing a greenhouse gas inventory, is where to set the borders, or boundaries, to be analyzed. What geographic locations will be included? What vehicles? What activities? Defining scope is probably the most important task, at the outset.
September 12, 2008 - 9:26pm
I'm sitting on Leslie Whittington's bench. Born 1955. You can only follow one or two stories, and of course UD - a George Washington University professor who has spent research time in Australia - has followed Leslie's. She was a Georgetown University professor, on sabbatical, on her way - with her husband and daughters - to a research appointment in Australia. She was almost the same age as UD.
September 12, 2008 - 4:12pm
“Take a stand!” I urged a freshman in a conference during office hours just this morning. “Your paper is wishy-washy. You readers want you to have an opinion and support it with evidence from your research!” “But,” she pleaded, “What if I have mixed feelings?” I urged her to try to quantify her mixed feelings as a percentage and go with the side that’s higher. “But what if it’s fifty-fifty?” Well. Then you go with your gut and support the side that feels right this morning.
September 12, 2008 - 1:04pm
The fall semester was only two weeks old, and we’d already worked through Irving, Hawthorne, and Poe. But my students and I didn’t know each other well yet, and I was aware when I assigned Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” that the add/drop date hadn’t passed.


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