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October 24, 2008 - 3:51am
Hello! My name is Rosemarie, and I am the new writer for this Mama, Ph.D. column. Before I begin, I would like to thank Anjalee for her work in this column in the last few months. She will certainly be a tough act to follow!
October 24, 2008 - 3:47am
There was a time when I usually used the word "rocks" as a verb. Now it's very much a noun. In implementing the current round of budget cuts, the first task has been to get every example of a few categories of expense on a single list, so we can prioritize. This is harder than you might think. I've already had several meetings that have gone pretty much like this: DD: "Okay, so now we finally have everything, right?" Colleague 1: "Right." DD: "Good. So our total is..." C1: "Wait! What about [bizarre, byzantine exception]?" DD: "Huh?"
October 22, 2008 - 10:07pm
Flying back from my conference last weekend, I experienced a moment of rare satisfaction: the conference had gone well, our book debuted, and I’d made some new friends. I’m in the productive period in my life right now: I’m engaged in satisfying scholarly projects, I’m happy being married, I’m enjoying my four year old daughter, and I finally have a community of friends outside of the university. How does this make me feel? Frustrated that it took me so long. If only I had been this confident in my twenties, I lament to myself, I would be really successful by now.
October 22, 2008 - 10:05pm
Wise and worldly readers, I need the benefit of your varied experience. Have you been able to make a January intersession work on your campus? If so, how?
October 22, 2008 - 6:10am
I had one of those moments of cognitive dissonance this week, when I was at a meeting trying to establish a regional consortium to prepare workers for a particular industry.
October 22, 2008 - 5:44am
At breakfast Monday morning my husband came downstairs to announce that he’d thought of something for his Christmas list. Hurray, I thought, quickly grabbing pen and paper to write down an idea from the world’s most difficult person to shop for. “I need a new dive watch,” he said. “Oh, great,” was my sarcastic response. “Something nice and cheap.” We agreed that it was probably too extravagant a gift and that we’d have to see if we could afford it. But our son suddenly chimed in from his waffle:
October 22, 2008 - 5:38am
So, when all is said and done, what matters is getting Greenback to a position of sustainability. We need to get out of the habit of taking more (of anything) than we put back. We need to learn how to stop creating wastes we don't resorb. We need to get out of what the cyberneticians call "positive feedback loops" because, after a while, the feedback doesn't seem all that positive. We need to find, and model, and pass on to our students a sense of balance, of equilibrium, of stability.
October 20, 2008 - 10:04pm
The comments on Aeron Haynie's post last week got me thinking: are benefits for working parents fair? Some commenters suggest that they aren't, that parents get "extra compensation" in the guise of health insurance, tuition remission benefits, etc. Of course, those don't end up as money in the pockets of said parents -- but they are additional expenses paid by the employer, it's true.
October 20, 2008 - 10:00pm
An alert reader sent me this story from the Seattle Times. It's about the hiring and abrupt firing, with allegations of physical assault, of Washington State University Provost Steven Hoch. It's worth reading in its entirety, since every detail seems sillier than the one before it. Even without any additional information, I read the story very differently than its author apparently does.
October 19, 2008 - 9:47pm
If you want to watch a dean's eyes roll back into her head, just ask for something and tell her to "find the money in the budget." I've heard this phrase dozens of times over the last several years, but it still strikes me as slightly odd. It gives the impression that funding new projects is a matter of looking for change between sofa cushions. And, in a way, it is.

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