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June 12, 2011
I suspect all our American readers know this passage from Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken:” “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.”
June 12, 2011
A good friend from grad school came to visit this weekend. He is the chair of his department, and has had an incredible academic faculty career. Spending time with him has gotten me thinking about roads not taken, and the different lives of an administrator working in a campus technology position (what I'm doing), as compared to progressing through a more traditional faculty academic career.
June 12, 2011
On November 9, 1965, my doctor appointment in mid town Manhattan lasted longer than I expected and I needed to be at a meeting at The City College within less than 30 minutes. So instead of a casual walk from Madison to 7th or 8th Avenue to get on the subway, I decided to make use of connecting trains. I was very fortunate, the train came immediately (at about 5:25PM) and though it was very crowded, I was on my way. Well, on my way, turned out to be an exaggeration.
June 12, 2011
Last week, Ben's band had their first paying gig in Manhattan. It was a pretty big deal -- an attractive Upper East Side venue, a good-sized crowd, and people to help with equipment. They were terrific (though too loud for these old-fogey ears). Even more impressive, to me, Ben seems to do naturally what I'm striving to learn in my improvisation class -- to think quickly on his feet, and to stay relaxed and in the moment through numerous unanticipated complications.
June 10, 2011
I have been focused, some might say obsessed, with concern about the future of higher education, if not since I devoted my life's work to its enterprise some thirty years ago, increasingly as I have observed challenges escalate to threats emerge to not-for-profit higher education in the last few years. Copyright conundrums are both symptom and disease. With its policy tentacles extending from the free market to speech, copyright and its inimical balance of innovation and incentive sits squarely in the center of why, for and how higher education operates at is most dynamic levels.
June 10, 2011
Several alert readers pointed me this week to the launch of the New College of the Humanities in England. Although much of what I’ve read about it has been maddeningly vague, it seems to be a for-profit enterprise in which students will be charged premium tuition for access to courses (though not yet degrees, apparently) in humanistic disciplines, with a smattering of employment skills.
June 10, 2011
I had an unusually busy travel year. Usually, I go to one conference - at most. This time I went to an embarrassing number, and most of them were out of my discipline.
June 10, 2011
Walking Wolfie in to preschool, hand-in-hand. He asks me to go with him down the hall to the classroom. Then, precise routine of goodbye, three kisses each—left cheek, right cheek, forehead. His are wet. He lingers at the door in his red baseball cap and fleece-lined corduroy jacket, waves again. I walk up the sidewalk to the car, a cold fall morning, my cheeks tingling where he kissed me. Love.
June 9, 2011
The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships by Clifford Nass and Corina Yen

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