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March 18, 2010 - 6:56am
One of the challenges of teaching is negotiating students with severe psychological conditions — of which we teachers are sometimes informed, but never trained for. Sometimes these students are disruptive (as in the case of a student with Asperger’s who offended and alienated other students with her socially awkward comments) but often they just suffer quietly, withdrawn and/or mysteriously absent from class.
March 17, 2010 - 10:13pm
I've spent the last week or so slowly reading Lisa Dodson's The Moral Underground. It's only about 200 pages and the prose isn't dense, but it's sooooo depressing that it's hard to read quickly. I'm still reeling from it.
March 17, 2010 - 9:51pm
Okay Heath brothers, here's one for you. I'm tremendously enjoying your new book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard and I'm wondering how you would recommend a change in the academic cultural status quo that would encourage the inclusion of popular nonfiction in courses?
March 17, 2010 - 7:25am
Friday night was a long one for my children. Two of their friends came for a sleepover, and with all four children snuggled into the big sofa bed together, there wasn’t a lot of sleep happening. In anticipation of her buddy coming over, my five-year old daughter announced that they would stay up until midnight. So when the kids weren’t looking, I changed the digital clocks on the microwave and the stove (which they could see from the living room) so that midnight would happen a couple of hours sooner.
March 17, 2010 - 3:27am
Literary hermitage has a nice ring to it, but like most things, its enjoyment probably depends on the details.
March 16, 2010 - 9:39pm
I've read a fair number of pieces about 'casualization' over the last few years, particularly in the context of higher education. 'Casualization' is usually defined as the reallocation of work from full-time (that is, benefited) employees to part-time (or 'casual') employees. Since 'casual' employees can be fired relatively easily and don't cost very much, the argument goes, administrations like them. The argument is applied to adjuncts, who are then likened to people who work for temp agencies, Walmart, and any other villain conveniently at hand.
March 16, 2010 - 9:33pm
Every job is a technology job. Technology is baked into each aspect of work. Social media means that everyone in an organization is a communicator, everyone is a salesperson.
March 16, 2010 - 9:29pm
For years now, I've used Microsoft Office, running on Microsoft Windows. And for years, every time I've wanted to do something out of the ordinary -- something I don't do often, something I have to think about how to do -- I've spat and fumed about how Microsoft manages to hide simple functions deep inside complex menu structures. I have heard more than once that MS designs its Office menus not to make actual use easy and intuitive, but to make software demonstrations a bit more impressive.
March 15, 2010 - 10:03pm
As regular readers know, I'm usually unimpressed by The New York Times' coverage of higher education. But this story is almost adequate.
March 15, 2010 - 9:55pm
There are some undertakings so overwhelming that, if you knew too much about them before diving in, you might never embark on them. Having children, for example, is way too daunting if you think about the time and money spent, the income and sleep lost — you'd never do it if you drew up a detailed budget beforehand. Writing a dissertation — or a book — is a similarly unmanageable project that might cow anyone who really thought hard about how long it would take for how little reward.

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