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March 6, 2012
It’s still too early in the semester for my students to have handed anything in for me to grade, but at the point where lectures are still pretty rote. I finished revising a paper this week, resubmitted, and realized I don’t have any other looming deadlines that desperately need to be met. While there are always thing that can be done, there was nothing pressing that needed doing.
March 6, 2012
This morning, I happened to hear a story on NPR about peer-to-peer car-sharing. Folks (those mentioned in the story were university students) become members of an organization. Some join to be able to rent privately-owned cars on an hourly basis, others to make their personal vehicles available in return for up to 60% of rental fees. The central organization (company) takes care of member screening (for credit-worthiness, a clean driving record, etc.) and all the administrative overhead.
March 6, 2012
Here is where law, policy and technology get interesting: When can a government entity shut down service in the name of social order? Some might raise the bar of the question and ask: Should a government entity have the ability to shut down a communication service?  If so, what is the "test," i.e. under what circumstances? The inquiry gets even better: Who gets to the define and set the bar?
March 5, 2012
Go to enough panels, and you start to detect themes.
March 5, 2012
Today I attended my first unconference, a one-day event put on by NERCOMP on the learning management system (LMS).
March 5, 2012
Today is the first day of my spring break. The day began at 5:45 am with a call from the local school system to tell us that there would be a 2-hour delay in school opening due to “predicted inclement weather.” I put the phone down, told my husband what was up, and tried to overcome the adrenaline that an early-morning phone call always elicits and get back to sleep—then realized that the call had come from my son’s former school system, not the one he’s in now. I was pretty fully awake by then, so I got up to check on his school—and saw the snow falling in large, lazy flakes, blanketing the cars but not, as far as I could see, the roads.
March 5, 2012
  Control is important, we need to be able to balance a number of lives as grad students, maintain multiple fellowships and jobs, work on our research as well as ace our classes, and make a good impression in the department as well as the broader discipline. Our success comes from the close control over every aspect of our professional and academic lives: mapping out every minute of our week into our Google calendars, tracking assignments through various iPhone apps, using Zotero to organize every bibliographic reference, and keeping up with the professionals through every social media site we can think of. This is good, it keeps us grounded. So here's the problem: you can't control everything.
March 4, 2012
The theme for this year’s League for Innovation conference seems to be “where is everybody?” Attendance seems visibly down from last year. Last year’s conference was in San Diego. This year’s is in Philly. I’m not saying that’s the reason; I’m not saying that’s not the reason
March 4, 2012
Today is the end of the first week of teaching in the South African academic year. It’s been an experience that any academic at any university around the world would recognise: the chaos of finding timetables and new lecture venues, the inevitable problems with IT and parking spaces, the long queues at university bookshops, and in the midst of all this, a new group of anxious, happy, first year students.

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