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February 28, 2012
So, to protect my own fragile ego, I like to have practice runs of my big presentations in more casual events--but not where the entire audience is made up of my friends and family.  Brown bags are a great resource for practicing your presentation, building your confidence, and sharing your research.   We have them on campus all the time and they give you an opportunity to present your materials in a somewhat casual, but somewhat formal setting.  Sometimes you'll get some friendly and familiar faces in the crowd, but more often than not, it simulates the "real thing" in a more effective setting than sitting in front of a mirror and practicing your speech. 
February 28, 2012
Isn’t it time to give it up with those silly global rankings already?
February 28, 2012
As regular readers know, I grew up in a city with minor league baseball. As it happened, a few of the players from the years I paid attention went on later to significant major league careers; one of them even became a first-ballot Hall of Famer. (Yes, I saw him play in the minors. Even then, you could tell he’d be special.)
February 28, 2012
We need more dialog about our teaching failures, including how we define failure in the classroom.
February 28, 2012
The techno thriller is fast becoming one of my preferred fiction genres. Zero Day is a terrific beach book (or whatever the winter February school vacation equivalent is, the time period in which I interfaced with the book).
February 28, 2012
The last couple weekends around home have been math weekends. Not by choice, not by design, not for fun. My daughter brings home a fair amount of math homework from middle school. She’s actually pretty good at it but she doesn’t realize this, because (her words) she thinks her friends are all better than she is at doing it. To be fair, the work is hard.
February 28, 2012
Bookrenter is spilling out a separate company today called Rafter, aiming to help offer universities better deliver course materials. This isn't just about finding cheaper textbooks (although that's part of it), but rather providing a technology infrastructure to help campuses better purchase, manage and distribute educational content.
February 27, 2012
The unruly process of ‘innovation’ has long stumped analysts and advocates.
February 27, 2012
A colleague here likes to tell the story of the evening student who visited her office in tears. The student had been trying to locate an academic adviser for a while, and at the time, they weren’t easily available in the evenings. (We’ve since changed that.) By my colleague’s telling, the student complained that it wasn’t fair; she had to work during the day, but she still wanted to feel “just like a real college student.” That meant advisors, and faculty, and even student clubs.
February 27, 2012
Come Fall semester I predict that Going Solo will be on the syllabi of sociology courses across the land.

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