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July 9, 2008 - 5:32am
When do we get snacks? Now? Now? Stand up? Aw, man... I can do an armpit fart. Watch! Oh, yeah? Mine's better! (Dancing) Hot dogs! I have to go to the bathroom. Me too! I'll go with you! (Cartwheels in the men's room. Literally.) I want popcorn! I want ice cream! (Dancing) (Climbing railings) Ice cream! (celebration ensues) I have to go to the bathroom. Me too! I'll go with you! (Urinal bumping. Don't ask.) Seventh inning what?
July 9, 2008 - 5:06am
Vance Fried's proposal for a "$7,376 Ivy" isn't intended to be about sustainability, unless we're talking about the sustainability of the economic and political health of the higher education industry within the USA. His intent is merely (if that term applies) to create a conceptual prototype for what an undergraduate institution would look like, if it were created from scratch and designed to deliver maximum value for the price charged.
July 8, 2008 - 9:05am
Greenback U. is, in the terminology of those who think and write analytically about such things, a "multiversity." It's a double-handful of schools and colleges, "united by a common heating system." It does a lot of things, some of them very well. One of the things it doesn't do well is institute change. Making change well requires coordination. Coordination, in a large organization, requires planning. Planning, at Greenback, is a patchwork at best.
July 7, 2008 - 9:03pm
I had a conversation this week with a colleague at whose college, as at so many others, the level of benefit an employee gets is based on her hire date. The farther back you were hired, the better your benefits. This isn't just a matter of, say, compounding interest; it applies to things like health insurance and retirement account contributions. Newer hires pay larger percentages of salary for retirement, and have larger payroll deductions for health insurance, than do their coworkers the next office down.
July 7, 2008 - 8:58pm
One of the nice things about blogging is the sense it can provide of participating in an ongoing conversation. After blogging about parenting in the news, for example, I read this interesting post by an academic who has a very different kind of position than mine.
July 7, 2008 - 4:44am
This week’s letter is from a tenured creative writing professor at a state college, who has two small children and is looking for a career change. Here’s an except from Coral:
July 6, 2008 - 9:38pm
Before my sojourn, I asked folks to contribute any tips for academic job candidates going out on interviews. Lo and behold, they did! (The generosity of the blogosphere continues to amaze me.) A few highlights, qualifiers, and afterthoughts:
July 6, 2008 - 10:34am
She'll have to drop the torch and the tablet to use it, though.
July 4, 2008 - 1:03am
We live with constant news of environmental catastrophe and possible, probable and certain extinctions, including humankind’s. Granted, the reports are sometimes contradictory. Polar bears have become the bellwether for global warming due to loss of habitat, but the news the other day said they’ll all retire south to Alaska and be fine. Maybe they’ll have a gated community.
July 3, 2008 - 9:37am
A recent post on Gristmill spoke to Volkswagen's increasing investment in hybrid cars, and the industry trend towards less internal combustion, higher reliance on electrical propulsion.

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