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February 2, 2010 - 9:48pm
Too many of the arguments I've read and heard for hiring more full-time faculty rely on moralistic appeals. The idea seems to boil down to a simpleminded equation of "market" with "bad" and "tradition" with "good." Moralistic arguments don't work because they solve the wrong problem. But there's a perfectly reasonable market-based argument for hiring full-time faculty right now: buy low, sell high. Great people have never been as undervalued as they are now; this is an unprecedented hiring opportunity.
February 2, 2010 - 9:42pm
Even my worst days as a learning technologist beat the crap out of my best days in most of the jobs I've had. I've worked food service (Dunkin Donuts), and I've worked retail (ladies clothing - don't ask), and trust me that working in academic technology is a choice gig. Truth be told, I was terrible at any job that required a cash register. If you've ever worked behind coffee counter then you will always, and I mean always, leave money in the tip jar.
February 2, 2010 - 9:34pm
One of the questions that Greenback students often pose about carbon dioxide emissions runs along the lines of, "well, if there's more CO2, isn't that good for plants? And aren't plants good for the environment?"
February 1, 2010 - 10:34pm
A dispirited correspondent writes:
February 1, 2010 - 9:51pm
Today was a snow day of sorts and tomorrow's another one, so I'm feeling a bit behind. I've been thinking, though, about what I've learned so far this semester — here's a start:1) Startitis doesn't work when you make a big mistake near the beginning of a project but don’t notice it until the end. Ask me how I know this.
February 1, 2010 - 9:43pm
Grand Nannie is 92. She wants to be able to speak to her computer to have it do three things: 1) Transfer her paper rolodex into the computer (by speaking) and then be able to retrieve the names (by voice) so she can dictate a letter.2) Dictate letters.3) Look at the news.
February 1, 2010 - 12:01pm
Today is another day of firsts. At the lab session, I’ll do my first quiz, then we’ll do our first experiments (we’ll discover the properties of air), and I’ll conclude by apologizing to the T.A. for turning in my first homework a week late.
February 1, 2010 - 12:29am
I probably never mentioned it, but I’m originally from Southern Illinois, a geographically and culturally unique region that’s been marginalized for decades.
January 31, 2010 - 9:30pm
At our mid-year commencement a few weeks ago, a faculty member I have known for many years asked me if I had been reading his Huffington Post blog on a regular basis. I answered yes and he asked me what I thought.
January 31, 2010 - 9:25pm
In ninth grade, I had a wonderful, high-energy social studies teacher whose favorite exhortation was "wisdom and knowledge!" He'd usually punctuate it by thwacking his yardstick against a desk while we took notes. At the time, it was an entertaining shtick, and I didn't think much about the distinction between wisdom and knowledge. With age and experience, though, I'm beginning to appreciate the difference.


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