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February 9, 2011
Our stubborn refusal to go with the flow may have put our son in an awkward position. This month kids in grades 4 and 7 in British Columbia schools, both public and private, began taking the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) tests mandated by the provincial government, ostensibly as a tool for parents, teachers, and administrators to see whether children can do the basics such as reading and arithmetic.
February 8, 2011
I overhear a fair amount of student conversation, just walking the hallways and occasionally eating in the cafeteria. Words I haven’t heard: Egypt, Mubarek, Obama, oil, revolution, war.Words I have heard: class, facebook, job, work, girlfriend, assorted cursingAdmittedly, this is an unscientific sample, and far from comprehensive. Somewhere, someone may be having an earnest, searching discussion of, say, American foreign policy. But I haven’t seen or heard it.
February 8, 2011
On the 3rd of January, I showed up bright and early for my Comparative Politics class and was peeved that only 1/3 of my students showed up. One student who was due to deliver an oral report said she wasn’t ready because “she didn’t think I would hold classes that day.” I was similarly aghast that many of the faculty members from my Division were also absent that day. The Arts and Sciences building felt like a ghost town--the habitués having decided they needed an extra day to recuperate from their holiday hangover.
February 8, 2011
Will higher ed follow the TV quality curve? TV today is immeasurably better than the time when I was in college ('87 to '91). Why has TV improved so much? And what can the reasons behind the improvement in TV teach us about improving higher ed?What were the best TV shows of the 1980s? My list would include:
February 8, 2011
The ACUPCC requires schools to report some Scope 3 (external) emissions as part of their greenhouse gas inventories. Most other organizations that require GHG inventories stop at Scope 1 or, at most, Scope 2. There are good reasons why the PCC asks for at least some Scope 3 emissions, however.
February 8, 2011
 Young India has a comparative advantage in an ageing world but India can profit from it only through education. Thus, education and of late higher education has received a lot of attention. Increased government funding supplemented by buoyancy in household spending is a testimony of this. But increased resources are not enough, thus several measures to overhaul higher education governance have been initiated.
February 7, 2011
The #SAtech community is full of a wonderful array of practitioners who work within every functional area of student affairs. I'm compiling a list of folks to interview/feature and cannot wait to share their stories. Student affairs professionals are using technology in new and exciting ways and I am thrilled that folks are letting me bombard them with emails/questions.
February 7, 2011
My daughter Mariah used to have a Spanish teacher who would quell a restive class by commanding them to “press the pause button!” They all knew what he meant, and it (sometimes) worked. I’ve often wanted to try something like that myself — not with noisy teenagers, but with my life. With committee work, administrative duties, teaching, grading, reading, and writing, sometimes I lose track of myself for a while and simply move on automatic pilot. When that happens it’s time to “press the pause button.”
February 7, 2011
How old will you be in 2050? I will be 81. At 81 I plan to be still working in higher ed, still running, still writing, still teaching, still contributing. What about you?
February 7, 2011
Actual conversation from last night, at the kitchen table. The Girl is writing out her Valentine’s Day cards, and The Boy is working on a report on Thomas Edison.The Wife: TB, do you have to do valentines?TB: Well, we don’t have to, but we can. If we do, we have to do one for everyone in the class.TW: Do you want to?TB: (shrugging): I guess so.TW: Is there anyone outside of your class you’d like to give one to?(pause)TB (smirking): I choose not to disclose that information.

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