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October 4, 2011
Last week, I riffed on a controversy over a library organization restructuring that led to new positions being created, old positions being eliminated, and a handful of long-time library staff members being out of a job.
October 4, 2011
I just finished James H. Kunstler's novel, World Made by Hand. It's the tale of a small community near the New York - Vermont state line, during a summer some years after civilization (as we know it) has fallen apart. Kunstler doesn't take the Hollywood blockbuster track -- no clear single causes, no huge digital effects (nor the literary equivalents thereof).
October 4, 2011
Accreditation is about as ambiguous a measure as anyone could imagine. Yet, being “accredited” has tremendous value in the academic world. In the United States, it is a benchmark that suggests that a “certain” standard has been met. But that benchmark covers many very different kinds of institutions with different missions, resources, infrastructure, and constituents. We are invariably awarding the same level of validation to apples, oranges, bananas, kumquats, and lingonberries.
October 3, 2011
What if you could predict with confidence which prospective students would succeed in college and which wouldn’t?
October 3, 2011
First we were soccer parents. I used to feel that we were the worst soccer parents in the world — we didn’t own a minivan, for one thing, and we had no real connection to the sport, for another. Our daughter started soccer in kindergarten, in part (if I’m totally honest) because it offered an additional hour or two of care after school once or twice a week. The shift from 9-5 daycare to 9-3 schooling had left us a little unprepared — and soccer helped fill the gap.
October 3, 2011
Do you work with colleagues who have chosen to work something less than full-time? Perhaps these colleagues are income packaging, combing paying gigs from multiple sources based on professional interests and a desire to keep a diverse work portfolio. Or maybe they have family commitments and priorities that require flexible or non-standard schedules to fit everything in. Maybe they have other additional interests, and choose to work part-time so they can reserve time and energy to invest in these avocations.
October 3, 2011
When our communications director suggested that I “star” in a jesting video for an event celebrating the College’s 125th anniversary last spring, I was extremely apprehensive. As an undergraduate, I was without question the worst actor in a troupe that included a stray cat, blind in one eye. I did not make a keepsake of the review that described my acting as “wooden,” but I well remember it. It should not have come as a surprise for a reserved, self-conscious English major, not given, in the end, to theatrics.
October 2, 2011
I have been travelling quite a bit in recent months; I attended several conferences and met many new and interesting people. While many of the discussions in the presentation halls have been on the official topics of the conferences; the “unconferences,” the meetings during the coffee breaks and official receptions, have brought up other topics, and more often than not the question of being a women and an academic came up in the discussion.
October 2, 2011
Though I’m a confessed agnostic on the subject of learning styles, I enjoyed this essay quite a bit. It suggests the danger of mismatching a style of teaching to a subject matter, so that the folks who do well in the course as taught are not necessarily the folks who actually have the best sense of the subject. An easy example might be a public speaking class in which the grade is based entirely on multiple choice exams.
October 2, 2011
At all levels of education in the New York area, the key conversation at this moment in time revolves around the APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review) which will beginning now affect New York’s K- 12 teachers and administrators. Be it in public schools or in schools of education, the education community is focused on what APPR means and what the impact will be. Nationwide, the equivalent of an APPR (and a more common curriculum)seems to be in various stages of development .

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