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November 15, 2009 - 5:46pm
If you’re reading this Monday morning, the strike at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign has begun, and I’m out taking a look at how the picketing is going outside the buildings where I usually teach.
November 15, 2009 - 5:38pm
The undergraduate institution I attended went co-ed the year I matriculated. It had previously been an all-women’s college, the sister school to a nearby men’s university that began admitting women the same year.
November 15, 2009 - 5:30pm
It's getting cold at night around Backboro. The stock tanks have a quarter inch of hard ice on them in the morning. The feed buckets get kicked farther into the pastures because their rolling resistance, like that of the ground itself, has been decreased. It's time to put the snow fences up and the tank heaters in. Time to double-check the fencing so that (with luck) no repairs will be needed through the winter. Time to raise the gates up a notch higher to clear the anticipated snowpack. Time to tarp the woodpile, which has been seasoning since spring.
November 13, 2009 - 2:24pm
I wasn't listening to music on the way to Greenback this morning, but I should have been. I should have been listening to Tanglefoot's tale of "When Dad and Uncle Archie Lost the Farm" (lyrics here, about two-thirds of the way down the page). It tells of what happens when a long-time-successful small operation gets seduced by the prospect of easy money through financial leverage. Kind of like Wall Street, but on a much more human scale.
November 12, 2009 - 10:58pm
A regular correspondent whose chief academic officer abruptly stepped down writes:
November 12, 2009 - 10:50pm
Several weeks ago, I asked my readers to share their maternity leave stories with me, as I work to propose a reasonable maternity leave for Ursuline college. This week I want to summarize what I learned, thanks to my readers who were generous with their time in responding to my request. I am especially excited about the responses I received, because I think that they move us in the direction of seeing these “blogs” as on-line discussions, with the weekly entries being the start of the discussion, but, by all means, not the end of them.
November 12, 2009 - 10:43pm
Three cheers for the educators at Syracuse and UW Madison for refusing to purchase new Kindle's until the speech-to-text feature meets accessibility standards. It is beyond stupid that Amazon neglected to provide spoken menu options, therefore making it impossible for sight impaired readers to access the speech to text feature.All colleges and universities, and libraries (and all of us consumers) should follow the lead of these institutions and refuse to purchase e-readers until they are fully accessible. This is, as they say in our business, a "teachable moment."
November 12, 2009 - 11:22am
During the academic year at Greenback, campus buildings alternate between "occupied" and "unoccupied" status. Our energy management system is programmed with the schedule of when we expect people to arrive at each building, takes steps to bring temperatures up to a reasonable level and the lighting on, and does the reverse at the end of the day. Building access is controlled by the same means, with doors locking and unlocking automatically.
November 12, 2009 - 11:18am
It’s good to collect Ph.D.s—people who have them, not the degrees themselves—to make yourself look smarter at cocktail parties. “Oh yes,” I’m able to say, “my recent acquaintance, the good Dr. Elrick, was just telling me how sulfur content is largely dependent on both thickness and composition of overlaying layers of gray or black alluvial shale.”Or: “The right honorable Dr. Trinkle said to me most amusingly just yesterday over corned beef, ‘Churm, my colleagues and I have discovered that island shape controls magic-size effect for heteroepitaxial diffusion....’”
November 11, 2009 - 9:48pm
Although speed dating came along late enough that I missed it, I'll admit being fascinated by it as an intellectual exercise. How much can you actually determine about someone in five minutes? Apparently, the President of the University of Toledo thinks he can judge the tenure-worthiness of a candidate in thirty minutes.


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