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December 13, 2009 - 7:56pm
On Saturday I took The Boy to a competition of various clubs of kids his age. His club was there, too, but not competing. I was there as chauffeur, but also as moral support. The competition was held in a high school gym. We sat on the bleachers. Actual exchange: TB: I wonder if Madison will be here...DD: Who?(TB walks away.)I spotted him shortly thereafter, sitting next to The Blonde Girl.I'd been ditched. Not even so much as a "see ya, Dad."The Blonde Girl has entered our world.
December 13, 2009 - 4:35pm
Last week, Public Agenda released a report exploring the reasons why only 20 percent of young adults at two-year institutions finish within three years, and only 40 percent at four-year colleges finish within six years. The study compares backgrounds and experiences of students who dropped out of school with those who have finished.The entire report is worth reading, but here are two excerpts that seemed particularly relevant for readers of this blog:
December 12, 2009 - 11:51am
I love a good meaningful quote and always match epigraphs to my posts. (Due to page design, you don’t see them if you’re looking at individual posts on the RSS feed, but if you click out to my home page you will.) Some of my favorite reading as an undergrad took place in the cafeteria after meals, where I sat browsing through the aphorisms of Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and classical Asian poets.
December 11, 2009 - 4:13am
--This piece in yesterday's IHE about an abortive discussion of price caps for vocational programs made me smile. Apparently, the idea is to cap tuition for Title IV-eligible programs (vocational programs) at a set multiple of the starting salaries of recent grads. It's a horrible idea -- hiring and salaries have far more to do with the economy than with any given program -- but for a fun thought experiment, imagine applying something like it to graduate programs in evergreen disciplines.
December 10, 2009 - 9:11pm
Several weeks ago, I went to my first academic conference since taking my daughter home. It was also my first occasion in eleven years to attend my favorite conference, for the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, called “ARNOVA.” Between presentations, my co-author and I found ourselves with a small amount of time that we used to attend a roundtable discussion about basing one’s academic career on studying the nonprofit sector.
December 10, 2009 - 8:12pm
Some publishers have decided to delay the release of e-books until four months following the hardcover release.The publishers are worried that:a. E-books have the potential to cannibalize sales of hardcovers.b. Profits will erode has e-book retailers (Amazon etc.) move to sharing less of the revenue in the future.Depressing.
December 10, 2009 - 5:03pm
Michael Legaspi is concerned that too much of American higher education consists of political advocacy. He's right to be, and I agree with him. In fact, I'd go further. I'd say that too much teaching consists of social and economic advocacy, as well. Too much of what goes on in social sciences and professional schools treats how things are as the best they could possibly be (in this, the best of all possible worlds).
December 9, 2009 - 9:21pm
We woke up this morning to a world caked in white — big draping sheets of snow hanging from our garage, soft blankets of white where our lawn furniture used to sit, and large puffy flakes falling down. My five-year old daughter’s eyes were wide with amazement, even though she’s seen snow before. I too feel that every year it’s a miracle, a revelation how quickly the landscape can transform. All city schools were closed, even the college where I teach (in an unprecedented move, the governor cancelled classes at all Wisconsin universities).
December 9, 2009 - 8:55pm
A regular correspondent stumped me with this one. Has your campus found a solution to smoking?
December 9, 2009 - 8:39pm
College teaching is transitioning from a craft model where a single faculty member designs, delivers and evaluates a course to a model that encompasses a range of professionals. This shift has been led by online courses, but is filtering out towards hybrid and on-ground classes. In this model a faculty member (subject matter expert) works with a team of learning designers, library subject specialists, media experts, and technologists to create and deliver the course.

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