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February 21, 2010 - 10:17pm
The worlds of science and politics were meant to be united in the fourth homework assignment for the course. After researching the topic, I had to write a one-page letter to my Congresswoman urging her to vote for, or against, a ban on sun tanning beds for under-18s. The science was unmistakably on the side of support for the bill, so I went with that.
February 21, 2010 - 9:06pm
I've come up with a one-question quiz to determine whether your workplace is toxic. 1. When Smith attacks Jones in public in dirty, ad hominem, and generally unprofessional ways, and Jones responds by taking the high road, what happens?a. Jones would never take the high road. Nobody ever does. It's on!b. Jones takes the high road out of town.c. Jones is viewed as the loser, since the high road is interpreted as weakness.d. Onlookers divide into warring camps, and others do the dirty work for Jones.
February 21, 2010 - 8:59pm
A major story in last Tuesday’s Inside Higher Ed was that Middlebury College “will plan its budgets each year by capping its ‘comprehensive fee’ – the equivalent of tuition, room and board at other private colleges—at an upward limit of 1 percentage point above the Consumer Price Index.” Certainly this move makes good sense in terms of positive publicity for Middlebury and it also provides a valuable fiscal restraint framework to operate under.
February 21, 2010 - 8:38pm
This past week our kids spent a day at the Killington Superstars ski and snowboard program. $180 for six hours. Lunch included.  
February 21, 2010 - 6:23pm
Thanks to everyone who commented on last week’s post. As always, every comment made me think. I’m especially grateful to those who pointed out the fallacy of my assertion that the world is more dangerous (for middle-class children) than previously, because it made me think a lot. Obviously, I should have done some research before I mindlessly repeated that myth.
February 19, 2010 - 3:24pm
Before I came to work at Greenback, I used to travel on business quite a lot. Never much cared for it, and was happy to give it up.
February 18, 2010 - 10:13pm
I've been following the Bill Reader case with interest for the last few weeks. (For the record, I don't know him, and I don't know anyone at Ohio University.) I read it differently than most folks in internet-land. The question of the proper weight to give to considerations of 'collegiality' in tenure deliberations is a thorny one, and not where I'll focus here. I'll just note that one person's strategic vitriol is another person's hostile work environment, and that administrators who don't keep an eye out for the latter aren't doing their jobs.
February 17, 2010 - 9:48pm
It may seem weird for me to ask this now, after all these years, but how does your college allocate positions? I've seen it done in a few ways, and I have my own preference, but I've never actually seen alternatives spelled out systematically.The most common way that I've seen has been as a sort of spoils system for gladiatorial combat among administrators. Each dean curries favor with the VP over time, and when hiring time rolls around, positions are allocated in rough proportion to the political standing of the deans.
February 17, 2010 - 9:24pm
I called in sick today for the first time in 18 years of teaching (not counting when I had emergency surgery). If I had an exam scheduled, or student reports, I would have crawled in to work, no matter how crappy I was feeling. As an academic with a relatively flexible schedule, I’ve always tried to get sick on my non-teaching days, or on holidays. But as I sat at my desk grading papers at a snail’s pace, getting increasingly bad-tempered, it hit me that I was feeling, well, sick. Yet the idea of cancelling classes horrifies me.
February 17, 2010 - 8:33am
At the beginning of November I blogged about our first meeting of the SS-MD-BC (second Sunday mother-daughter book club) my daughter and her friends started. I very much appreciated your comments (my new year’s resolution is to be better about responding to blog comments). Since there was interest in hearing more about our selections, I thought I’d catch you up on the books the girls have chosen since then.


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