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November 1, 2010 - 9:15pm
Crisis on Campus: A Bold Plan for Reforming Our Colleges and Universities, by Mark C. TaylorSTRENGTHS:Concise: 221 small pages with big font.Provocative: Big ideas and insightful critiques of the higher ed labor market, curriculum, organizational structure etc.
November 1, 2010 - 9:03pm
 This weekend I paid for last weekend’s pleasures by working more than I usually do. I had papers to grade, deadlines to meet, and some fairly routine catching-up to do. So I parked my computer on a corner of my dining room table and hunkered down. 
October 31, 2010 - 9:45pm
Teaching is at the heart of what I do in the humanities, both in my self-conception as “teacher-scholar” and in my affiliation with my institution—a small regional private university that prides itself on its individualized engagement with student learning. Bringing my research into the classroom where it might supplement the pedagogical experience of my students helps me to model the life of the mind to which I am committed. It allows my students to see that the humanities are a living thing, constantly changing and demanding we confront new challenges to our habits of thought.
October 31, 2010 - 9:39pm
(Note to my readers: sorry about last week. Life intervened much more than I expected it to. Now, back to the regularly scheduled blog.)Sometimes a little cognitive dissonance can be helpful.
October 31, 2010 - 9:00pm
Do you know the story of the Potemkin Villages? Russian Minister Gregory Potyomkin allegedly ordered the building of fake villages and imported “happy serfs” to impress Catherine II as she toured recently conquered territory in the Crimea in 1787. Whether myth or fact, today the term Potemkin Village has come to mean “an impressive façade or show designed to hide an undesirable fact or condition.”
October 31, 2010 - 7:45pm
We don't notice infrastructure until it fails. In my case, I never noticed utility poles until I moved to a house served by electricity and phone wires, but not by cable (or DSL until recently!). In the efforts to bring broadband to my street (we finally succeeded - I'm off satellite Internet for good), I started to notice and think about utility poles.
October 31, 2010 - 6:32pm
In coming back to my office from a University Lecture, I cut through a main administrative parking lot. The lot has three rows of cars and a total capacity of approximately 60 cars. Though I don’t normally take much notice of cars in a parking lot, for whatever reason that day these cars caught my attention. In the entire first row of the parking lot, there was one American car. In looking at the remaining two rows, there was perhaps one more American car. The American cars were not new models and the other cars varied from relatively old to new looking.
October 31, 2010 - 6:05pm
A reader alerted me to this article in the New Haven Register because of its pertinence to the continuing discussion on this forum about holding teens accountable for irresponsible or bullying behavior.
October 31, 2010 - 11:00am
In advance of election day, I got into a conversation with a bunch of folks around the topic of conservatism. I've always wondered why it was that conservation -- the practice of conserving -- is somehow not an aspect of modern conservatism. The conversation helped me deepen my understanding of that disconnect.
October 30, 2010 - 1:30pm
English (rather than British) higher education is presently digesting the report by Lord Browne, the ex-boss of BP, called Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education, published on 12 October. Browne’s report provided the context for the higher education component of the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) announced on 20 October, which reduced the state budget for higher education by 40%, to be achieved in the period to 2014/15. This is, quite literally, an unprecedented cut in public support for higher education.

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