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August 1, 2011
Like Susan, I’m thinking about birthdays today. I am writing this on my son’s fourteenth birthday. Fourteen years ago I was in a hospital contemplating the changes in my life: a new son, a daughter who was now also an older sister, a life with two children instead of one. My daughter was seven years old, already in school — we were going back, then, to the time of diapers and daycare long after having left it for the first time.
July 31, 2011
Occasionally, like most of us I’m sure, I rail at the seeming impossibility of the path I’ve chosen. I struggle with maintaining my professional, personal, and academic obligations and to be honest, I’m not sure how successfully I manage it. Some days (like today) as I stare at a blank word document, fighting the rising sense of panic at the fact that I have a paper due in less than a week, I wonder if it’s really worth it. I was happily immersed in a job that I loved. I had a social life. My condo was clean.
July 31, 2011
One of my favorite birthday gifts given to me this year was a membership to the High Line, and so a few days ago my kids and I went to visit there. What is the High Line? Before I answer that question, let me answer the question that should come first — what was the High Line? It was an elevated freight train structure including of course the tracks, and freight trains ran on this structure until the 1980s. And as a kid, riding in a car down or up the west side drive, I still remember the trains running.
July 31, 2011
We've all heard the explanations -- the excuses -- about why humans (particularly legislators, especially legislators not operating in any sort of a parliamentary system) aren't emotionally equipped to deal with problems like climate change. It's intangible. It's invisible. It's slow. It's not immediate. It's not linear. It's not intuitive. It cuts against the cultural grain.
July 31, 2011
Last week, we celebrated both Ben's seventeenth birthday and that of our cat, Molly. (Molly was a rescue cat who came to us when Ben was two; since the vet estimated that she was about the same age, we assigned her Ben's birthday and celebrate them together.)Molly's annual celebration consists of a catnip toy and an enthusiastic trio rendition of "Happy Birthday," but Ben's have evolved over the years, and each year brings back the highlights for me.
July 30, 2011
What’s New at University of Venus - Week Ending 30 July 2011University of Venus Around the Web:University of Venus at The Guardian UK The risks of publishing: upholding freedom of speech for academics by Denise Horn.Our Writers At Other Blogs:
July 29, 2011
Rattlesnake Daddy: A Son’s Search for His Father, by Brent Spencer. The Backwaters Press (2011). $25.00 paper.***Here I’d like to return briefly to Rattlesnake Daddy, a memoir I reviewed a few days ago.
July 29, 2011
The University of Venus question of the month: What has been the highlight of your summer?Janni Aragon (Canada) Each year the highlight of my summer is the opportunity to work on my own projects. With my heavy teaching load, summer is the productive time of the year. And, at the same time, I just feel less rushed and enjoy time with my family. Summer means work splashed with lazy mornings. I am definitely a summer sort of person.
July 28, 2011
And the men aren’t.Sometimes just a few statistics can tell a story. Here’s a pair I found fascinating.Our students a year or less out of high school: 48% malesOur students as a whole: 38% malesThe skew gets progressively more pronounced as you move up the age scale. By the time you pass the early twenties, the students are overwhelmingly female. But the fresh-out-of-high-school group is almost even. And to the extent that I’ve seen national statistics, they pretty much tell the same story.
July 28, 2011
The bankruptcy of Borders and the closing of 400 stores provides an opportunity to think through some lessons for for higher ed? Are we immune from the fate of Borders? 3 Lessons:

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