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September 10, 2008
I've never found an elegant way around the add/drop period.This is the time of the semester when late-adding students show up to the second (or even third) meeting of a class, asking to be caught up and held harmless. In lecture classes, it's not that big a deal; you just tell the student he's responsible for whatever he has missed so far, and that's that. But in classes that do group work, or hands-on work, or anything intensely interactive, it's a real imposition.
September 10, 2008
This is the second week of my sabbatical and already I have a sinking feeling that I’m not accomplishing enough.
September 10, 2008
The patch of woods outside my front door is in trouble. After we moved into our neighborhood four years ago, my husband and I, along with several other community members lobbied hard for an elementary school to serve our growing population. Be careful what you wish for, I guess. Last spring the school district announced plans to build a new elementary school in our community, but we learned that the playing field for the school will cut right through our favorite patch of forest.
September 9, 2008
A new correspondent writes:I have a question about college teaching as a second career. Most of the advice I've seen is aimed at twenty-something's finishing grad school. I am a few months shy of my 50th birthday and live in the DC metro area. I started graduate school straight out of college and was on my way to finishing my PhD in American History when I was side-tracked: I took a "real" job in an area unrelated to my degree. I kept plugging away at it though, and finally finished my doctorate in 1999, twelve years after leaving school.
September 9, 2008
The Large Hadron Collider at CERN will fire up Wednesday morning, though “it might take a month or two to ramp up the proton energies to five trillion electron v
September 9, 2008
Another campus sustainability competition is underway, and this one has a video feed.
September 8, 2008
I've seen two major personality types fail at deaning, each for the same reason: administrivia.
September 8, 2008
I've been saving links* to the Sarah Palin coverage for the last week and a half, but I'm still feeling a bit stymied as to how to link the coverage of the vice presidential nominee to Mama, PhD. Yet it's clear that this nomination -- far more than Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency, or Geraldine Ferraro's earlier nomination for Vice President--has put the so-called "mommy wars" front and center in the national debate.
September 7, 2008
I'm having a bit of a conflict with my supervisor, and I don't know who to ask about it because he's the department chair, and I figure that it's probably not really all that professional to discuss this with anyone I know on the faculty here.

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