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September 7, 2007
New Kid has a great post, taking to task a particularly annoying “First Person” column in the Chronicle. The column in question was written by someone about to go up for tenure. He claimed that the tenure process is like working out or eating your vegetables; essentially, it's short-term pain for long-term gain.
September 6, 2007
The Wife's birthday was this past weekend. She continues to look dramatically younger than her age, which I'll admit taking a certain piggish male pleasure in noticing.The Boy took a nasty tumble off his bike and displayed iffy acting skills. He skinned his knee, which I'm sure wasn't fun, but spent the next several days alternately forgetting and remembering to limp. At one point, as we were walking back home from the drugstore having bought batteries for a new game, he was so excited that he ran. He also limped on the wrong leg a few times. I'm thinking he's fine.
September 5, 2007
The New York Times ran a front-page article yesterday with the shocking – shocking, I say – news that colleges with reduced state funding and regulated tuition levels have made up part of the difference by jacking up the fees they actually control. The article specified one college charging a 'curriculum fee,' which I thought was especially creative. (There's one college near me – pseudonymity prevents my revealing it – that charges a per-credit parking fee, whether you register a car or not.
September 4, 2007
The proposed Public Service Academy would be America's "first national civilian university" dedicated to producing "leaders of character" who would commit, in exchange for free tuition (the government would pay it), to work for "five years of civilian service to the country" in the public sector. "Graduates will be required to go where they are assigned." As with the military academies, you'd be admitted via a recommendation by your congressional representative.
September 4, 2007
My father holding me, Saigon, 1963.  
September 3, 2007
UD has already proposed that Harvard relieve itself of the guilty burden of a forty billion dollar endowment by giving a ten million dollar grant to a small college in Florida - Florida Southern College - to help renovate its important collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings.
August 31, 2007
Crazy Larry is in his first Equity play, and we were talking about the similarities between acting and teaching. I asked if he knew the term “corpsing,” which I’d heard on the special features of a DVD for Ricky Gervais’s series The Extras. It means to laugh inappropriately while shooting a scene, and Gervais, who’s known for doing it constantly (and hilariously), describes it as a sort of physical affliction beyond one’s control, a tension in the muscles that builds on itself and ruins take after take.
August 31, 2007
As those last few students trickle in to last-minute registration, those of us who throw ourselves into the scrum at in-person registration have to get increasingly creative to help them assemble schedules.Between flat-to-retreating public funding and an unexpected (and welcome!) enrollment bump, we're suddenly completely full in some of the evergreen disciplines. This is a good problem to have, but it's still a problem.
August 30, 2007
UD hesitates to declare any university a laughingstock -- there are always plenty of smart, hard-working, good people at any school, and this declaration makes things worse for them. But with its cynical Saluki Way project (spending all its money on athletes and administrators), its cheesy motivational speakers stuck in front of appalled or fleeing faculty, and its across-the-board plagiarizing executives, Southern Illinois University has earned the title.The latest? Yet another plagiarist, this time the president himself.

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