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August 31, 2011
Even without the East coast’s natural disasters of the last week, which punctuated our return to routine with two days of school cancellations, this year brings a big, exciting, but nerve-wrecking adjustment for my older daughter (and thus, the rest of the family), who just started middle school. This fall is a culmination of angst that hovered over us spring and summer, as we sorted and analyzed and discussed the none-ideal options for which school to attend, finally choosing an arts magnet program she got into at a large, urban, public middle school.
August 30, 2011
One of the (many) gifts of writing a daily blog is that I can no longer make the excuse, "sorry, I don't have any time for that". Really, if there is time for daily social media participation then there is time to participate in things FOR THE PEOPLE WHO PAY THE SALARY.
August 30, 2011
On NPR this afternoon, I happened to catch the end of an interview with Michael Specter, a staff writer for the New Yorker magazine. Specter, who seems to make a living in the interstices between scientific knowledge and American public opinion, was speaking about his recent article on the subject of in vitro (artificial, grown in the lab) meat.
August 30, 2011
Should the student affairs professional who is responsible for your assessment efforts also be in charge of your communications strategy? That is the question that I have been asking myself ever since I came upon a recent job listing on Inside Higher Ed. Having read the evaluations from my student affairs communications webinar, I can say without hesitation that most schools would love to have split roles if possible.
August 29, 2011
Why can’t you re-sell a “used” e-book?I can’t come up with a decent technical reason that it couldn’t be done. Yes, e-books are “licensed,” but licenses can be sold or transferred. That shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. If I buy (or “license”) a kindle book for ten bucks, why can’t I sell that license to someone else, for, say, five?The only answer I can come up with is that the booksellers don’t want it to happen. They don’t have much choice with paper books, so they grudgingly tolerate used sales there, but they have the option -- for now -- of not tolerating it with e-books.
August 29, 2011
An issue currently highlighted in the New York Times’ Room for Debate feature is on whether research papers are a "waste of time" and no longer “justifiable as a means of grading a college student's performance.” As regular Babel Fish readers will know, I am not a huge fan of teaching the research paper as a
August 29, 2011
Ten days ago as we opened the academic year at colloquy the provost said, “This is going to be a great year!” Moments later he added, “we know things will happen…” I’m not sure that when he said that he was thinking about an earthquake and a hurricane, but as it happens, that’s how our school year opened.
August 29, 2011
What fun books did you read this summer? Books that do not relate to education, learning, or technology? Books that do not help us re-invent, re-engineer, or re-mix higher ed? What fun book should we add to our late summer reading list?My list, in order of most recently read:
August 29, 2011
The start of classes on this campus means tens of thousands more people in town and much social confusion. Foot, bike, skateboard, scooter, and car traffic is both swarming and disorganized enough to be dangerous. That young driver down from Winnetka has been taught she can’t let pedestrians bluff her; those students talking excitedly as they saunter across the street aren’t about to be intimidated by dad’s Matador Red, two-ton, Lexus SUV. It’s the principle of the thing.
August 28, 2011
On Saturday just before Hurricane Irene hits Long Island, I venture, very early in the morning, into the local supermarket to make sure I have extra bread at home. My food passions are dark chocolate and good bread and if I’m going to be stuck at home, I may as well have the necessary comfort foods. As I am waiting to pay, there is a middle age man nearby loudly complaining and getting a sympathetic response from those around him.

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