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April 28, 2010 - 7:34pm
Recent events like the explosion at Upper Big Branch and the BP drilling platform fire in the Gulf show up the mockery of statements like "safety is our #1 priority." The current civil suit against Goldman Sachs, combined with the recent performances of Citibank, AIG and other financial firms, make it pretty clear that the same ethos reigns on Wall Street (however disguised) as rules thousands of feet down. The interests of shareholders and executive bonus recipients trump the interests of the customer, the taxpayer, the public, the global economy, and the planet.
April 27, 2010 - 10:06pm
Mid-April to Mid-May is always the hardest time of year. All of the end-of-year stuff comes to a head at this point. The students are stressed about papers/projects/finals, and the faculty are in grading jail. This is when my evenings fill at an alarming rate, with various 'culmination' events and ceremonies. With the clock ticking on the semester, anything that requires faculty involvement (i.e. program reviews, faculty hires) has to happen now. Which is to say, I'm wiped. That's normal for this time of year.
April 27, 2010 - 10:03pm
How many five minute intervals have passed me by completely unproductively in my life… I hate to think. (Heck, I’ve had half-hour and hour and day-long intervals be unproductive, too, but that’s another story.) In some ways, five minutes is like a penny – you don’t notice it’s gone, you don’t stop to pick it up, you don’t worry about it. But someone recently suggested to me a five-minute activity that has been completely rewarding every single time I’ve done it. We call it “Special 5”. This is time that I give to my 11-year-old daughter, for just the two of us.
April 27, 2010 - 9:17pm
I'm dying to book club This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, maybe we can start the conversation virtually.Some Takeaways:
April 27, 2010 - 5:37pm
Good jobs, tied to sustainable enterprises in existing communities. That's the objective of the Apollo Alliance, and one which they seem to be achieving.
April 26, 2010 - 9:28pm
Friday I held the last meeting of my seminar. I often find the last day of classes difficult; I always want to sum everything up nicely, but I'm usually running a bit behind and am lucky if I manage to remember to wish them well on their finals. This year, though, was different. I had only one course this semester (I've got some reassigned time for administrative work) and it was a junior/senior seminar. Most of my students will graduate in two weeks. They were acutely aware that this was their last class — for most of them, the last college class they will ever take.
April 26, 2010 - 9:08pm
This piece in the Chronicle got me thinking about Presidents and Vice Presidents I've worked under who had stayed on too long. It has happened more than once. In every case, the hangers-on had tremendous reputations built on past achievements. In each case, I'm told, the achievements that made their names were genuinely impressive, and people on the outside still held them in high regard.But on the inside, you could see the decay.
April 26, 2010 - 7:50pm
--Kindles Are Everywhere: People seem to love to read on these things on the beach and at the pool. Mostly guys in the 45 to 64 demographic.--The iPad is Perfect for Vacations: At various times the iPad served to: a) entertain kids with movies and games on long car rides, b) as an easy way to delete e-mail (to lessen e-mail pileup), without the motivation to respond, and c) to download and play Banagrams.
April 26, 2010 - 6:04pm
In the course of my most recent mutterings, I made reference to the Great Depression. I did so to demonstrate that even terrible economic failures are survivable, not to indicate that economic suffering on the scale of the 1930s' experience would be necessary to avoid climate failure. Indeed, the best information available seems to indicate that nothing even remotely similar will be required.
April 25, 2010 - 9:22pm
I had a good discussion last week with a well-meaning professor who wanted to know why the minimum enrollment to run a section is higher than the break-even cost of paying an adjunct. Her position was that another section doesn't add much marginal cost, and as long as you've paid the adjunct, what's the problem?It was one of those "where you stand depends on where you sit" moments. I'll make it a multiple choice.If another section doesn't add much marginal cost, and it generates enough tuition/fee revenue to pay the adjunct, what's the problem?


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