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April 1, 2009 - 4:27am
I remember the day it became painfully obvious to me that I was different from the other kids in school. I was 10 years old and in fifth grade. In a break from our academic activities, our teacher Mrs. Heaton suggested we play the “telephone” (or “pass it on”) game, where one person comes up with a word or phrase and whispers it to the next person, who whispers it to the next, and so on, until the last person has to repeat the word which has inevitably changed to something silly.
March 30, 2009 - 9:59pm
A new correspondent writes: I am currently on the administrative market. I've had one interview, and this topic did not come up, but listed in the job description of my second interview is "Knowledge of and ability to use current administrative and educational technologies." Is there any general consensus of what this means? The educational technologies, I think I probably understand more than administrative. Would you assume they are looking for particular software knowledge? If so what are the most common administrative software applications?
March 29, 2009 - 7:55pm
Each suicide writes a new life storyWith obvious portents like something out of Dreiser Or like the junior high school poem Richard Corey,Where, once he's done it, we're so much wiserTo the heavy-foreshadowed script;The way the doomed life simply slippedFrom one heavy-handed plot point to another.
March 29, 2009 - 7:47pm
A new correspondent writes: Recently I've noticed an increase of reports in the popular press proclaiming an "internship arms race" among graduating seniors in four year colleges. "Internships," according to these reports, are becoming a critical way to get a leg up on the competition in landing a job, especially now with the economic crisis. This got me to thinking if this scenario is playing out the same or differently at the two-year colleges.
March 29, 2009 - 6:49pm
My previous post was perhaps not worse than a crime, but it was definitely a blunder. To go 0-for-2 in terms of mathematical logic in a post which excoriates other folks for not understanding mathematical logic, well ... some days, it just doesn't pay getting out of bed in the morning. Looking back, though, I can see how I got to "should have stood in bed" status.
March 27, 2009 - 6:52pm
Comedy, it’s been said, is made possible by incomplete understanding. If one fully understood another’s suffering, the story would turn tragic. The difference between the two might be deemed a problem of translation. Readers often judge literature and drama by sum or end-game: If there’s a predominance of comic elements or the work ends in marriage, it’s comedy. But life isn’t often like this, despite our eulogies—how should we feel about the sum of Sam Clemens?—and neither is good writing.
March 26, 2009 - 8:45pm
My daughter came home the other day with words that made my Math Geek heart leap for joy. She told me that she is going to start learning “sub-crack-tion”. It seems that in the race between nature and nurture, nurture had just pulled ahead.
March 26, 2009 - 8:31pm
Last night, after dinner, as The Wife, The Boy, The Girl, and I chat in the family room: TW: You know, TB told me that the girls fight over him at recess. DD: Really? TB (smiling): Yeah. (pause) TG (puzzled): Why?
March 26, 2009 - 4:52pm
I'll admit to being a little bit anal when it comes to math. I'm not sure "anal" is the right word, but I do expect numbers to make sense and people who can't make sense of numbers to stay as far away from them as possible. So, I want to squeeze in one last "the press is so stupid" post before the month is through.

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