This year, for the first time, we made new student orientation mandatory. By “mandatory,” I mean that a new student who doesn’t attend any of the orientation sessions would get his schedule dropped. (Obviously, we had to run a whole bunch of sessions on different days and times, so we did.) People on campus keep commenting on how unusually smooth the first few days of class have been. I can’t prove it yet, but it's almost as if there's some sort of connection between students being prepared, and students having fewer last-minute emergencies. We've also noticed that the sun tends to rise in the East. Sometimes it's the obvious stuff that helps.
The Girl: Mom, do you ever see things when you close your eyes?
The Wife: Yup.
TG [The Boy] says it's your mind.
TW: It's your imagination.
TG: Right now my imagination is orange.
TW received an award from the local teachers' union for her work putting together the 5k fundraiser last spring. The kids and I attended, and I have to admit that it was a blast to see her get a standing ovation from an auditorium full of people. And it was fun to be able to spend an entire “annual kickoff” meeting sitting in the audience.
The second-to-last draft of the book manuscript is in. Naturally, the very next morning I thought of an entire chapter to add. Deadlines are good for production, but there's something about the day after a deadline that's good for inspiration. This, in a nutshell, is my argument against Intelligent Design.
Kevin Carey’s recent piece  on Silicon Valley and higher education is a must-read. Check it out if you haven’t already.
In our first new semester after the “ability to benefit” test went away, the first-blush results indicate a relatively minor impact. I admit being pleasantly surprised. Even the lowest level ESL classes are full; I expected that they would take a severe hit. No explanation, at this point, but sometimes it’s nice to be wrong.
BWI airport is falsely named. It's Baltimore. There's no non-awful way to get to DC from there. At least Newark has the common decency to call itself Newark, instead of New York City South.