Events like commencements tend to connect me to family members I haven't seen in a while. In this case, an older woman, widowed, whose politics I'll describe as "Eisenhower Republican, Reagan Republican, but by no means Sarah Palin Republican".
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May 22, 2009
May 19, 2009
To attend a commencement last weekend, I had to travel overnight. Two related observations stick in my mind, although I haven't entirely figured out how to address the information they offer.
May 17, 2009
I attended another commencement this weekend. After the ceremony, I was chatting with one of the graduates. The subject of academic gowns came up, and I was surprised to learn that the students had been required to purchase their own bachelor's costumes. No rentals. No options. Not wearing a gown? Don't bother to show up.
May 15, 2009
In discussions with sustainability folk on other campuses, one question that often comes up is "what are you guys doing about curriculum?" That is, how each school is addressing the part of the Presidents Climate Commitment which requires schools to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experience for all students.
May 13, 2009
There are two trends sweeping society which bother me no end. One is for otherwise estimable publications (I've counted six, to date) to print "lead" as the past tense of the verb "to lead" (as in "... by the nose"). The other is for colleges to magically transform themselves into universities.
May 11, 2009
As a parent, teacher and Greenback University staff member, I get to attend multiple commencement ceremonies each spring. I glory in what commencement celebrates, I share in the elation of the graduates as they rise and march out full of pride and potential, and I dread the two hours (sometimes more) of agonizing boredom in a folding chair that is the passive participant's lot. And in the category of "passive participants" I include most of the graduates; the commencements when I sat among the students weren't any better, as I recall.
May 7, 2009
A week ago, Paul Krugman published an op-ed piece which pretty much sums up the relationship between sustainability and the US economy. In a nutshell, he explains why the objections being pushed by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Club for Growth, the American Enterprise Institute and similar organizations are entirely bogus, and why some sort of climate-based environmental regulation is precisely what we need to create economic growth.
May 5, 2009
One of my favorite songs has always been "All the things you are", by Kern and Hammerstein. It appeals to my sense of order, of proportion, of flow. It also has the rare characteristic of not resolving to its tonic (the main chord of the key it's in) until the very end of the melody. (You know this song, even if you don't know you know it.
May 3, 2009
In tangential response to an earlier post, a correspondent -- keep those e-cards and e-letters coming to g (dot) rendell (at) insidehighered (dot) com -- sent me some information about a product relatively new on the market. An LED-based replacement for typical fluorescent tube bulbs. I did a wee bit of looking, and it appears that there a few different suppliers out there (what the actual number of different manufacturers and models is, I don't yet know).
April 30, 2009
(Arguably, the title should be "Green IT now", but I prefer not to shout.) Anyways, a number of interesting bits of information in regard to more ecologically friendly information technology -- theory and practice thereof -- have crossed my desktop in the past 24 hours.