Monthly Archives: October 2007

My former students

Everyone likes to know what their former students are up to, right? One of my former MA students went off to a top-twenty doctoral program this year, apparently to spend her time staging action-figure battles with her officemates. The evidence: … Continue reading

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Review: Count Dracula (BBC TV) DVD

I wonder why PopMatters decided to run my review of the BBC Count Dracula DVD *today* . . . ?  (Just kidding: The boy’s been hopped-up on anticipated candy for a week.) A preview: By playing Dracula, not as a … Continue reading

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Soft-spoken teaching

In last week’s New Yorker, Steven Martin has an essay that purports to describe his early years in comedy.  (The fulltext isn’t online, though there’s an abstract.)  When he recalls his early years in standup, he discusses how he’d deal … Continue reading

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Why I don’t distinguish excused/unexcused absences

CNN has a story about a company that will, for a fee, give you official-looking notes explaining why you missed work: Feeling like playing hooky, but nervous about getting caught? The Excused Absence Network has got your back. For about … Continue reading

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On a difference between academic meetings & workplace meetings

Can anyone in higher ed imagine deploying one of these nifty tokens at a meeting of any standing committee ?  Or, for example, at the faculty senate? — It’s off-topic, but I’m a little concerned about my classes tomorrow, since … Continue reading

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On beating your kid

Today was the last day of the local U-6 soccer league‘s fall season.  We’ve had a great time–the Little Man played, A was a “Soccer Mom” (which is an official title in this league, and not just a quasi-mythical demographic), … Continue reading

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Next spring’s course for nonmajors: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

How could you not love this reading list? Arthur Conan Doyle. The Adventures & Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes Rider Haggard. King Solomon’s Mines; Allan Quatermain; She (Published as a single volume) Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill, The League of Extraordinary … Continue reading

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A flying target

Flying back from this month’s conference, I spotted this fun illusion during our initial descent into Bradley airport. It looks like we’re flying into a bullseye:

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Why I never like course management software

What Jason Fried of 37signals (Ruby on Rails, Backpack, Ta Da, Highrise, Basecamp, etc., etc.) says about enterprise software is also true of the bigger course management software packages, such as Blackboard/Vista: The people who buy enterprise software aren’t the … Continue reading

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Bluebook wit

Three gems from my most recent stack of exams.  All of these are somewhat clearly produced by the desire to write quickly–that is, I’ve not chosen answers from bad exams, just ones that appear to have gone slightly awry. Blake’s … Continue reading

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