September 16, 2008

Tuesday bits, September 16

Right now, at about 10:30 in the morning, I have a "this too shall pass" attitude towards anything that isn't working right now. Why?

  • Most of class this morning was spent delving into the grandiose education plans of Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Rush, and Noah Webster. The students read closely, compared their notes to their classmates', compared the views of the three, and left with a puzzle I framed for them. I don't know how hard I worked, but I know they did. Yes, I'm a happy teacher right now.
  • I haven't finished grading their papers from last week. I like to get that done over the weekend, because now I have that hanging over my head before the next batch comes flying into my life on Thursday.
  • Siva Vaidhyanathan has it right in a Chronicle column I want to make mandatory reading for the whole world: Talk of a "digital generation" or people who are "born digital" willfully ignores the vast range of skills, knowledge, and experience of many segments of society. It ignores the needs and perspectives of those young people who are not socially or financially privileged. It presumes a level playing field and equal access to time, knowledge, skills, and technologies. The ethnic, national, gender, and class biases of any sort of generation talk are troubling. And they could not be more obvious than when discussing assumptions about digital media.
  • I now have another historical concept I need translated into statistics. (The last one led me into some exploration of permutation tests.)
  • One doctoral student is now involved in several multi-year, multimillion-dollar grants (one of which could serve as a foundation for a dissertation), and the other is doing great work helping with EPAA. I am SO happy with their work and very lucky to have them as students.
  • My son's cast will probably come off this afternoon.
  • Michael Bérubé is coming to USF's campus next week and giving a public lecture Tuesday (5:15, on the Tampa campus, CHEM 100).
  • My next belt test is a week from Friday.
  • My blood is now flowing with caffeine.

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Posted in The academic life on September 16, 2008 10:26 AM |