February 28, 2003


Another weekend of ... too much work, despite my spouse’s probable arguments against it. Things to do:

  • Read undergraduate papers and quizzes
  • Reading work of a student who finally submitted stuff to end an incomplete on a course from a prior semester
  • Prepare another student sample paper for undergraduate class
  • Nag authors from a collective book project
  • Talk to one of the authors who is editing a chapter
  • Work on Social Science History Association program
  • Finish one of the books for the masters class that students will be submitting papers on next Monday
  • Prepare quiz in advance for masters class
  • Union stuff, membership and otherwise
  • Omit a whole lot of other stuff, inevitably

February 18, 2003

Willful or ignorant idiocy

I will admit first that, as a partisan in two overlapping battles at the University of South Florida, perhaps my view of the President’s Award for Excellence handed out over the past 6 weeks is cynical, but a colleague pointed something out to me today that flabbergasted me more than I thought possible, not from the outrageousness of it but the sheer stupidity of the omission. Never mind that the administration consulted neither with the faculty union nor with the faculty senate over the process, never made clear guidelines or processes, never announced the processes that did exist broadly to all faculty, never invited faculty to nominate themselves or provide some documentation, etc.

What I confirmed today was that the administration completely omitted all faculty from the regional campuses—St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee, and Lakeland—from the awards. Not one of the 140 recipients came from the regional campuses. Why someone in the administration would want to shoot themselves in the foot over this, I don’t know, and there may yet be a list for the regional campuses that is separate from the process for Tampa. But regardless of the outcome, it’s more egg on the face of administrators who have already had to apologize to faculty for a royal screw-up in November (well, the most obvious royal screw-up in November).

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Posted in Random comments at 9:34 PM (Permalink) |

February 13, 2003

Time to edit former students’ papers

I have, from the spring, the papers of two students who agreed to let me share their work with others (with their names removed). I haven’t edited them, and it’s time.

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Posted in Teaching at 7:43 PM (Permalink) |

February 12, 2003

Working frantically

Before family descends over the weekend, I’m frantically trying to get some work done. Today: outlining the rest of a book proposal, grading student work, and reading.

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Posted in Random comments at 4:00 PM (Permalink) |

February 10, 2003

Pleasurable work

Over the weekend, I’ve been reading parts of three memoirs I assigned my masters history of education class. I am delighted no one picked the fourth option, but all of the memoirs are wonderful, and I need to finish my own assignment before class tonight to discuss the memoirs as primary documents (historical sources) in their own right.

I also put together background materials for the perspective papers for my undergraduate social foundations of education course. I put together these topics every semester, generally combining a topic and place to give specificity and reduce the temptation to plagiarize. This semester’s topics are the funding lawsuit in New York state, the debates over the protection of/tolerance of gay/lesbian students in Florida high schools, and the debates over the Kamehameha Schools (a private trust set up by the last surviving descendant of Kamehameha for children of Hawaiian descent). Originally, I thought the last was going to be about admissions of non-Hawaiian students (the topic I had read of before the start of the semester), but I found out over the weekend about a scandal that had resulted in the remove and prosection of former trustees of the estate. So while I think including that topic would be a stretch for most students, I am including the relevant web sites in my resource list.

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Posted in Teaching at 12:04 PM (Permalink) |

February 2, 2003


I’m on campus today, working on the historical foundations class prep for tomorrow (as well as finishing grading student work). I’m having fun putting together in-class exercises that I intend to be fairly low stakes but highly intensive in terms of requiring students to think. I’m working with primary materials that are deliberately a week behind in terms of the background they’ve read, and tomorrow’s is from Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia (1787), working from his discussion of laws and proposals for new laws. My students have already read of one, the description of the proposed system of education, but not the other (regarding Jefferson’s views on race and slavery). Useful discomfort, I think. And now, back to putting things together...

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Posted in Teaching at 2:19 PM (Permalink) |