Wednesday, April 30, 2003

My day started off with a student irate about their grade. As with most of these cases, I could have predicted this outcome when this student turned in her first assignment and challenged the basic requirements.

I was very glad last year when a colleague pointed out that people who go into teaching naturally take these things too personally. But it still bothers me when a student gets upset - but not enough to let them bully me into giving them a better grade when they did not do acceptable work for the course.

As if by magic, a student from the same course sent this email when she received news of her grade. It reinforces that some students do understand what college is all about:

I also wanted to let you know that I enjoyed the class immensely and have learned
a great deal, not only about the content covered but also about reading,
interpreting, and writing about history. In addition, I wanted to let you
know how much I appreciate the organization of the class on Blackboard.
After taking other courses online I realize how spoiled I have been in
yours. Thank you again and have a great summer as well!

The last day of April already . . . . and I'm finally having a "regular week" - the first time all year.

Had a great meeting with the Project Mine teachers at Greenbush on Monday. My 479 students did their last teaching presentations - using PowerPoint that afternoon. Yesterday I met with students and worked in the office. At home I worked on grading for the internet course. I wish the semester had been this way MUCH earlier. Tonight is the department banquet - a great celebration for students.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

From Scrappleface:

Dixie Chicks Launch USO Tour Overseas
(2003-04-24) -- Inspired by Bob Hope's patriotism, the Dixie Chicks will join a USO tour of American military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan later this month.

The country music trio, famous for coming from the same state as U.S. President George Bush, will sing some of their chart-topping hits interspersed with Natalie Maines' observations on politics, war and geopolitical strategy.

"The response to my recent comments about the President have been so overwhelming, I know the troops will appreciate hearing more," said Natalie Maines. "My career has been built not so much on my singing talents, but on my insights into world events."

The group says the USO tour will give them the chance to tell the troops in Iraq how much they support them while opposing the war.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Damn, I missed this.

Friday, April 25, 2003

Who would thunk? (to quote the venacular) - I'm become a web evangelist - first at OAH and here's another
idea . . .

Great friends are wonderful! as are great bosses! Hurray to a new horizon!

Beringer White Zinfandel is also good . . . especially at the small town price of $2.75 per glass . . ($5 in other places)

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

More resolution - we're getting there. I'm starting to bite back a bit while still maintaining enough distance to not engage. The main thing is that my actual boss supports my decisions. I have to set priorities that go well beyond seat time in my office (the office with the computer that takes 3 times as long to do anything as the one at home and thus, is quite unproductive)

I am pretty much ready for Project Mine this summer. I think I need to do a question page on Oral History and that will be it. Then I can work on odds and ends until then and also on all the other projects.

I'm worn out but have had a productive day and one repairman did actually show up. Tomorrow I go to
Greenbush for a Project Mine meeting and then two education meetings in the afternoon.

Went to the Little Balkans Quilt Guild meeting the other night -the first time in months. Enjoyed Jodi Barrows and her Square in a Square method - and she seems like a wonderful person on top of it. I also did some knitting while I was sitting at the meeting. Busy hands . . .

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Another great take on overdoing affirmation action.

Dear UNC-Wilmington Students:

For years, my well-known opposition to affirmative action has been a source of great controversy across our campus, particularly among UNCW faculty. Many have assumed that my position on this topic has been a function of personal prejudice or "insensitivity" to the needs of various "disenfranchised" groups on campus and in society in general. In reality, my opposition to affirmative action has been based on personal experience.

When I first applied for a job as a university professor, a well-meaning department chair at Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis) told me that I had no chance of getting a job in his department because the only other finalist for the position was a black male. When I took a job at UNCW a month later, I hoped that I had found an environment devoid of such blatant racial discrimination. Unfortunately, my experiences here have proved otherwise. It is my constitutionally protected opinion that I have experienced direct pressure from the administration to engage in both racial and gender discrimination as a member of various university search committees.

Furthermore, I have seen examples of salary discrimination based on affirmative action. For example, one department at UNCW hired a black female as an assistant professor in 1999 before she had finalized her dissertation. Despite her inexperience, she was paid more than two tenured white male associate professors in her department who had, of course, finished their dissertations. One had been teaching at UNCW for five years, the other for seven years.

Despite all of this, I have decided to abandon my long-standing opposition to affirmative action after listening to the oral arguments in the recent U.S. Supreme Court case challenging admissions policies at the University of Michigan. While listening to these recorded arguments, I learned that public universities have a "compelling interest in diversity" which supersedes simplistic notions of reverse discrimination. Now, because my views have changed, I am forced to alter my classroom grading policies.

Students in my classes will continue to have their final grades based principally on test performance. Students will also continue to have a portion of their grade determined by class participation and/or a final paper depending on the class in which they are enrolled (please consult your course syllabus if you are one of my students).

After I compute final averages, I will then implement the new aspect of the grading process which is modeled after existing affirmative action policies at the university. Specifically, I will be computing a class average which I will then compare to the individual performance of all white males enrolled in my classes. All white males who exceed the class average will have points deducted and added to the final averages of women and minorities. A student need not have ever engaged in discrimination in order to have points deducted. Nor must a student have ever been a victim of discrimination in order to receive additional points.

I expect that my new policy will be well received by some, and poorly received by others. For those in the latter category, please contact Human Resources for further elaboration on the concept of affirmative action. You may also contact the Office of Campus Diversity for additional guidance.

I understand that many of you may consider my new position to be unprincipled. Please understand, however, that the university has long abandoned antiquated principles of "fairness" in favor of identity politics. Also understand that my job as a university professor is to prepare you for the real world.

After all, no one promised that life would always be fair.

Just "re-located" a distant relative I met at a family reunion a few years ago in Pennsylvania.
Bruce has quite an interesting background in the world of intelligence . . .

You are Betty Grable!
You're Betty Grable!

What Classic Pin-Up Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, April 19, 2003

More from Scrappleface:

U.S. Finds Saddam, Restores Him to Presidency

(2003-04-18) -- U.S. Special Operations forces found Saddam Hussein alive late today. On orders from the White House, they drove him to his palace and restored him to the presidency.

This should come as welcome news to the thousands of Islamic Iraqis who took to the streets after prayer meetings shouting that the U.S. should get out of Iraq.

"We were going to put Saddam on trial," said President George Bush. "But these folks deserve to have him back. We'll just take our hard-earned oil now, and go home."
Posted by Scott Ott | Donate via PayPal | TrackBack | Comments (11) | More News Satire | x


I think things have settled down a bit so I can get back to getting some actual work done. Someone asked last night at Beaver Kings about the obstructionist leaving and I was praised for not saying anything. It was quite surprising because either this person was putting on a really good act or really didn't know any possibilities. He did point out something interesting I hadn't thought of - I'm not an obvious "cause" since I've been around 10 years. I quietly told our "leader" later when the conversation was focused on someone else that we finally had a chair she couldn't tell what to do and he quite agreed. She's going to work in the same building as the first questioner's wife so there's no telling what will leak out later. Oh well. The students are much better off - or at least the students in our department. I still don't think she thought she would have to follow through on her threat.

It's a little rainy today but am going to give the farmer's market a try since it opens up this morning. The satellite tech made it to the farm yesterday and, as I thought, Ron had it perfectly aligned. I have a bad transmitter. So the tech left me one that he doesn't have an install date for yet and will try to get me one on ebay since they cost $265 new from Starband. Wish me luck. He also knows networking in the house so once I decide to set one up, he will be a big help because he's closer. I can still buy the stuff from the guy here in town but not have to pay as much to have it installed.

Will have to talk to the security company - a $365 bill popped up for something I thought was part of their service. If nothing else, they should have told me at the time they'd have to charge for it. I may hold that bill hostage until they finish taking care of all the screens they didn't bring back and claim they don't have despite the fact that no other screens except those to be wired for security ever left the house. Will talk to the builder on Monday - didn't want to bother him late on a Friday.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Wish I'd found this earlier in the war:

I noticed on Scrappleface's blogroll: Hollywood Halfwits:

Andy Rooney: I Was Wrong, Bush Was Right
CBS "60 Minutes" commentator Andy Rooney has become the first big media personality to admit that he was wrong to oppose President Bush's decision to liberate Iraq. "And I must say that, fortunately he's president and I'm not. It appears as though he did the right thing and I didn't think he was doing the right thing."

Hollywood Halfwits will monitor this story for its accuracy. If true, we'll most likely remove him from the Hall of Halfwits.


We're still waiting on Jean Garofalo to apologize..............

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Talked to a colleague at another regents university today. We're both struggling with NCATE and KSDE. But, we thought of something - if we're both doing the same thing, we can reinforce each other's programs with the state and not risk "de-approval." They are testing the students to death. He had some interesting perspectives on some of the people on the state level and we learn a lot from each other since it seems we're often getting different stories.

I'm getting some of my PT3 stuff done in order to earn some professional development money. There is an impending deadline and I want to do something for myself. The only thing really left is to learn a little more about action-based research. But I have a book on that so hopefully I'm smart enough to figure it out.

Still no repair people - will come back on Friday for the satellite repair guy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Things have settled down a bit.

Some teacher education info headed our way and I quickly distributed it to help develop a better understanding from my peers of whta I"m trying to save them from. Can you say "unfunded mandates"? . . . .

Am back at the farm - a storm coming in so that my preclude the visit from the closer Starband tech...................just the way my luck runs these days.

My brother does want to get together for Easter since Mom and Dad will be on vacation. I asked him to decide where by Friday so I can buy groceries in case it's here. He is known for waiting til the last minute and having everything fall in place.

Great items from Scrappleface:

WorldCom Changes Name to Clinton
(2003-04-14) -- In an effort to distance itself from its past transgressions and legal problems, WorldCom announced today that it would emerge from bankruptcy under the brand name 'Clinton.'

"Although we continue to maintain that we did not have illegal corporate relations with anyone, our PR department recommended a fresh start," said a WorldCom spokesman. "Clinton was a natural choice, given our history in the deep South. Under the new name we think people will eventually forget about all the bad stuff."

The spokesman went on to talk fondly about the firm's founding in Clinton, Mississippi. The board is also considering a plan to relocate corporate headquarters "somewhere further north."

by Scott Ott | Link | Comment (13) | TrackBack (1) | Donate | Email Story | Top

AND this one is even better:

April 13, 2003
Gen. Tommy Franks Can't Wait to Retire
(2003-04-13) -- U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks said today that he can't wait to retire so he'll have a better understanding of what's going on with U.S. military operations.

"Retired generals have better operational information than I do," said Gen. Franks. "When I give a news conference now, everything I say is doubted by the reporters. But when I'm retired, the big news media will hire me to talk about what's really going on in the theater of operations. I'm just not in the loop right now."

Gen. Franks said he often calls retired generals to gather intelligence about the movements of U.S. forces, and predictions about what will happen next.

by Scott Ott | Link | Comment (47) | TrackBack (3) | Donate | Email Story | Top

Monday, April 14, 2003

Busy day working to get the new degree through the pipeline

The obstructionist is going somewhere else and so there is a new path to forge . . .

still need to work on the balance issue but I will get there . . .

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Another beautiful morning on the farm. It's cool but supposed to get to a whopping 85 today. I've already walked Shadow in the early morning "mist" and "surveyed" the land. A great way to get myself moving. Also going to get my swim in earlier this morning. I think the day will slip away before I know it. I did get the main windows washed on the outside yesterday. Today I will run the vacuum upstairs and downstairs and work on the kitchen floor. It will be great not to spend time on the phone with Starband today. . .

Am thinking more about the reading assignments for the summer social history course. I think I'm leaning away from Updike's Rabbit series - some will really like it, but others may totally not...........and if they're taking all three segments (50s/60s/70s), I'll really lose them. Besides, I'm really attracted to The Paper Chase as the 70s novel - sort of a pre-Grisham and Turow view of the legal profession - or at least entering it.

I finished Wineburg's book and although it had some excellent food for thought, some of it still strikes me as the typical education paradigm - I'll take this one special select group and make this approach work. It's assuming a lot of givens - the same ones they associate with the students - that they actually know the content being covered or at least have a background in it in the first place. It will still be a good reference as I try to do some research on this and hopefully present/write some papers (since part of this blog is supposed to provide some of the raw material for this sort of thing - I am finally realizing that other professors are writing articles having done much less to actually report on themselves). See - another tangent.

So, I'm going to review the bestsellers lists and go from there. Maybe still use one of the Rabbit books. Having students read Peyton Place in one of my Modern America courses really works but I hope to have some of the same folks and don't want to "redo" for them.

This week will go fast, too. I did get good news on my taxes yesterday - 1) they're ready even though I was late and 2) I get money back. Although I generally think it's stupid to let the government keep your money, since the stock market crash (the most recent one), this was the better scenario. I will go adjust my withholding tomorrow however. In early May, I go to see my favorite cousin and his family while they're still in Rome - we hope to get in a cooking class. Time to get the swim in.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Something new: student auctioning off his seat in a popular class (on ebay) via Dave Barry's Blog.


From Today's Miami Herald:

Student tried to auction seat on eBay

A Nova Southeastern University law student had his wrist slapped this week after he tried to auction off his seat in a popular class on eBay.
Ryan Vescio's auction attracted 19 bids from six students. The winner offered $225, but Vescio was unable to collect -- several students and professors complained to university administrators.
Pat Jason, the law school's associate dean for student and administrative affairs, sent Vescio an e-mail Wednesday instructing him to cancel the auction and come to her office.
''Fraud is attempting to sell something you don't have ownership of,'' Jason said Thursday. ``He does not own the course.''
The class deals with the First Amendment and is taught by professor Bruce Rogow, who has represented a number of high-profile clients in free-speech cases.

posted by Dave 12:31 PM

Support for last post:
Leading a Balanced Life

One of my "contemplations" at the moment is how to use blogs in the classroom or in teaching in general. I'm thinking about having my history teaching students work on a joint blog in the fall in addition to Blackboard. We're not updating to version 6 like Greenbush and I'm sure I'll get frustrated at not having the newer features (especially the cut and paste between courses).

In my reading this afternoon, I see another way to utilize the blog concept - thinking aloud about what you've read. I didn't come to like history until I was a college student - or should I say as a school subject - I can remember reading a short book on Hitler and Nazism on my grandmother's back stairs in what was probably junior high. Going to graduate school in history was not anything like I expected - the competition and the dynamic forces of very specialized professors was not what I had envisioned. I remember taking chapters of survey readers to use in my junior high and later high school courses. I took a manageable amount of information and applied it to what I was doing in the classroom (in fact, very similar to what the new assessment focus is on - student learning) although I had no formal way of measuring it. But I realize(d) I was looking for a broader understanding of the real story and not just the textbook version. On the other hand, straying too far from the text often led to student confusion. The current emphasis on primary sources is useful but often overdone - especially when students don't have the context (or the proper context) for the historical documents. In other words, we've thrown out the baby with the bathwater when we've attempted to throw out the text.

I'm currently reading Sam Wineburg's Historical Thinking and it is getting me to think. One of many interesting points is that in comparing a history major and a non-history major, some surprising results occurred. The history major related the primary sources to what he already knew and compared it to what he knew as the historical record whereas the non-history majors was continually interacting with the documents and trying to find meaning by applying what she already knew about human behavior (not limited to history) and then, in the end, doing a much better job of weaving together the story being told by the documents and comparing and contrasting said documents. There are great references throughout the book and I will copy the chapter-end notes so that I can follow through on them. I will also go to Amazon to order my own copy of the book. (Having amassed way too many books, I now utilize ILL and then buy them if I think I will refer to them later or just take notes on the few relevant passages).

Wineburg, for example, does a much better job of explaining why Ulrich's A Midwife's Tale is such an important book. I looked at it, courtesy of ILL, a few months ago and found it quite pedantic - but that was probably because it is about a subject that doesn't really interest me.

So, let's see how successful I can be in using this blog to help make sense of my own reading. It will help me slow down a bit and process instead of just continually amassing knowledge and losing meaning in the process. I'm fulfilling the blog descriptor of tangential here because the point I meant to make a few paragraphs ago was that going to graduate school totally changed my approach to history to one of less interaction and I want to go back to that - to really enjoy it instead of see it as yet another, albeit enjoyable, task.

I liked the reference in the work to someone who said those who don't learn history will remain a child - maybe that will get the attention of the teenagers and young adults I teach.......:}

Historical cognition is a relatively knew field and I also liked the comment that the cause and effect, although still complicated, is much easier to determine in the sciences. A few decades ago, historians were busy trying to justify themselves along scientific lines when it really wasn't a) necessary or b) possible. Learning is an individual experience that can't always be measured from the outside. I think we're rounding that same curve today as the state (and national) education establishment emphasizes the collection of data as the "best way" of "knowing" if students learn.

A point well made was that students often accept the written word as "the one right answer or explanation" - I've known this but haven't thought of a good way to make sure students understand. Bringing them more directly into the process with active reading is one way to do this. Having them develop reading guides can also be useful - if the assignment is taken seriously.

That leads me to thinking something very crucial - all this is assuming that the students want to learn history - if we push them too hard to go beyond the "traditional" way of learning, we can lose them if we don't approach this right. Some of the old styles - like a great lecture - still work. It's just like analyzing people, if we knew the one right way to raise kids, we'd all be perfect. While that is a sweeping generality I'll admit, there is no one right way to do this. Just like the things I still hear today about my early teaching days in the late 80s (1980s that is :} ) at the junior high and senior high level - my high level of concern and caring had a long-lasting impact even if it was not readily apparent in the classroom............and should I say taken advantage of by some students.

I'm going to go wash the windows while it's still sunny outside. The indoor stuff can wait for a rainy day. But the time will help me process further ........... and relax, believe it or not.

ScrappleFace more than appropriately slams France:

Chirac Apologizes for Applauding Fall of Saddam
(2003-04-10) -- French President Jacques Chirac formally apologized today for his statement this morning that "France, like all democracies, is delighted at the fall of the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein."

A new statement issued by Mr. Chirac's office said, "I should not have spoken without first consulting the United Nations Security Council and drafting a proposed resolution. I hope my actions don't tear the fabric of global multilateralism we have tried so hard to weave."

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan suggested a new resolution to censure Mr. Chirac for his "ill-timed and misguided remarks."

"Whether he's right or wrong is not the issue," said Mr. Annan. "He spoke without consulting the council. Therefore, his remarks have no legitimacy."

And the Celebrity "experts" on the war:

Michael Moore Signs Big Stars for 'Iraqi Freedom'
(2003-04-09) -- Oscar-winning documentarist Michael Moore announced today he had signed a "big-name cast of celebrities" to star in his next film, tentatively entitled 'Iraqi Freedom'.

The movie, celebrating the war to topple Saddam Hussein, will feature:
-- Martin Sheen as Gen. Tommy Franks
-- Harry Belafonte as Brig. General Vincent Brooks
-- Janeane Garofalo as Pfc. Jessica Lynch
-- Sean Penn as 32-year-old Mohammed, who directed rescuers to Jessica Lynch.

Although everyone involved in the film opposed the war in Iraq, Mr. Moore said, "That's no reason why we shouldn't make some money off it. That's the great thing about America. You can hate it, and still cash in."

Tightly Wound's view on spring is an interesting take and confirms my stand on cats. (The permalink didn't seem to work so go to the April 11 entry....

Am back out at the farm - supposed to be high 70s. Saw the deer this morning and will be keeping a lookout for the turkeys. Spent 3 1/2 hours yesterday and almost 2 today online with the Starband folks. The best thing that came out of it was finding out there's a new installer about ten miles away who also has a wireless service with a transmitter on top the grain elevator a mile away. I will check into just switching to him except that the 30-foot trees surrounding the house may be a complication. In any case, he seems very professional and will be here Wednesday.

School will be busy this week with enrollment but it will be good to see students (although very few of them actually come in) to remind me why I'm in this profession.

The work stressors have settled down a bit. The obstructionist has threatened to resign (which means move to another department.............) but, in any case, has significantly decreased any perceived leverage she has if she has to stay. In either case, life will be less stressful and students will not be incorrectly disciplined/yelled at by someone with an overactive mothering urge. It's another example of how women are harder than each other in the workplace than men often are. I've sacrificed a lot to be where I am at a younger than average age but will, I guess, have to continually deal with people who think they have to tear others down to feel better. I did some research on passive agressive personalities earlier in the week. Two rules a) don't try to understand them because trying to be nice will only get you in more "trouble with them" and b) get as far away from them as you can.

Hope to get some reading and window-cleaning done today. Pretty exciting stuff. Am seriously considering having students read 3 of John Updike's "rabbit" series for the summer social history course. Will give anyone the option of reading something else since they are "candid" accounts of people's lives.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

I just found Professor Blog: (Hooray for the students smarter than their professors!)

Monday, April 07, 2003

Professors as Protestors
Interesting article in Saturday's New York Times . It seems that at college campuses around the country it is the professors who are protestros the war in Iraq, not students. There are even some cases of students growing angry at the protesting profs. A student at Wisconsin wrote a column in the student newspaper demanding a tuition refund for missed classes as a results of her prof's practice of cancelling class as a war protest. Professors at Amherst College have been criticized by the student faculty for "not knowing their place" by encouraging protest and not simply educating. Good going, kids -- keep up the good work, and keep your profs on their toes.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

mamamusings writes:

April 08, 2003
living on the edge(s)

A few months ago, I posted about what felt to me like my lack of “original thought” in my blogging. Sébastien Paquet posted a lovely response that cheered me immensely:
This is a core problem of being an “eyes-wide-open librarian”. You have such a wide view of things that you inevitable become aware of others’ ideas that are similar to yours.

Most people focus more narrowly on what they do; as a result they aren’t aware that they are reinventing the wheel. Fortunately for them, it often turns out that the people who review their work aren’t either.

Truth be told, there aren’t that many good, original ideas around, but many people would rather believe it were so.

Good ideas need amplification, explanation, and new angles from other people. How I wish that one could get credit for such creative work.

I thought of this again last night as I was mulling over an e-mail exchange I’d had with Kevin Werbach. I’d sent him mail after posting my extended rant, and he’d sent back a very nice reply in which he asked me to tell him what I might bring to the table.

Now, this is where all the interesting defensive mechanisms in my brain start to kick in. If I put everything into that response, talk about my passions and interests and why I think what I have to say matters, there’s far more risk. Because then if the answer is “thanks, but no thanks,” it’s a rejection of true self. Much easier, then, to toss off a quick laundry list of experience and interest, and try to feel nonchalant about it. That way if it doesn’t fly, I can always say “well, it’s not like I really tried.” I know this is one of my most problematic personality traits (and, alas, it’s one I see echoed in my oldest son, who is more like me than I ever imagined a person could be). You miss out on a lot if you’re not willing to take those kinds of risks—risks that you might not be the best at something, might not get picked, might not get praised.

Toby Keith Captures 3 Flameworthy Awards

Toby Keith Captures Three Flameworthy Awards
Calvin Gilbert

Between co-hosting the show with actress Pamela Anderson, performing two songs and accepting three trophies, Toby Keith was the busiest man in Nashville during Monday night’s (April 7) CMT Flameworthy 2003 Video Music Awards. Keith’s patriotic anthem, “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American),” netted him wins in the male video of the year, cocky video of the year and overall video of the year categories.


By the time Keith took his final award for video of the year, he had already made reference to those involved in our nation’s military efforts in Iraq. “I want to dedicate this great award to Mr. Rumsfeld, to Tommy Franks and all the people over there puttin’ it down for us tonight,” Keith said. “American soldiers are the best in the business. Once again, thanks to CMT and all the beautiful fans for voting for this thing for me. God bless the U.S.A., baby.”


'nuf said

Monday, April 07, 2003

Get Your Blog Tools Here from Tech TV

Get Your Blog Tools Here

Want to start your own weblog? Take a look at some of the tools available to you.
Watch today at 7 p.m., 10 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 a.m. Eastern.
By Michelle VonWald with Roman Loyola
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Email Email this story

bloggingWant to jump on the blogging bandwagon to share your thoughts with family, friends, and the rest of the online world? Then take a look at these popular weblog tools to see which might be the best for you.

* Blogger is pretty basic. Now that it's been purchased by Google, the servers are pretty fast. You don't need your own server or your own domain name.

Additionally, Blogger is a good solution if you want to host your blog on your own domain name and server, but your Web host service provider doesn't provide support for CGI scripts or databases (or you just don't want to hassle with them). Essentially, Blogger hosts the journal tool on its own servers. The tool doesn't reside on your server.

Here's how Blogger works when using it for your own domain name.

1. You log into Blogger and enter your FTP information to your website in Blogger's settings.
2. You use Blogger's journal entry tool to create content.
3. Blogger creates an HTML file of your journal. It then uses FTP to enter your server and transfer the blog HTML to your site.
4. When you visit your blog, it's updated with the new content.

* Moveable Type is more elegant and customizable than Blogger. This is the one that Leo, Morgan, and I all use. You need your own domain name and your own server. It's not hard to set up, but it's not easy either. It's totally free to use for non-commercial sites.

* LiveJournal is a great weblog tool for beginners. It's not designed for teenagers, but I think that's the majority of users. If you want to easily communicate and have access to the blogs of friends, this is the way to go. Unlike Moveable Type, you can't host your blog on your own domain name or server.

* Radio Userland is customizable like Moveable Type, but you don't need your own server. It's also not free. It's definitely more on the geeky side. I used the trial version and I wasn't thrilled by it, but that was definitely a personal preference.

* Also, take a look at w.bloggar and

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Here's a "Who Armed Saddam" illustration.

Just back from the OAH - a great meeting and great company on the 7-hour drive back and forth.

Via mamamusings: An online presentation about blogs.

Sat next to a man I've seen at history and social studies meetings for years. He runs the
Maryland Center for Civic Education.
Also talked to McGraw-Hill and
ABLongman about some technology work and checked in with Houghton Mifflin.

Had two productive meetings about a potential TAH grant and talked to our fellow grantees from Kansas.

Cary is a great mentor and Paul is quite interesting.

The meeting was in Memphis and we ate barbeque all three nights: Rendevous, Corky's, and somewhere on Beale Street.

I mentioned blogs in a session on digital history and some people came up afterwards to ask questions. One guy just popped up that his listserv approach was much better and it made me realize that many who do get in the tech world get to a certain point and then stop instead of remaining open to all the new possiiblities.

I went to a great session sponsored by NEH: the St. Louis Virtual City Project and Chicago's Teaching History Through Architecture. I learned quite a bit abour incorporating architectural history and the advantages and disadvantages of virtual reality versus tactile reality.

Better go work on my taxes. :}

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

This looks interesting: I had a nail and a flat tire...........yesterday the alarm at the farm was going off because the house lost power. The security company went out this morning and there was no power to the house....talked to the electric company today and a racoon ate through the wiring - on their side luckily - ....will have to keep an eye on that.....I am obviously providing a lot of chew toys for squirrels and racoons.......Mom and dad came by to get Shadow since the falt tire delayed me just a little......small town....the same guy that took care of my tired today came out to rescue me when I flipped the 98 Explorer end over end on the ice that wasn't supposed to be on the road yet......

can't wait for menphis barbeque.......

I've got a much better perspective on things this morning - and this post from Tightly Wound puts a cap on it:

Things That Make Me Laugh

If you ignore the fact that the laughter is a little unnaturally high pitched and kinda maniacal, when you get right down to it...

This online colloquy from the Chronicle on whether or not a professor should be terminated for lying about his credentials. As expected, discussion devolved into parsing the nuances of the unfairness of demanding qualifications from those esoteric artist types. Reality was inserted by, of all people, a grad student. See, we probably should determine different standards for folks in creative programs, but that's not the point here. He lied. It's wrong. Penalty paid, he'll move on. The "funny" part is that everyone's scratching their heads lately about rampant academic cheating, but no one seems to notice that when authority figures have to debate the merits of dismissing someone for falsifying their credentials (or cheating, not to put too fine a point on it) it might have an effect on campus culture generally. See? Funny! hahaha!

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