Monday, January 31, 2005

Another good morning

I woke up to a dusting of snow at the farm - just beautiful!

Will be teaching about lesson plans this afternoon and the 1910s late this afternoon/evening. . . .

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Glorious Winter

Although driving home in it late yesterday afternoon wasn't much fun (and the granite scraps I'd collected in the back end surely helped stabilize the back half of the vehicle), it was a beautiful morning. About 1 and a half inches of snow. It's already melting and is not quite as pretty but that also means that the roads will be clear to move around later today. Am doing mundane things like catching up on laundry.

We meet our 35 teacher participants for our newest Teaching American History grant on Thursday. I'm really excited about not only meeting them but hearing our speaker, Dr. Robert Rook, speak about the new global history emphasis in the state standards.

I need to get the teaching history blog over at Typepad "caught up" - my Type-A need to have everything in exact order means that not having pictures for one meeting results in not having any published since this summer. But I should be able to catch up on a variety of tasks like that this February.

Am mainly concentrating on enjoying the work that I love and also taking some time out for family and friends. Marcia and I went to see The Aviator yesterday (luckily before the bad weather would have prevented it) and had fun catching up. Her middle daughter is a budding historian and doing a History Day project on Emma Goldman.

I'm preparing some materials on the 1910s for my class tomorrow night. In the afternoon class, the teacher candidates (that is the official term now, not students) will begin exploring lesson plans. I have one student teacher who started a few weeks early since she is expecting in late April and so will try to go out and see her in the next week or so.

I'm also thankful that no major flu downtimes have hit me either in December or January - a few days of not quite feeling up to snuff but I consider myself lucky - esp. since I am around so many different groups of people.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Burke's Home For Imaginary Friends

Burke's Home For Imaginary Friends

Timothy Burke has a great post (see link above) discussing blogging and why he blogs. Now if he'd only pondered these areas of thought before I made my H-Net presentation at the AHA.

The Chronicle: 1/28/2005: Chicken Strips and Pizza Please the Masses

The Chronicle: 1/28/2005: Chicken Strips and Pizza Please the Masses: "By LAWRENCE BIEMILLER

Athens, Ga.
For many University of Georgia students, comfort food is Chef Boyardee ravioli. The university's food service has experimented with upscale ravioli offerings, but students don't want fancy stuff -- they want Chef Boyardee. At lunch and dinner.

They also want cereal to be available all day. And they want chicken strips. Lots of chicken strips. The food service's cooking-school-trained chefs can put lemon-pepper orange roughy and cauliflower polonaise on the menu all they like, but what students can't get enough of are chicken strips.

And pizza, of course. The pizza station at the university's Snelling Dining Commons goes through a dozen cases of frozen pizza dough a day -- enough for 600 16-inch pizzas -- and stays busy till it closes at midnight. The pizza station, which the food service calls Giorgio's, offers traditional toppings, like pepperoni, mushrooms, and Italian sausage, but it also turns out chipotle chicken pizza, chicken fajita pizza, and even 'McCheeseburger' pizza.

J. Michael Floyd, the food-services director, sees only good in students' tastes. Ravioli, pizza, and especially cereal are cheap to serve, and they help balance out the cost of chicken strips, which are more expensive. By giving students what they want, he's both keeping them happy and keeping average food costs low enough that he can splurge now and then on special events like the Five Star Dinner, which celebrates the many awards the food service has won. He can also afford to pay for Saturday-night 'premium entrees,' like steak or shellfish,"


Whatever makes our students happy? The only thing they seemed to have left out is McDonald's - another college student food group.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Inside Higher Ed :: Insider

Inside Higher Ed :: Insider: "January 10, 2005

The Game Your Future Students Will Play

Big news in the gaming world is that Sims is coming out with a 'University' game. Sims is a dollhouse-like computer game in which people (tons of high schoolers and I hear many responsible adults as well) control the fates of characters in family life, career, civic life, etc.

Players in Sims 2 University (due out in the spring) will pick majors, track grades, and decide on dormitories vs. Greek life for their 'students,' who the product's manufacters say will be programmed with 'college based fears and wants.' Some pictures of the new game have made their way online. The Sims students will also have to pay tuition (or virtual tuition or something) either through work or through 'riskier affairs.'

This all may sound silly, but Felicity defined what college should be for thousands of high school students a few years back and if the WB can do that, what might a computer game do for a new generation?"

New blog by a math teacher.

This looks interesting. (via Cranky Professor)

The Chronicle: 1/28/2005: A New Route to Racial Diversity

The Chronicle: 1/28/2005: A New Route to Racial Diversity:
"He describes the overall strategy that he devised as 'an hourglass approach.' At the top half of the admissions process, recruitment, he devoted an additional $3-million toward new outreach efforts intended to convince minority students that Texas A&M was right for them. At the bottom part, financial aid, he committed $8.3-million toward new scholarships heavily geared toward minority students, and took pains to make sure that those students would get a larger share of the $329-million in financial aid and loans that the university already offered. He also established a 25-member team of representatives from programs and departments throughout the university and instructed it to meet weekly to carry out his diversity plans.

Mr. Gates has made a point of personally visiting several urban high schools around the state. He says that his presence 'clearly elicits more participation by school officials and others' in Texas A&M's outreach efforts, and conveys the high priority that the university is placing on diversity, creating a more receptive environment for its recruiters."


Interesting article in the Chronicle (subscription required) about increasing minority enrollments at Texas A&M without utilizing race-based admissions.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Now for something completely different

While I have TV and radio on in the background quite a bit, very few shows get my full attention. One of them, however, was on tonight. Can anyone say "Mark Harmon"? I know, as a friend commented "he looks older" . .. but, don't we all. I still only think I'm 29 . . . :-) But it's hard for fiction to match real history. Any comments from anyone on their favorite shows? This isn't my absolute but right now it's pretty high up there. . . .

FrontPage :: Freshman Indoctrination At Ball State by Brett Mock

FrontPage :: Freshman Indoctrination At Ball State by Brett Mock

Freshman Indoctrination At Ball State
By Brett Mock | January 25, 2005

Like many other universities, Indiana’s Ball State has a program of required reading for incoming freshman. Called the “Freshman Connections Program,” it requires all new students at Ball State – some 5,000 per year -- to read an assigned book called a “common reader.” This is the first taste that students get of a university sponsored text, and it is the only text that the university itself – as opposed to individual professors – will assign as required reading for students.

The Freshman Connections Program at Ball State has been in existence for eight years. In all those years it has never required a conservative text, but in the last two it has required consecutive readings from the radical left. Books like these might be an opportunity to stimulate intellectual debate. Unfortunately, the Freshman Connections Program fails to facilitate an environment through which such learning and discourse could take place.

For the incoming class in the fall of 2003, Ball State assigned Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickled and Dimed. Ehrenreich is an honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America who contradicts all evidence that America is an upwardly mobile society with unparalleled opportunities for the working poor. She condemns the market system and America’s defense policies and in favor of lifting sanctions against Cuba’s Communist dictatorship. She labels U.S. sanctions “criminal” but has no similarly harsh criticisms for Cuba’s Communist dictator who has bankrupted his country and turned it into an island prison.

In the fall of 2004, Ball State followed the Ehrenreich selection with Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation, which is yet another attack on the free market system.

It would be interesting to know how much time is spent discussing the other side(s) of the issues involved. I only wish we could have a required reading list for freshmen.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Johnny Carson (1925-2005)

OS ANGELES - Johnny Carson, the quick-witted “Tonight Show” host who became a national institution putting his viewers to bed for 30 years with a smooth nightcap of celebrity banter and heartland charm, died Sunday. He was 79.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Graphic Organizer Makers

Graphic Organizer Makers

I've been doing some research to get ready for another history teaching workshop and have run across some great sites on using graphic organizers in the classroom, including the research base. I'll definitely need to do a presentation for the methods students on this one. Meanwhile, just go here and type in the worlds 'graphic organizers history' in the searchbox.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Inauguration

Luckily I had the opportunity to look up from the computer to watch the inauguration. It's a great day for a democracy and, historically, we do have inaugurations during wartime no matter what political party the president represents.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Tightly Wound: Choose Your Own Adventure - Academic Version

Tightly Wound: Choose Your Own Adventure - Academic Version

I've seen similar things happen in other ivory towers . . . . :-(

New Jib jab video

Just go here for their latest and greatest . . . . saw on CNBC this morning that they have a parntership with Yahoo to handle the traffic . . .

Friday, January 14, 2005

Bloggers do it again . . .

The Chronicle: Daily news: 01/14/2005 -- 05: "Anonymous Blogger Who Revealed Details of Apple's $499 Machine Is Identified as Harvard Freshman

Anonymous blogger who revealed details of Apple's $499 machine is identified as Harvard freshman

The anonymous blogger who first reported that Apple Computer would release a $499 Mac -- spoiling Steve Jobs's surprise and attracting a lawsuit by the company -- turns out to be a Harvard University freshman."

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Paying Bloggers

Diablog ::

Blogging for Business.

It had to come. That is, “paid blogging” has probably existed for a long time in various ways (like a lot of different viral and word-of-mouth marketing), but this (for some reason I didn´t feel good about providing this link) makes it explicit.

The company in question is ”paying our bloggers $800.00 a month and $50/month per qualified lead (up to four/month right now), and we’ll see if our hunch — that the blogosphere is a conversational marketing gold mine — is correct. Marqui will spend almost $200,000 on this project in the next year.” This is definitely business, one of the blogs in question even provide “paid to post” tag.

I believe Torill makes an essential observation: ”Making money from your blog changes the model you work within. Getting paid to blog changes the blog. It isn’t personal publication any more, your blog has become a one-person business.”


I saw this on one of the blogs I read regularly but didn't think much about it until this comment. It does blur the line between personal and commercial. .. . .

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Wx Plotter Fun Tests - Nerd Quotient

Wx Plotter Fun Tests - Nerd Quotient: "
I am nerdier than 52% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Stress Relief

via mamamusings . . . The David Allen Company the following quote:

Anything that causes you to overreact or underreact can control you, and often does. Responding inappropriately to your e-mail, your staff, your projects, your unread magazines your thoughts about what you need to do, your children, your boss will lead to less effective results than you’d like. Most people give either more or less attention to things than they deserve, simply because they don’t operate with a “mind like water.”


hmmm . . . now to remember it when I need to remember it . . .

Apple Blows Past Estimates

Apple Blows Past Estimates: "Apple Blows Past Estimates
By Paul Shread

Apple (Quote, Chart) delivered the earnings surprise of the season after the close on Wednesday, releasing results that far surpassed Wall Street estimates.

Apple's earnings of 70 cents a share blew past 48-cent estimates, and revenues soared 74% to $3.49 billion, well above $3.15 billion forecasts. The company reported better than expected margins of 28.5%, and also beat expectations with more than a million Macs shipped in the quarter.

As if that weren't enough, Apple said its outperformance will continue at least another quarter. The company said it expects March quarter earnings of 40 cents a share, above 33-cent estimates, and revenues of $2.9 billion, above $2.75 billion forecasts."


glad I didn't sell yesterday after all . . . .

evangelizing Mac v. PC

via 43 folders via mamamusings, and interesting comedy bit . . . .

Special fashion message from profgirrrl

This applies to some of our students in Kansas, too . . . .

Playing School, Irreverently: "Special fashion message to approximately 1/6 of the female undergraduates of TU on the north side of campus today: cover up a bit. Really. This is winter. If you need a jacket, a crop top probably isn't the best idea underneath. And if you're shivering, that's a clue, too. Trust me, there's plenty of time during the year for us all to see your piercings, tatoos, thongs and belly skin. Actually, we really don't need to see your thong. I like low-rise jeans and showing my belly off as much as the next girl (and I admit to almost having an accidental thong showing myself last week, when I wore jeans that were too big and they kept falling down), but the classroom may not be the best place for it. Oh, and work those abs a bit before showing those abs. You're young. Do it now, while you can. It just gets harder. Trust me on that."

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Chronicle Careers: 01/11/2005

Chronicle Careers: 01/11/2005: "Maureen is a superwoman, but all academics deserve opportunities to use their talents. Scholars rarely get rich, but they can nourish their souls and teach the young with a lifelong love for knowledge and a keen appreciation for smart women. Ms. Mentor will cavort for that."

Straight from Ms. Mentor . . . . . and all true!

Monday, January 10, 2005

AHA: Annual Meeting

I just returned from the AHA: Annual Meeting. Need to catch up on household things for a bit and then hope to talk more about bloggers, historians, and other related tangents.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Yahoo! News - Six Apart Acquires Maker of LiveJournal Weblogs

Yahoo! News - Six Apart Acquires Maker of LiveJournal Weblogs: "Six Apart Acquires Maker of LiveJournal Weblogs

Thu Jan 6, 3:46 PM ET

Add to My Yahoo! Technology - Reuters Internet Report

By Duncan Martell

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Six Apart said on Thursday it had acquired Danga Interactive Inc., bringing together two pioneers of online journals known as blogs and creating a stronger rival to Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq:GOOG - news) service.

Terms of the stock and cash transaction were not disclosed, said closely held San Francisco-based Six Apart, which developed the popular Movable Type online publishing software and the TypePad blogging service.

Danga, which is based in Portland, Oregon and also privately held, operates the blogging service LiveJournal, which is popular among adolescents and teenagers."

Monday, January 03, 2005 - Daily Details - Daily Details

Winter's back in Kansas!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Interesting Social Networking

Found this this morning via me, my life + infrastructure. Interesting way of making connections. But how does it compare to talking to your neighbors or the people you encounter/pass everyday? Is this "safer" because we think we have a more "mutual connection" than living near one another? Or is it simply a way to expand our horizons. The only downside I see is that I don't subscribe to text messaging. And will there soon be yellow arrows everywhere? And how do you get permission to attach them to other people's property? Interesting idea, however.

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