Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Chronicle: 9/30/2005: Reference Questions in the Library of the Future

(subscription required for rest of article) The Chronicle: 9/30/2005: Reference Questions in the Library of the Future: "That new way of conducting research has probably led to the widely reported decrease in the number of queries at traditional reference desks. The decline has prompted discussions about the future of reference work and has even convinced some librarians that traditional reference services will soon be obsolete. However, reference librarians report that reference questions now tend to be more complex, albeit fewer in number.

Other pressures, from both inside and outside the academy, are also prompting changes in reference services. Among them are the changing nature of pedagogy, the characteristics of 'NextGen' college students, and increasing globalization, or the 'flattening of the world,' in Thomas L. Friedman's words. Friedman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign-affairs columnist for The New York Times, argues that political and geographical boundaries are no longer barriers to providing important services from distant locations; he envisions worldwide commerce revolutionized by digital communications.

Most colleges and universities are adopting new pedagogical approaches, like requiring students to work in groups and to make presentations using digital media. Reference librarians need new skills to work with the new pedagogies. Requirements like 'hands-on experience with virtual reference services,' 'ability to serve as library Webmaster and to design library Web sites,' 'experience with electronic course-management systems,' and 'ability to prepare online instructional materials' are common in job advertisements today.

In addition, reference librarians typically must be teachers themselves, in formal information-literacy programs or in one-on-one sessions with faculty members and students who need help navigating an increasingly complex digital environment. Some institutions, like Kenyon College, have created hybrid positions that combine the roles of reference librarian and instructional-technology specialist.

The changing nature of college students also makes it important for reference librarians to be comfortable with new technologies. NextGen students are accustomed to using computers and cellphones, sometimes at the same time. They expect services and resources when and where they need them, not when and where the library staff wants to provide them. Students also expect library and information-technology operations to work cooperatively, to provide effective student-support services."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Catching Up

It's been a busy time with a teacher workshop at the Liberty Memorial. Anthony with the Gilder Lehrman Institute is absolutely awesome - both as a teacher and a person. I also found out more about this great resource: Talking History. The entire run of programs is available for free online or, even better, ask your local NPR station to host it!

After this Kansas City workshop was finished, I headed to the east coast to meet the rest of the author team on a US survey text that will emphasize even more teaching the next time around. The curve is finally catching up to this outstanding group of scholars and teachers. Plus, the technology is becoming more user friendly.

Students in the teaching class made their first formal presentations yesterday - it's a great way to get them to fully realize that although they are expert students since most of them have been in school since they were 5, they are just beginning to learn what it takes to meet the challenge of being a good history teacher.

Once I catch up from grading and attend some meetings :-), I will be taking a weekend out to go here.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Department Meetings a la Miss Manners

Chronicle Careers: 09/19/2005: "Rather, she sees department meetings as exercises in the will to power. Notice who stands up, who filibusters, who fiddles while someone else burns with indignation. Meetings are carnivals, episodes in ongoing soap operas, and skits peopled with -- yes -- some atrociously bad actors."

The Chronicle: Daily news: 09/19/2005 -- 08

The Chronicle: Daily news: 09/19/2005 -- 08: "U. of Memphis Student Is Arrested as FBI Investigates Possible Terrorism Ties


A freshman at the University of Memphis was detained last week after federal agents found a pilot's uniform, a map of Memphis International Airport, and pilot-training materials in his off-campus apartment.

The student, Mahmoud Maawad, a native of Egypt who is in the United States illegally, was ordered by a federal magistrate to be held without bond on charges of wire fraud and the fraudulent use of a Social Security number."

Even if he is here for education, he is here illegally. And why would he need a pilot's uniform?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

TK and Water . . . .

The One-Handed Economist: September 12, 2005 Archives: "The One-Handed Economist
Keep your socks up.

? September 11, 2005 | Main
September 12, 2005
Couldn't Have Said It Better

Luskin On Ted 'Not-Worth-A-Bullet' Kennedy:

Teddy Kennedy at today's confirmation hearings for John Roberts:

The powerful winds and flood waters of Katrina tore away the mask that has hidden from public view the many Americans who are left out and left behind.

Yep -- from a true expert on leaving people behind in flood waters.

Posted by Timothy at 08:56 PM | TrackBack"

Teacher Tori: Priceless

Teacher Tori: Priceless

This is a good example of shock and awe!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The school year

As we enter the 2nd quarter of the semester, it's amazing how fast it is all going. I don't feel as rushed in grading this semester and that's primarily my approach more so than a less hectic schedule. I'm also expecting students to follow directions after only one or two false starts instead of those approaching the double digits. The intent is to encourage them to develop the skills they need to survive not only in the real world but in the world of teaching into which most of them are going. And, although it's taken awhile, I'm also learning more quickly how to quickly distinguish those that always give excuses and those that are really trying. Online classes especially require following directions exactly. We use Blackboard and it gives a confirmation of a successfully submitted assignment - which is much better than a barrage of student emails asking if they did something right - again too much reliance on someone else instead of themselves.

As result of this modified approach, I also have more energy to focus on creative teaching and enhancing what students are doing in classes versus the mundane details of students not paying attention. While students like to complain about unorganized professors, I'm not sure they always like it when you are organized enough to expect them to be organized.

This week we have a grant workshop at the Liberty Memorial and then I will stay overnight in Kansas City before going to Boston for an author's meeting for a Houghton Mifflin US history survey text. This is my first time to attend this particular meeting and it should be both enlightening and productive.

This time last week I was finishing up a state grant application to assist two teachers with a local history project. There are also some other numerous projects I need to catch up on but I'm sure I will before I leave the house on Tuesday morning for Kansas City.

We have finally left summer weather behind although I'm sure we'll have the occasional warmer than usual day. The main thing is that it is cooling off at night. It seems to energize me when I can walk either in the morning or the evening without fighting the heat. And, although our straw mites apparently reappeared, they haven't kept me out of the yard like last year.

And, no, my Halloween costume will not be Daisy Duke. . . . .

Monday, September 12, 2005

Poor Mr. Churchill

The Chronicle: Daily news: 09/12/2005 -- 02: "Mr. Churchill said he had published more than 4,000 pages of scholarship and argued that examining the work of any scholar with a similarly extensive publication record would produce 'a half-dozen paragraphs, half-dozen footnotes that you can build some kind of a case on, if that's your object.'

He compared his position to that of Al Capone, who was ultimately sent to Alcatraz for income-tax evasion, and mimicked the university as saying, 'We don't care what we get him on, we'll get him on anything.'"

So he publicly states that the rest of us are sloppy scholars (I'm trying to be civil here) . . . . Even those of us without numerous assistants/graduate students know better than this.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Pretty Hard, Dammit

Pretty Hard, Dammit: "Fourth, be aware that young, small women face different issues of authority in a classroom than do older men, young men, and older women. When I come into a classroom, young, blonde, and 5'6', believe me when I tell you that students do not fear me. Nor do they automatically respect me. I know this from many years of teaching and it was yet again borne out on this day as the two young male students in my class proceeded to disrupt the whole class by phoning each other in the middle of our time together. Yes, this angered me. And, yes, later on well after the fact, I used harsh language to describe my feelings about that incident. Professors are human. We have feelings."


Friday, September 09, 2005

The Morning Sun: Fire started after car hits cow 09/09/05

The Morning Sun: Fire started after car hits cow 09/09/05: "
photo: local
Courtesy photo
Members of the Frontenac Fire Department work to extinguish a car fire on Wednesday. The fire ignited after the vehicle hit two cows on US 69 Highway.
Fire started after car hits cow

A car burst into fire Wednesday night when it hit two cows on US 69 Highway north of Frontenac"

I couldn't resist this one - am just glad the driver is okay.

How about vehicle runs into back of school bus????

// posted by Kelly in Kansas @ 7:26:00 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, September 08, 2005

ScrappleFace: Democrats Demand Justice Just Like Rehnquist

ScrappleFace: Democrats Demand Justice Just Like Rehnquist: "ScrappleFace500.gif
Democrats Demand Justice Just Like Rehnquist
by Scott Ott

(2005-09-05) -- Just hours after the death of William H. Rehnquist, Senate Democrats demanded that President George Bush nominate a replacement whose ideology and judicial philosophy match that of the late Supreme Court justice.

'When Sandra Day O'Connor retired, we insisted Bush appoint a centrist to replace her and maintain the balance on the court,' said one unnamed Senator. 'Now, we demand that the president name a right-wing, conservative, originalist to replace Rehnquist for that same reason.'

The Senator explained that balance is the most important feature of the high court, trumping ideology, logic and the intent of the framers of the constitution.

'As much as we'd like to have another lefty like [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg, we must maintain balance,' the anonymous legislator intoned. 'Even if it means overturning Roe v. Wade, we Democrats shall remain true to our principles.'"

// posted by Kelly in Kansas @ 9:47:00 PM 0 Comments

Saturday, September 03, 2005

from the frontlines (August 31)

I just received this but think it is still worth posting. Since the email says he wants word to get out, I have left identifying details (including name) in.

I sent my donation here

>> Aug. 31, 2005
>> This is a dispatch from New Orleans from Dr. Greg Henderson, a
>> pathologist who recently moved from Wilmington:
>> Thanks to all of you who have sent your notes of concern and your
>> prayers. I am writing this note on Tuesday at 2 p.m.. I wanted to update
>> all of you as to the situation here. I don't know how much information
>> you are getting
>> but I am certain it is more than we are getting. Be advised that almost
>> everything I am telling you is from direct observation or rumor from
>> reasonable sources. They are allowing limited internet access, so I hope
>> to
>> send this dispatch today.
>> Personally, my family and I are fine. My family is safe in Jackson,
>> Miss., and I am now a temporary resident of the Ritz Carleton Hotel in
>> New Orleans. I figured if it was my time to go, I wanted to go in a place
>> with a good wine list. In addition, this hotel is in a very old building
>> on Canal Street that could and did sustain little damage. Many of the
>> other hotels sustained significant loss of windows, and we expect that
>> many of the guests
>> may be evacuated here.
>> Things were obviously bad yesterday, but they are much worse today.
>> Overnight the water arrived. Now Canal Street (true to its origins) is
>> indeed a canal. The first floor of all downtown buildings is underwater.
>> I
>> have heard that Charity Hospital and Tulane are limited in their ability
>> to care for patients because of water. Ochsner is the only hospital that
>> remains fully functional. However, I spoke with them today and they too
>> are
>> on generator and losing food and water fast.
>> The city now has no clean water, no sewerage system, no electricity, and
>> no real communications. Bodies are still being recovered floating in the
>> floods. We are worried about a cholera epidemic. Even the police are
>> without effective communications. We have a group of armed police here
>> with us at the hotel that is admirably trying to exert some local law
>> enforcement. This is tough because looting is now rampant. Most of it is
>> not malicious looting. These are poor and desperate people with no
>> housing and no medical care and no food or water trying to take care of
>> themselves and their families. Unfortunately, the people are armed and
>> dangerous. We hear gunshots frequently. Most of Canal street is occupied
>> by armed looters who have a low threshold for discharging their weapons.
>> We hear gunshots frequently. The looters are using makeshift boats made
>> of pieces of styrofoam to access. We are still waiting for a significant
>> national guard presence.
>> The health care situation here has dramatically worsened overnight. Many
>> people in the hotel are elderly and small children. Many other guests
>> have unusual diseases. ... There are (Infectious Disease) physicians in
>> at this hotel attending an HIV confection. We have commandered the world
>> famous French Quarter Bar to turn
>> into an makeshift clinic. There is a team of about seven doctors and PAs
>> and pharmacists. We anticipate that this will be the major medical
>> facility in the central business district and French Quarter.
>> Our biggest adventure today was raiding the Walgreens on Canal under
>> police escort. The pharmacy was dark and full of water. We basically
>> scooped the entire drug sets into garbage bags and removed them. All
>> under police excort. The looters had to be held back at gunpoint. After a
>> dose of prophylactic Cipro I hope to be fine.
>> In all we are faring well. We have set up a hospital in the the French
>> Qarter bar in the hotel, and will start admitting patients today. Many
>> will be from the hotel, but many will not. We are anticipating dealing
>> with
>> multiple medical problems, medications and and acute injuries. Infection
>> and perhaps even cholera are anticipated major problems. Food and water
>> shortages are imminent.
>> The biggest question to all of us is where is the National Guard. We hear
>> jet fignters and helicopters, but no real armed presence, and hence the
>> rampant looting. There is no Red Cross and no Salvation Army.
>> In a sort of cliché way, this is an edifying experience. One is rapidly
>> focused away from the transient and material to the bare necessities of
>> life. It has been challenging to me to learn how to be a primary care
>> phyisican. We are under martial law so return to our homes is impossible.
>> I don't know how long it will be and this is my greatest fear. Despite it
>> all, this is a soul-edifying experience. The greatest pain is to think
>> about
>> the loss. And how long the rebuid will take. And the horror of so many
>> dead people .
>> from the front. I will send more according to your interest. Hopefully
>> their collective prayers will be answered. By the way, suture packs,
>> sterile gloves and stethoscopes will be needed as the Ritz turns into a
>> Greg Henderson

// posted by Kelly in Kansas @ 11:28:00 PM 0 Comments

New Orleans Left to the Dead and Dying - Yahoo! News

New Orleans Left to the Dead and Dying - Yahoo! News: "New Orleans Left to the Dead and Dying

By ALLEN G. BREED, Associated Press Writer 35 minutes ago

NEW ORLEANS - The last bedraggled refugees were rescued from the Superdome on Saturday and the convention center was all but cleared, leaving the heart of New Orleans to the dead and dying, the elderly and frail stranded too many days without food, water or medical care.

No one knows how many were killed by Hurricane Katrina's floods and how many more succumbed waiting to be rescued. But the bodies are everywhere: hidden in attics, floating among the ruined city, crumpled on wheelchairs, abandoned on highways.

The last refugees at the Superdome and the convention center climbed aboard buses Saturday bound for shelters, but the dying goes on."

// posted by Kelly in Kansas @ 11:27:00 PM 0 Comments

Situation in Houston

This from a friend:

Here is a personal impression of the refugee situation as events are unfolding in Houston. Not surprisingly, this issues dominates almost everything in the city--even football. At Texas Southern University we have already enrolled 300 students from New Orleans.

One of our graduate students, a woman who works as a fairly high-level administrator with the hospital district, spent all day Thursday screening arrivals at the Astrodome. She said most were mentally ill, about half were HIV positive, and many had weapons (maybe 10%). Efforts to enroll students is school are undermined by the lack of information about innoculations and the poor health of many who arrive. She expressed her personal concern that these people will never leave, that they are mostly dysfunctional, and we will be supporting them for the rest of their lives. This woman is in her early 30s and African American.

We drove around the Astrodome yesterday evening. It was an unbelievable site. The traffic was very heavy--almost gridlocked. There are crowds of refugees clustered at various points outside the grounds of the Astrodome. Several hundred were crowded into a Burger King parking lot across the street from the Dome and Fannin and 610; several thousand were milling about in a shopping center parking lot off Kirby at OST (about a quarter mile down the street from the Dome). Crowds also are hanging out at the light rail station across from the Dome (the evening one refugee, with his music ear-pods at high volume ignored warning shouts and stepped into the path of a train).

The crowds outside the Dome, of course, are refugees trying to get out of the confines of the large shelter. Some are engaged in ordinary activities--several were jogging around the perimeter, or just walking; others are just milling about. The overwhelming impression is the trash. It's everywhere.

The Astrodome area is a huge compound containing the Astrodome, Reliant Stadium (the NFL football stadium), a huge convention and exposition center that's about two years old, and the old Astrohall (an old convention center that's slated for demolition). The whole area has been landscaped and, except for parking areas, is park like. Now it's all covered with trash--empty water bottles, plastic bags, and general rubbish.

Earlier in the day I saw clusters of refugees pan-handling, mostly in the Montrose area (4-5 miles from the Dome); another small group was outside of a post office asking for money. On Kirby, just north of the Dome there were larger clusters with signs panhandling among the cars on the gridlocked streets. Many were giving them money.

Of course media trucks with their satellite transmitters extended were everywhere. If you hear that not that many are here, it's not true. There are currently 23,000+ in the Dome and the adjacent convention center, and another 5000+ in the downtown convention center. There are dozens of other refugee centers around the city housing 1000s of others. All in all there are an estimated 200,000-300,000 refugees in the city. Every hotel is full and many have taken frineds, relatives, and even strangers into their homes. As soon as they return from their current cruises and disembark their passengers, 2 Carnival line cruise ships will be moored in Galveston, where each will house 2800 for six months.

The cruises scheduled for these two ships have been cancelled or rescheduled on other ships. The city has cancelled all conventions scheduled for the downtown convention center for September; tonight's football game between TSU and Prairie View at Reliant Stadium has been canceled. The Six Flags Amusement Park across the street from the Astrodome has been closed until September 10. The Houston City Council will meet in a special session on Labor Day to approve $10,000,000 for immediate support of the refugees.

I just heard that a caravan of 11 busses with c 5500 refugees just arrived (it's 10 p.m.); they will be triaged for medical issues, fed, but sent on. The word is that Houston and all of Texas is full.

// posted by Kelly in Kansas @ 11:14:00 PM 0 Comments

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