Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Winter Storm

Our winter storm came in 12 hours earlier than expected so we emailed teachers first thing this morning that we would pay for another day for their substitutes so they could make it to the airport before the weather became worse. I ate lunch with a friend and although I had to drive 40 mph on I-435, it allowed all the idiots who don't slow down even though the road is icing up to go off the side of the road and the rest of the traffic to go a reasonable speed for the conditions.

I haven't driven in weather this bad since my wreck almost eight years ago and so I was a bit nervous but glad I made it through. Some of the teachers have checked in so I can quit worrying about them and I'll find out for sure tomorrow how many made it up. I know several had families to organize besides substitutes.

I met an interesting woman during the hotel's mini-happy hour. She lives in the same town as my brother and frequents one of the same restaurants. Her husband is a professional tennis player so she has some chances for girls' nights out - esp. now their her own children are teenagers. It's always great to meet new people.

Of course, that means I didn't work on all the stuff I brought to my room. But, if I don't bring all my "stuff" with me, I end up bored.

The precipitation has ended according to the official story so we'll hope that is true and we take off without incident at 7:40 am tomorrow. / Born in ’64 / Born in ’64: "Born in ’64

Four million Americans came into the world that year. Here are some who have already made their mark on 2006.

Jeff Bezos, January 12:
Founder and chief executive officer of; he was Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 1999.

Mariska Hargitay, January 23:
The actress won an Emmy in 2006 for her role as Detective Olivia Benson in the hit show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

Bret Easton Ellis, March 7:
Author of the novels Less Than Zero (1985), The Rules of Attraction (1987), and the controversial American Psycho (1991).

Bonnie Blair, March 18:
Speed skater and one of the most decorated female athletes in Olympic history, with five gold medals and one bronze medal.

James Langevin, April 22:
Democratic member of the House of Representatives from Rhode Island.

Stephen Colbert, May 13:
The comedian and actor was the longest-running correspondent on “The Daily Show” before he got his own satirical news program, “The Colbert Report.”

Wynonna Judd, May 30:
Singer who, with her mother, made up country music’s legendary duo the Judds; her first solo album, “Wynonna,” sold over five million copies.

Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels, May 31, and J"

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Turkey Day Report

There was a great deal to give thanks for this Thanksgiving - not only having immediate family around (and healthy this year) but because some of my favorite cousins ventured all the way from Ohio to visit the farm. The weather was great - in fact, it was a little warm. But that meant that there were fewer driving challenges - that's besides three children in the car for 11 hours :-) - and we could spend as much time outside as we wanted. The only thing missing was wildlife - they were out in force right before everyone arrived. But maybe they know that rifle season for deer starts this week and were just getting ready early. . . .

My cousin and his wife have interesting careers and it's engaging to discuss their projects and experiences. She's just re-entered the workforce after spending 13 years primarily on the homefront raising three intelligent and creative children. It was great having the house full of energy. They are always great hosts - whether they are in Cincinnati or in Rome - and I was glad to be able to return the favor. My parents also enjoyed spending time with the extended family we don't often see even though my dad is the only one still living in his family's hometown. My cousins also had fun visiting him in the mayor's office on their way over.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Print: The Chronicle: 12/9/2005: Alma Mater in the Time of TiVo

Print: The Chronicle: 12/9/2005: Alma Mater in the Time of TiVo: "The Chronicle of Higher Education Information Technology

From the issue dated December 9, 2005
Alma Mater in the Time of TiVo


What does the advent of the Internet mean for the notion of the liberally educated person? What is the role of the humanities in an era dominated by technology? Ann Kirschner, founder and president of Comma International; Richard A. Detweiler, president of the Great Lakes Colleges Association; and the Rev. Charles L. Currie, president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, tackled such questions, as well as several from the audience.

This year's crisis in higher education is about more than money: Alma Mater is facing a perfect storm of changing demographics, mounting costs, increased competition, and technological choices. And the liberal arts are at the leading edge of that storm.

Having split my own career between academe and business, I recognize that solutions will be costly, not only in dollars, but in political capital, the most precious currency on a college campus. Educational reform moves at a glacial pace, and the last 10 years have not been kind to innovators. As waves of schadenfreude have broken over their heads, politicians and the wider public have stepped up demands that college officials define the value of higher education, in general, and the liberal arts, in particular — and that they be held accountable for providing it.

If we look at this as a business case, the news is good. Demand for higher education has never been stronger. But the bad news is that colleges are poorly prepared to serve today's students in ways that accommodate today's realities. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only a third of the more than 16 million students in higher education are the full-time, 18- to 22-year-olds who used to dominate college classrooms. The rest are part-time or older students, juggling family responsibilities, jobs, and studies. While those students recognize that a college degree is essential to their professional prospects, they demand flexibility and convenience in the process and marketability in the outcome.

Again, if this were a business case, the enterprise would follow the demand, follow the customer, and adapt. Over time we would find new models of distribution, technology, and management to serve the customer with greater efficiency. For most colleges, however, the language of the marketplace rings hollow, especially the notion of students as consumers. And the leadership to seek new educational models is hard to find."

Monday, November 20, 2006

Home again

Am glad to say I am home for more than a week at least - back to DC next week for this - but it will be fun and with great teachers in tow. ;-)

The last round of travel was great and has some interesting possibilities for the future - cosmic forces must be at work. However, now I must get things ready for not only my immediate family but some of my favorite relatives to come in town from Cincinnati.

Happy Turkey Day!

Monday, November 13, 2006


I'm enjoying my one day at home during travel marathon season. We had a very productive H-Net meeting and I've been emailing with the folks I will be seeing in DC and New York this week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't get sick until at least AFTER Thanksgiving. It's unusually warm so I will get some work done outside to enjoy the sunshine and not far too far behind on yard work. Almost all of the leaves are on the ground. And weather in DC and NYC will be mild - good for moving around but some clothing planning adjustment had to be made.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

What Kind of Accent Do You Have?

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
The South
North Central
The Inland North
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Friday, November 10, 2006

Onward to East Lansing

Later reports indicated the teachers survived the Pineapple Express in Seattle on Monday. We may just have to get them t-shirts illustrating that.

The family trip was fun and, most importantly, Mom felt well enough to enjoy it.

I'm in the Kansas City Airport on my way to an H-Net Council meeting in East Lansing, MI. I'm going from 80 degrees to 27. I'm ready for fall/winter!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Research Trip to Seattle

We took our Project Primary Sources Grant Teachers to Research at the National Archives Pacific Alaska Region branch in Seattle November 3-6. We also visited the Space Needle and Pike Market. I came home early to go on a family trip so posting may be light or non-existent this week.

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