Saturday, May 31, 2008


Mollydog is making sure but steady progress feeling more secure in her new environment. And, for me, it's wonderful having a dog who doesn't run off at the slightest opportunity. Molly did, however, figure out how to get out of the fenced part of the yard yesterday - but it was to come to me as I was getting the lawnmower out on the other side of the house where she couldn't see me. I knew that her ultimate escape was inevitable given that the humane society warned me she had gotten out of her kennel gate into the larger fenced area whenever someone was out there working and/or walking another dog.

And, yesterday, she also made great strides playing with her neighbor Manny - the corgi next door. Manny is several times her size but he quickly learned if he wanted to play, he had to kick it down a few notches. Then, they just had the greatest time running around together. It will be good socialization and exercise for both of them. And, it looks like I won't have to venture out on the ice to walk her in the winter like I did Shadow because running around in the yard is enough for her to eventually do her business.

I think it will be harder for me to leave her today at the vets to go to DC for a grant project. Manny's mom is picking her up for me so that she will be here when I get home on Monday night and won't have to wait until Tuesday morning to get her.

Since I have to leave her today, I will head up to Kansas City and explore the Power and Light District as it continues to grow and have breakfast with a friend in the morning before heading out. Not sure where I will eat tonight but somewhere near the P&L District - unless I succumb to Gates BBQ first.

When I get back, I'll have two weeks to finish up a multitude of projects. And the house is finally close enough to caught up to do that in a reasonable fashion. I'm learning to set boundaries and not let other people make their deadlines mine - especially given that group projects take everyone working together and not one person directing the rest of us like students. And, it's making the ultimate project a richer one given that more of this later group is so much more heavily involved in the implementing the subject of the ultimate product - it's a continuum and not a "been there, done that". That's one of the largest visions we all share.

It's raining AGAIN but I should drive out of it in KC and will have great weather in DC. Now I need to go figure out how light I can pack for an overnight stay.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Changing Nature of Historical Research

Ralph at Cliopatria points out this recent article about how Web 2.0 is dramatically changing the nature of historical research:

UNTIL RECENTLY, IF you were a historian and you wanted to write a fresh account of, say, the Battle of Leyte Gulf in World War II, research was a pretty straightforward business. You would pack your bags and head to the National Archives, and spend months looking for something new in the official combat reports.
more stories like this

Today, however, you might first do something very different: Get online and pull up any of the unofficial websites of the ships that participated in the battle - the USS Pennsylvania, for example, or the USS Washington. Lovingly maintained by former crew members and their descendants, these sites are sprawling, loosely organized repositories of photographs, personal recollections, transcribed log books, and miniature biographies of virtually every person who served on board the ship. Some of these sites even include contact information for surviving crew members and their relatives - perfect for tracking down new diaries, photographs, and letters.

Online gathering spots like these represent a potentially radical change to historical research, a craft that has changed little for decades, if not centuries. By aggregating the grass-roots knowledge and recollections of hundreds, even thousands of people, "crowdsourcing," as it's increasingly called, may transform a discipline that has long been defined and limited by the labors of a single historian toiling in the dusty archives.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Authors' Rights

The Chronicle of Higher Ed mentioned this announcement by a university press:

New policy at Rockefeller University Press allows authors to retain copyright to their published work

Citing the growing demand from the public and the scientific community for access to research data, The Rockefeller University Press has revised its copyright policy to allow authors to retain the rights to work published in its three journals. The policy, which became effective May 1, applies to all three Rockefeller University Press journals: The Journal of Cell Biology, The Journal of Experimental Medicine and The Journal of General Physiology.

The new policy allows authors to reuse their published work in any way and provides for third-party reuse under the terms of a Creative Commons license, say Mike Rossner, executive director of the press, and Emma Hill, executive editor of The Journal of Cell Biology. Hill and Rossner lay out the terms of the new policy in an editorial published in the May issues of all three journals.

Under the terms of the policy, authors may reuse their published work for any purpose, including commercial profit, as long as each use includes attribution to the original publication. Third parties can reuse and redistribute work published in Rockefeller University Press journals, without permission, for any noncommercial purpose, with the same requirement for attribution that applies to authors.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Local Baseball Legends

I had one of Cloyd's sons in class when I student taught in Webb City. Sadly, Mike died in a tragic hunting accident a few years ago. Dad later told me that the remembered them and that his brother Gene played some local ball with them.

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This is the reason

for Memorial Day.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Qualitative School Data Input

Thanks to Sherman Dorn for this post.

Having been involved in the trenches of quantitative vs. qualitative data for evaluating pre-service teacher candidates and providing proof of our university's program for state and federal accrediting agencies, I am still struggling with how to deal with undefined data or, at best, constantly changing "goals". Am still clarifying my thoughts but I am convinced that not all of it is in the best interests of everyone involved. Some of the same political processes that blocked previous reform attempts are also keeping current efforts from being effective and/or correctly implemented. More thoughts later . . . am trying to take a few days to recover from an intense semester before the craziness of summer institutes starts.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

'My Teacher Doesn't Like Me'

Chronicle Careers: 5/20/2008: 'My Teacher Doesn't Like Me':
"The majority of student complaints turn out to be baseless. Department heads who follow up each gripe with a CSI-worthy investigation will find themselves overworked and unpopular, while trying to explain to their superiors why faculty morale and department productivity continue to decline.

Effective chairs, on the other hand, deal with each complaint as common sense dictates -- which, about 70 percent of the time, means ignoring it."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Why ‘Sex and the City’ matters/ | 05/17/2008 | | 05/17/2008 | Why ‘Sex and the City’ matters:
"In reality, HBO was redefining comedy using techniques that networks wouldn’t have wanted to take a chance on in the late 1990s. We see them now in one-hour dramadies, in laugh-track-free sitcoms and in frank-talking women’s Web sites like WOW and Broadsheet.

Popular entertainment has a more sophisticated and, yes, adult feel to it these days, and “Sex and the City” rightly deserves some of the credit for that."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

End of Semester

Grades . . . are . . . DONE . . .

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It's another beautiful day. We're getting some cool evenings and mornings - we thought maybe we had missed out those with it staying cold so long into the spring. But it looks like there will be some easy into summer heat. Given that fall and spring are my favorite seasons - but I really do like the best of all four seasons - this is good news.

Molly is getting more settled in. She's eating better and enjoying romping in her yard. I'm still getting used to the contrast of a male dog compelled to mark and a female dog who just takes care of business a few times a day.

I went out with a friend last night and had fun, including a trek to Target - always a dangerous thing for at least one credit card during each visit. I found Molly a new dog bed that is all her own. I will spread out Shadow's old ones for back-up and donate extras to the humane society. I'll also donate the dog "coats" that are too big for her to them. I did buy her one sale coat just so we have one on hand when needed. We go for utility more than cuteness and only put her in a coat when necessary. If all goes as planned, she will get her first bath tonight.

The yard is drying out a bit more but the city should be here this week to work on the dumped in area that is blocking drainage behind our houses.

Neighbor Mark was back yesterday to mow. He will continue to be missed even though he is just across town. My newer neighbor on the other side just bought a riding lawnmower - it's just too heavy to get much into my yard given the wet ground.

I have a bit of grading to finish up before the semester is done. My thesis workload has decreased given that a student chose to vent publicly on Facebook. Lessons learned for him.

I also have some grant reviewing to do but have through tomorrow to get that done and the agency understands that we've be in heavy school mode since they asked me to participate.

If all works as planned, Molly and I will be at the lake next weekend and visit with Uncle Bill when he comes through Springfield. His moving us away from Christmas makes the scheduling much more problematic for 5 adults.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Kansas City National Archives Progress on Move

New Archives Facility for
National Archives – Central Plains Region

The National Archives Central Plains Region in Kansas City will move to a new facility in the Union Station complex. The move is expected to take place in late 2008.

“This new facility offers easy public access in the heart of Kansas City. It is also an opportunity for the National Archives, working in partnership with the community, to highlight our extensive research services,” said Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein. “We will be able to feature innovative outreach efforts through student training programs, civic education, special events, and other learning experiences that invite broad public participation and promote civic literacy.”

The new Central Plains Regional Archives facility will be located in the former Adams Express building, a part of the Union Station complex. Under the supervision of the General Services Administration, the historic building will be renovated and then leased to the National Archives. Upon completion, the Central Plains Region will then move from its present facility at the Bannister Road Federal Complex, where it has been since 1969.

Treasures of the Central Plains Region include records relating to the milestone Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision, Wild West showman “Buffalo Bill” Cody, President Ulysses S. Grant, and Walt Disney which are among the 50,000 cubic feet of records in its holdings. In commenting on the move, Professor Weinstein said, “The Central Plains Region will serve as a focal point for promoting greater appreciation of the region’s role in American History. The new facility will allow us to better showcase the treasures that we hold in trust for our citizens.”

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Study of Conservativism in Academe

History News Network:
"But the idea also attacted criticism from some conservatives. George Will: 'Like Margaret Mead among the Samoans, they're planning to study conservatives. That's hilarious.'"

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thank goodness

Thank goodness the tornadoes and funnel clouds missed us.

This isn't fun at all

I'm in the interior laundry room . . .

738 PM CDT TUE MAY 13 2008




AT 40 MPH.




PBS Revives ‘The Electric Company,’ Which Shines a Light on Reading - New York Times

PBS Revives ‘The Electric Company,’ Which Shines a Light on Reading - New York Times:
"Steady work has been scarce for actors in gorilla suits since “The Electric Company” went dark in 1977.
Skip to next paragraph
Video clips from the original 'Electric Company' (
Children’s Television Workshop

Morgan Freeman and Rita Moreno in the PBS show’s 1970s incarnation.

But all that changes this week as shooting begins in Washington Heights and the Lower East Side on an ambitious reboot of the PBS literacy series that turned on a generation of schoolchildren to the rudiments of reading. The first graduates of “Sesame Street” found in “The Electric Company” a companion piece that relied on pun-filled sketches, Spider-Man cameos, and lots of primate shtick, all backed by a Motown beat.

Refitted for the age of hip-hop and informed by decades of further educational research on reading, the 2009 version of “The Electric Company” is a weekly, more danceable version of its former daily self. The series, which is expected to make its debut in January, faces challenges the original never did (trying to stand out amid so much children’s programming and to shake the stigma of educational television) as well as familiar ones (trying to make reading a positive experience for youngsters)."

I loved Electric Company as a kid!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tornado Story

Marcia's sister recounts the tornado.

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Molly 12 May 2008

Molly 12 May 2008
Originally uploaded by kellyinkansas
Molly out and about taking a break from helping me.

Garden Progress

This evening Molly and I planted the garden herbs around the ever-expanding strawberries (due to last year's heavy rain is my guess given my lack of a green thumb). I am having to teach Molly not to jump into the garden but given that Shadow liked to jump up there, it might be an interesting challenge for me to accomplish.

I planted rosemary and basil - the oregano has spread for the last several years as have the chives. The mint Mom gave me last year also really spread - great for Mojitos (Bacardi bottles). I also planted tarragon - a new addition last year. I am giving fennel a try for the first time and am going to plant creeping rosemary at the farm. Cilantro was another re-plant as was Italian parsley. And I'm trying some dill for the first time.

It's Finals Week

Today I have a final meeting with student teachers and administer a final. It's based on the Praxis most will have to take to earn their teaching license to give them practice for that shortly down the road. It's a beautiful spring day - as is often the case after storms. Hopefully the recovery south of us is going well.

Molly likes yard work - especially when she can climb right in the middle of the flowers. I planted Gerber Daisies out front. I still have the garden to plant - strawberries that spread with last year's rain are covering most of it already and I love strawberries. It will be interesting to see how the actual harvest goes.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Surprise, Surprise

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
North Central
The South
The Inland North
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Molly's Second Day at Home

Molly is setting in quite nicely. We haven't had any inside accidents so I'm not sure what the folks who returned her after 5 weeks were doing or not doing. Yesterday when I woke up the first time at 5am, I took her out immediately since I didn't know how she would do first thing in the morning. This morning, I had to wake her up at 8:30am and she spent several minutes outside yawning and stretching before needing to go.

She is indeed a cutie and just the right size. She's still working on eating although she tore through one of the chew bones (dentabone) last night before I knew it. She had trouble at first because she doesn't seem to know to hold onto it with her front paws while she is chewing but she eventually began to figure that out a bit with some help. I want her to rely primarily on dry food since it's better nutrition and easier to manage - esp. now that the Science Diet small bags are resealable - a nice addition since we last bought dog food last year.

She did quite well in her traveling bag - esp. with the lambswool liner on the bottom so that is a good sign for future travel. Shadow used to fight it until the last year or two so her starting out not fighting it is good. I'm also sure it helps that she is only about 2/3 of Shadow's size and, therefore, might.

Molly is learning that she gets petted for awhile when she sits down with me to read and/or do computer stuff (like now) but then she needs to just settle in. She's had fun running the yard and even seems to stay with me as I walk around the house outside the fence. But I know as she feels more secure that may change but it sure is nice to have a dog that doesn't take off at the slightest opportunity.

Today we'll figure out if she can handle mowing while I figure out a way to keep her further away so she doesn't get hurt. I bought a stake and non-chewable chain just for that purpose. As she gets more secure, I can leave her inside the fence when I mow outside it in the back but she'll most likely need to stake when we're inside the fence and out front. We'll find out this afternoon when it warms up a bit.

Several tornadoes went just south of us so there are man people in the area not having a good day.

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Saturday, May 10, 2008


Get a Voki now!

Thanks, Sherm!


Molly (formerly Concha on has joined my family. I went to Poteau last night to pick her up. More details later but Doc took a look at her this morning and said I did good.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Rain, Rain, Rain, Go Away

OK, the rain and flooding is getting a bit much. We are truly saturated. And I guess I am losing more dirt - except for the weeds - at the farm.

On Tuesday, I headed to OK thinking there was a new dog there but their guidelines were a bit more complicated and she wasn't available until this morning and I couldn't go down there this morning. Plus, it's a long way to go if the dog isn't there. I will see if she is still online later today and maybe check that there were just lots of calls and no one actually came. I understand that the animal control facilities, esp. the high kill shelters, have no choice but to take the first-come, first-serve. I am learning a great deal about how rescue works and at least I'm trying to rescue a pup.

The good news is that there are obviously lots of eyeballs on Petfinder.

And don't forget the end of the semester grading that's also swamping me. . .

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It's Tuesday

The Electronic Records Advisory Committee meeting went well - especially getting to know some of my fellow committee members better. Everyone has such interesting areas of expertise and there is always something new to learn.

I ventured to St. Louis over the weekend to meet Beau and Maggie and Aunt Dorothy, of course. Dorothy is a great person and is doing outstanding work being both an adopted mom and a foster mom. Beau and Maggie were quite cute and adorable and very sociable but the feeling just wasn't right - I think primarily because two active young pups is a bit much for me to handle right now. I visited with Doc late yesterday and he gave me some other pointers but also said not to overthink it all - my heart will know when I meet the right pup. And I do tend to overthink on lots of things but am trying to do more listening to my gut.

On Sunday I ventured to some area shelters and the facilities of the Humane Society of Missouri are simply outstanding - it's clear they are doing a great job with the animals and providing a conducive environment for adoption.

Seeing friends in St. Louis Saturday evening for dinner at Maya Cafe was also fun. We never would have met one another without TAH grants.

I met with my face to face class yesterday for the last time before the final next Monday. The final will be all multiple choice as one way to get students ready for the Praxis II 0081 test now required for graduation to ensure we have the desirable pass rate. I enjoyed talking with some of the students individually about their future plans.

Then, after visiting with Doc, I made it out to the farm in time to do some of the outdoor work, including planting some transplanted ivy, before the big storms came in for the next two days. Later today I will call around to some of the area shelters and maybe go visit some of them. I found a possible poodle for me online when Doc was looking with me but she is already in a foster to adopt home. The right one will come along, I'm sure. However, as you already know, patience is not one of my virtues.

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