I’m entirely jealous of the people of Minnesota on a daily basis. I have friended/liked Al Franken’s Facebook page, and so Franken sends me posts about his work several times a day. Jealous, jealous, jealous. He does so much good, progressive work, and he’s damned hard-nosed about it. Vitter sends me regular emails too, because I signed up for his newsletter for some stupid reason. They are nothing but grandstanding. I reply to his emails telling him so on a regular basis. Vitter’s last email announcement praised his efforts to pressure “the administration” (by which he presumably means Obama) to send in the Fish andRead More →

Lost of folks are sending email with wordy, legalistic disclaimers about privacy and liability. Usually, the emails are from people in corporate offices, but some people at school have them too due to FERPA. These signature files crack me up. The signatures are often difficult to understand, and they sound full of it. The people who have these signatures attached to their emails often have no say in whether or not they send the files. If someone gets personal information by accident, no one is going to forget it. It’s like a judge telling a jury to ignore what they heard from a lawyer. NotRead More →

Faculty reviews and teaching evaluations are such an issue at school lately. Our student ratings are incorporated in our annual reviews, so the numbers count in our overall annual evaluation by the school administration. Now, on the one hand, this doesn’t actually mean much since there’s no material reward for a good review these days and no one’s job is threatened by an average review. On the other, my happiness is still tied to them. In the ideal sense, they measure whether or not your teaching is effective. Frankly, teaching evaluations are political. Commitment to a certain type of pedagogy, for example active learning vs.Read More →