Category Archives: The New Project

The Education of Fear

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I just finished reading Natalia Ginzburg’s book of essays, The Little Virtues. The title essay is her meditation on education and parenthood, both of which she believes are far too focused on instilling small virtues such as thrift, caution, prudence, tact and success. Better, she believes, to attend to the larger virtues… Read more »

Filling In the Plaid

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The American Institutes of Research has for a few years been running what they call their Delta Cost Project, in which they’ve tried diligently to investigate college costs and college spending. One fascinating data point we see is that employees per thousand students have remained pretty stable across time at different… Read more »

What Is College For?

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We live in an era of multifunctional devices. Computers with phones and cameras. Watches that measure your step count. As a wag once put it, if you can nail together two things that have never been nailed together before, you can sell it to somebody. So it’s no surprise that… Read more »

Evidence? I don’t need no freakin’ evidence!

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One of the most amusing data points I’ve seen in the past few weeks (aside from “It looked like a million, a million and a half people”) comes from our friends at the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA). As reported in their Institutional Policy Report 2014, nobody really has a firm… Read more »

The Good Old Days

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In her brilliant New Yorker essay this week, TV critic Emily Nussbaum likens the last election to comedy writing, saying essentially that we’ve just elected Don Rickles or Andrew Dice Clay or the cast of South Park. And she writes about the toxicity of nostalgia, citing a South Park episode… Read more »

Back When the Teachin’ Was Easy…

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I started playing pool, like everyone does, with the ten-dollar house cue in the wall rack. I finally bought one of my own, for about $80, and it was miraculous. It made me a better player. A few years later, I spent $400 on a cue, a surgical instrument that… Read more »

Water Dreams

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I woke up this morning with architectural curricular thoughts in my head. It started out by listening to the rain dropping off the eaves onto the decaying leaves outside my bedroom window. “Be fun to have a whole course about water… Architects don’t know enough about water… they think they know—about… Read more »

The Chasm

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I’ve tried very hard in working on this project to focus outward, to talk about what’s happening around me, to find facts and make connections. But I woke up from a nightmare this morning. The details of the dream aren’t relevant. What is relevant, if perhaps only to me, is the… Read more »

On the Indelible Joy of Skipping Class

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We want so much to be productive. We fill hours with tasks and chores and efforts, knowing all the time that there are infinitely many other tasks or chores or efforts we will never reach. I just read a work log of an adjunct faculty member, a research diary kept… Read more »

Happy New Year

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It’s the first Monday of 2017, and time to get back to work. I’ve had a couple of interesting interviews with colleagues in higher ed, discussing the ways that adjunct faculty are used or not used on their campuses. The early pattern looks like this: General education courses, especially those… Read more »