Sunday, December 30, 2007
Happy New Year!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Emphasis is mine; discussion of curriculum and the purposes that informs it was on the agenda for today.
Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to seven introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.
Open Yale Courses reflects the values of a liberal arts education. Yale's philosophy of teaching and learning begins with the aim of training a broadly based, highly disciplined intellect without specifying in advance how that intellect will be used.
This approach goes beyond the acquisition of facts and concepts to cultivate skills and habits of rigorous, independent thought: the ability to analyze, to ask the next question, and to begin the search for an answer.
We hope these courses will be a resource for critical thinking, creative imagination, and intellectual exploration.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Last night we hosted a small party for the Chinese teachers who have been visiting DSU and the USA for the past several months. Not all are pictured here, but we offered a traditional holiday meal, with turkey, mashed potatoes, and all the fixings. Little Anna took a shine to Fan, who seemed to enjoy the attention. Bei (left) and Fan have been a part of my World Lit class for part of the semester, watching me at work. They fly out today and will return to Shanghai after the turn of the year.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Apostrophe (to the tune of Oh Christmas Tree)
It’s hers and theirs and yours and its
I wonder why you so confuse
Thursday, December 13, 2007
For 24 hours (ten of them gone already), it's my birthday, so I get cool presents (both useful and not), get a chance to take goofy pictures of the dog thinking inside and outside the box, get good coffee you have to pay for, and get a moment to enjoy the simple pleasure of a sticky Santa on my coffee cup lid. More delights await me, I just know it!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
On the other hand, he looks like he might be trying to settle in. He won't be there long.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
But you're not convinced, even though you sense the beater's now resting in a snowy bed too comfortable to leave. You assess the situation--the ditch ahead seems no more full of snow than where you sit. You'll drive thataway, turn the wheel at just the right moment, but progress seems a little slow, so you gun that sucker. Gun it! You make it two feet forward, which is progress, so you flip it in reverse. Gun it back! It's four feet of tracks in the snow, a little snowy lane for you and your beater, but with no exit, so you gas it forward and try turning the wheel, but damn! It won't leave the track. Maybe going back and forth this way with the engine at full revs for half an hour, snow flying, then dirt flying, then cussing and gunning and the ditch getting a firmer and firmer hold on your transportation while you lose more and more of your patience and time keeps slipping away, and now you're late for work, your car is in the ditch, and you don't even have a coat to wear cause why would you need one; you're only going to work?
So, an hour after your car got frisky and you took a sled ride into the ditch, you're on the phone with a tow truck guy you can't afford and you're wondering about that noise the car was making toward the harried end of your attempt to get it out of the ditch by mashing the gas pedal to the floor time and time again as you shifted from forward to reverse and back again. Was that screechy noise the alternator or the transmission?
Even though much of it was on display outside my bedroom window, ruining the serenity of the morning, I knew my day was off to a better start than his. I've been there; it ain't fun.
Monday, December 03, 2007
The insides of cars and the intricacies of plaster walls have some beauty, little details the speak to the care with which they were built and the processes that they have gone through, but I enjoy more the view from our window, the objects the move forward without gasoline or elbow grease, the trees easing their way slowly into the sky, the sun easing itself into our morning, even the snow turning in circles like a dog in its bed, then settling down with a sigh.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Deep in the heart of every car, every Corvette or Maserati, every Kia or Peugeot, hundreds of tiny little pieces the size of pencils (or smaller) whirl and spin, bounce and tap, generating the power to drive to the grocery store, listen to the radio, run the heater. A high-end car like a BMW has more little pieces than most. But like every car, a BMW relies on the integrity of those little pieces, and when one fails, even a tiny one no bigger than a spoon, you notice. Think of the impact one little inch of restricted artery might have.
Saturday brought a BMW into the garage in a search for its heart ailment, and the photo here shows the result, after a long surgery that has left the patient in an incapacitated state for now. The fine 7-series BMW was suffering from missing a quarter-inch piece of a valve. (To see how the little pieces go round and round and the role a vale plays, check out the relevant page on How Stuff Works). Having identified the problem, the remedy is on its way.