Need an answered prayer?

JMJ Do you have a prayer request? A special need?  Well, I spent all night placing a live webcam to Lourdes, France on my website, including a little mailbox to their prayer request email.  All kinds of weird computer problems kept cropping up, and I kept offering them up as a prayer, which did help to keep me from being annoyed.  Then... This morning I got an email from a friend who told me that today is OUR LADY OF LOURDES FEAST DAY!  Wow.  I had no idea!  That is just so cool... ...more

Why Black History Month Still Matters

The stories that a nation tells about its history provide a foundation for building community, creating institutions and transmitting values. For a pluralistic democracy such as the United States, the work that historians call "constructing a usable past" is vital to the task of building a future....more
I really appreciate your perspective and I share your frustration. It's one of the reasons I ...more

What I Learned About Communicating Today - Ouch!

It was her face that communicated, “Look you old fart I don’t have time for all this yack-yack; tell me what to do. Let’s end this tedious conversation as soon as possible. I have a life. I do not want to prolong the veneer of pretending to share a part of mine with you.” The woman had a pseudo smile that was neither friendly nor inviting. Somehow I have crossed over into the undesirable zone. I was explaining a concept to a person approximately 30 years younger than myself. I looked at her face. The woman was more than bored, she was pissed. ...more

Yes, indeed! I have to explain complicated concepts and communicating on a 10th grade level ...more

After 20 Years, What Have We Learned from Teach for America?

Teach For America, an organization that puts its recruits through fast-track training to teach in U.S. regions where students have fallen behind in academic achievement, is now recruiting for its 20th cohort of new teachers.  It's not surprising, then, that TFA recently has received extra scrutiny in the U.S. press. The verdict is still out on the effectiveness of the program—it depends, really, on how you measure effectiveness—yet it's still sending thousands of teachers into U.S. schools each year....more

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Brain and Cognitive Science Podcasts

I have been known to drift to sleep with my media player filled with episodes of science and speculative fiction podcasts. I do confess that in between the twilight and the snoozing I’m picky about what I put into my brain. You’d think I’d seek out boring speakers to help me sleep but my mind does not like the idea of forced ennui. ...more

Middle School Should (Still) Give You the Heebie Jeebies

A few years ago, a family member (I'll call her Wanda) was principal of a middle school. "Jane," a sixth-grader, asked her to mediate a conversation between her and her best friend, "Maria." Wanda thought this was a very mature suggestion, so she brought both girls into her office. "Maria," Wanda said, "Jane tells me she would like to discuss a recent misunderstanding." Jane nodded, then said, "I didn't really go down on your boyfriend." ...more

I loved your post about this topic....I am a school administrator and I deal with these ...more

What Happens in Class Stays in Class?

Today, I began my Seminar on College Teaching by having the grad students and postdocs enrolled in it draw a picture that served as a metaphor for higher education today. Images of violence figured prominently in a few doodles. My students depicted the research university as a guillotine, a hunting lodge filled with trophy heads, and--perhaps most graphically--as a meat grinder into which students are fed like cheap steak destined to be hamburger. ...more

There are quite a few divergent questions here  - and I'm not sure how I feel about some ...more

STEM Education - The Power of the Investment

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is getting a lot of attention from the White House and from private industry. As a non-parent, I really do have a stake STEM education. On the surface it seems like a good idea to invest $250 million dollars, since most of it is coming from Intel. Why should I care? The most basic reason? My own safety and survival. ...more

Is Feminism in the Toilet?

The last few years (OK, decades and really centuries, maybe even millenia) have been challenging ones for women fighting for equal rights. Gail Gauthier at Original Content speculated with a friend that "feminism has gone down the toilet" in recent years. In the Western world, we've been called Nazis, elitists, racists, intellectuals, classists, man-haters, lesbians, witches, and all sorts of other names. (All are true at times except the first slur, which infuriates me to no end.) But a post written by Zachary Mason, a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, which struck me as earnest if not naive, got me thinking about the importance of toilets to women, and what bathroom facilities mean in strict gendered societies. ...more

We are working with this same issue here in Germany, where only until recently, a woman ...more

Should Mamas Let Their Babies Grow Up to Be Journalism Majors?

According to a recent news report, Kevin Li is an accomplished high school student who thinks the leadership and management experience he got from editing his school paper is more important for his future career than the fact that he aced his AP biology exam. Despite that (or perhaps because of it), he says his parents might not pay for college if he majors in journalism. ...more

Should we hold our children back from their dreams because we 'think' they are setting ...more