Saturday, January 16, 2010

Staring at the Sea

I've got this song stuck in my head. I like it a lot. Staring at the Sea by DJ Eco. Delicious, rich, energetic trance.

It was warm today. Almost 40 degrees. It felt like spring. I went for a short run outside for the first time since November. The run was pathetically slow, but it was nevertheless nice to get moving.

I cooked a reasonably tasty batch of spicy tofu and seitan. And Doreen just made some very good green tea ice cream. Yum. All in all, not a bad Saturday.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The invisible high school or the invisible college?.

Some thought-provoking ideas about what the internet means from the always interesting Clay Shirky:

Given what we have today, the Internet could easily become Invisible High School, with a modicum of educational material in an ocean of narcissism and social obsessions. We could, however, also use it as an Invisible College, the communicative backbone of real intellectual and civic change, but to do this will require more than technology. It will require that we adopt norms of open sharing and participation, fit to a world where publishing has become the new literacy.

Read the full essay here.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Research Experiences for Undergraduates

I just posted some advice for undergraduates interested in research experiences. I feel like I've had the same discussion about research internships many, many times, and so it might be a good use of time to write some stuff down. Hopefully it will be of use for students.

If you see anything I've missed or have anything to add, please let me know, either via email or by commenting here.


Sunday, January 03, 2010

Ready for Winter Term

Winter term starts tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. I think it will be a mostly manageable term. I'm just teaching one class, and it's one that I've taught eight times before. I'll have plenty to fill up my time, and no shortage of things to work on. But it should be less hectic than fall term, when I was teaching two classes, one of which was very large by COA standards. And, I wrote five grants between August and mid-December. (Technically I only wrote four, since one was a re-submission of the August grant. But the resubmission was a complete re-write, so I think it counts as a new grant. And neither grant came close to getting funded, which is incredibly annoying.) But the grant that I liked the most did get funded, which is quite exciting. It's for almost $50,000 a year for two years. My portion of the grant will be to help develop and teach a class on sustainable energy.

Winter break has been nice, although except for the last three days it hasn't really been that much of a break. In some ways I was working as hard during the break as during the term. But it was a good change of pace. But it will also be a nice change to be back in the rhythm of teaching.

I feel I should offer up some year-end pithiness, but I don't have much to say. The academic year is more meaningful to me than the calendar year. I don't really make new years resolutions. If I did it would be to be more productive, exercise more, do a better job of staying in touch with friends, and so on. But I basically resolve these things every day. Results are mixed. I also might resolve to start brewing beer and make my own kim chee.