coming around!

Beware Technically Apt Men in their Early Sixties who are Getting Noticeably Weird.

UD shares a little end-of-the-year end-of-the-world wisdom with you.

‘[Ex-Fox anchor Ed] Henry mocked the concept of climate change, insisting that “first, it was ‘global warming,’ then it was ‘climate change.’ Now, maybe ‘extreme weather?’” Apparently befuddled over the terminology, Henry claimed that “the left keeps rolling out new terms but pushing the same agenda.”’

Maybe now, with all the extreme weather coming his way, Ed Henry will reconsider his dismissal of the term.

‘The Audacity of Blaming Sex Addiction’…

… is an article in The Atlantic about Harvey Weinstein.

These are … problems of power and status that manifest as a violent disregard for others — a failure to acknowledge the autonomy of women or a problem accepting it and a compulsion to revoke it by force. So it feels especially jarring to hear that same person professing a lack of agency in these acts.

Whether you refuse to let women out of the house unless they cover every inch of their body with a black sheet, or refuse to let women transact business with you unless they take off their clothes and go down on you — whether it’s All clothes off! or King-sized sheet on! — it’s quite the same thing: The violent revocation of women’s autonomy.

The only thing that differentiates American from French culture in these matters is that when Dominique Strauss-Kahn (an uncannily identical twin to Harvey Weinstein) was himself finally outed, bigshot philosophers defended him.

[Bernard-Henri] Lévy says … that the man he calls a friend of 20 years, “bears no resemblance to this monster, this caveman, this insatiable and malevolent beast now being described nearly everywhere. Charming, seductive, yes, certainly; a friend to women and, first of all, to his own woman, naturally, but this brutal and violent individual, this wild animal, this primate, obviously no, it’s absurd.”

BHL is a smart guy, but he seems unable to grasp that you can be an articulate, enlightened economist, or a sensitive maker of art films, and a primate.


These United States

Alabam’s our wild red yonder
Jeff Sessions makes its heart grow fonder
Inside its schools
The rightwing rules
In the person of Mr. Ponder

“[P]ossibly the most serious criminal conviction of a college leader in American history.”

Whether your campus administrators are protecting coaches at Penn State or professors at Berkeley or athletes at Baylor…

… Seems as though there’s eventually an awfully high price to pay.

In keeping with his Russian …

orientation, Donald Trump has adopted a fierce Lysenkoism in regard to science. Scientific American is not amused:

Donald Trump also has shown an authoritarian tendency to base policy arguments on questionable assertions of fact and a cult of personality… [T]he major Republican candidate for president has tweeted that global warming is a Chinese plot, threatens to dismantle a climate agreement 20 years in the making and to eliminate an agency that enforces clean air and water regulations, and speaks passionately about a link between vaccines and autism that was utterly discredited years ago…

Mrs. Gingrich to Donnie: “I think we’ve had quite enough of THAT, little fellow!”

He has got to learn to use language that has been thought through and that is clear to everybody, and to stick to that language.

No one ever said being a kindergarten teacher is easy.





“The huge salaries of our FSU football coaches were recently justified by the fame and reputation the program brings to the university. Now we see how fame can become a two-edge sword.”

How we (very very slowly) learn.


Here’s another one.

“Especially after spending $65 million on a stadium, it’s always hard to say, ‘We were really stupid,’ and yet that’s sometimes what a person has to do,” she said.

“Texas Congressman Compares Obama to Hitler, Spells ‘Adolf’ Wrong”


When a university’s president decides to go overseas as perhaps the most damaging story in its history explodes into a national scandal…

… she can expect some backlash.

[University of Virginia president Teresa] Sullivan’s absence has not gone unnoticed, said Katherine Schieffelin, whose daughter attends UVa.

“She should be naming the time and date to join her at the Mall to stand in solidarity for the safety of women,” Schieffelin said. “She should be encouraging all who love UVa to join her with candles and flashlights and provide a voice to those students who feel betrayed by this administration.”

When Sullivan was ousted from her post by a faction of the Board of Visitors in 2012, she enjoyed the full-throated support of protesters who demanded and helped secure her reinstatement, Schieffelin said.

“Many people fought hard with similar gestures to keep her in office and instead of releasing this whitewashed statement she should be showing outrage and passion and fire,” she said. “She should be leading.”

Sullivan asked Charlottesville police to investigate and issued a statement Wednesday before leaving the country, assuring the UVa community the school “takes seriously the issue of sexual misconduct.”

The statement was lambasted on the university’s Facebook page by hundreds of students and alumni who said Sullivan did not go far enough.

“George Washington did not cooperate with the organization, leaving the reviewers to collect syllabuses and course requirements through unofficial channels.”

So, nu, would it have killed you to cooperate? I mean, since you didn’t cooperate (which would have meant, far as I can tell, a not-outrageous amount of work on your part), you now have two problems: You got the lowest possible ranking on a national, high-profile, ed-school ranking; and you look as though you knew what was coming so you… didn’t cooperate.

George Washington University was among the lowest-ranked programs in the country. It received this warning from the council: “No prospective teacher candidates should entrust their preparation to these programs because candidates are unlikely to obtain much return on their investment.”

Here’s some stuff about the rankings:

Released Tuesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington-based advocacy group, the rankings are part of a $5 million project funded by major U.S. foundations. Education secretaries in 21 states have endorsed the report… The review was funded by 62 organizations, led by the Carnegie Corporation and the Broad Foundation. The National Council on Teacher Quality analyzed admissions standards and inspected syllabuses, textbooks and course requirements and rated 1,430 programs on a scale of zero to four stars.

What, you said we don’t have to cooperate with that fly-by-night Carnegie Corporation… ?

Isn’t the business of being in denial about how bad they are one of the big reasons many ed schools are so bad?

So now your only option is to dump on the Carnegie and the Broad and all those education secretaries… Only we know what we’re doing… They don’t know what they’re doing…

Here’s what you should have done:

The University of Michigan’s School of Education was one of the few institutions that willingly gave its materials to the National Council on Teacher Quality. “There was no particular reason not to,” said Dean Deborah Loewenberg Ball. “This is one of society’s most important topics.”

Let UD give you some advice, not that you’ll take it: Apologize for not cooperating (or at least give some reason for not having done so that doesn’t make you look dumb) and say that while you think the rating unfair, it’s one of many useful sources of criticism available to the school, and will be taken seriously.

Meanwhile, you’re going to have a bumpy pr ride for awhile, and you should be thinking in broader terms about how to manage it. One thing to do would be to publish and defend elements of your curriculum. The head of GW’s teaching program should right now (or in a few hours; it’s 4:13 AM) be preparing an opinion piece to be sent to the Washington Post which in measured terms explains and defends the school’s curriculum, admissions philosophy, etc.

UD will now check out GW’s teacher training curriculum. She’s happy to speculate about what might have set off the Council.


UPDATE: The Washington Post is scathing:

The council’s methodology was developed over eight years, relying on a review of course descriptions, syllabuses, student-teacher observation instruments and other materials. It came under immediate attack as incomplete and inaccurate from institutions of higher education. Such criticism is rich considering that many of these same institutions fought tooth and nail to keep materials from researchers. “Tremendously uncooperative” is how Kate Walsh, president of the council, described many institutions, which refused to share textbooks or course descriptions. The council had to file open-records requests; many private institutions that are not subject to Freedom of Information requirements opted out. What were they trying to hide?

‘”That’s what happens when you build glass boxes in climates like this. They are not sustainable,” said Spiric.’

From the mouths of babes.

Architecture students at the University of Arizona rebuke the fancy eco-architects who built the 2007 extension to their old and – compared to the new glass architecture building – reasonably sustainable brick architecture school building.

It’s some kind of best-laid green plans fable for our times that, as Tom Beal writes in the Arizona Daily Star

The 2007 glass-and-steel addition to the UA College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture – promoted by the university as “a laboratory for sustainable practices” – is one of the biggest energy wasters on campus.

In its first year of operation, it used four times the energy of the comparably sized brick building to which it is attached. Its glass walls and unshaded, exterior cooling ducts, combined with design changes made to save money during its construction, make it difficult to heat and cool efficiently.

A “green wall,” designed to shade the building’s south side, has yet to grow.

The Tucson heat, seasonal glare, reflected light and noise from traffic on East Speedway blast through its north-facing glass walls. Students say the glare can be irritating and disorienting.

Well yes, glass buildings in Tucson… Of course, they can be made energy efficient, but a lot of things have to work. Like that green wall…

“It was a great idea and it’s worked in other places, and I’ll be damned if I can explain why those vines struggle,” said [the building’s architect].

The building’s architect claims that eco-considerations were not foremost in the building’s planning, but the article featuring his work on the extension (and based, one assumes, on an interview with him) touts eco stuff first thing.

There is a kind of pedagogical genius to the building.

In a sense, the building is living up to its description as “a working laboratory for sustainable practices.”

Master’s in architecture candidate David Tapia Takaki said it is providing plenty of problems for the students to fix.


Add noise pollution to its other problems.

One of the big problems on the north edge is traffic noise, said [a student]. “It’s the cars on Speedway. If you are there one or two hours, you will not notice, but stay there all day and it can give you headaches.”

The Speedway! Named America’s ugliest street some decades ago, it remains a noisy thoroughfare.


All in all, an embarrassment.

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