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Showing posts from August, 2010

Unpleasant Lessons: Learning to be Sick

I spent five weeks seriously ill this summer before having my gallbladder out on August 6th. In my attempt to contribute to the library's preparation for fall (as well as our pending WMS rollout), and given my disgust with daytime tv, I only missed one full week of work, despite the doc telling me to stay home for two. My attitude was, "I can move. It's not like I do a lot of heavy lifting at work. And it's not as though there's not a ton to do." Turns out, you should listen to your doctor. (No, really. He's the one with the knife, after all.)
I am very lucky. While I was seriously down and out, my colleagues and friends went grocery shopping for me, offered to walk my rambunctious basset hound, and checked in on me regularly via phone, email, and visits with chicken soup. With continued complications, whereas I expected frustration and annoyance, all I've received is support and the expectation that I go home when I need to so I can rest and heal.
This…

Gmail + GVoice = GMe? Online Handles as Legal Names

With Google's recent announcement that they are integrating gmail with GoogleVoice and that you can call (for free!) from gmail, I had three thoughts:
1. Uh oh, Skype. Youze in trouble.
2. I wonder when we'll start requiring folks to have their online handles as part of their legal names.
3. I wonder if Mom would get upset if I legally changed my name to Colleen Susan Warmaiden Harris.
Now, it's not terribly difficult to change your legal name - in some states, it's as little as a form, a short audience with a judge, and a small fee. There's the trouble of changing your license and all of your other legal documents, of course, but it's not more of a hassle than women who change their names when they marry have to go through. I'm sure people have done it already, and their legal names are now Jondamuur Dread, or some such thing. But I do wonder if this is going to become so ingrained as a part of our identity that it becomes folded in as part of our official ide…

Disturbing Trends at the K-12 Level and the Trickle Up Effect

The strapped economy has every sector tightening belts, but the more I hear reports of what is being done at the K-12 level of education across the country, the more I am concerned. Concerned not only about the immediate impact for those children in K-12, but also about what repercussions we'll see in higher education as a result of those K-12 changes.
Georgia's State Board of Education has dropped mandatory class size limits at least for this year, per the Augusta Chronicle. Class sizes of up to 40 are expected. (Note that various studies, including this one by Finn & Achilles in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, finds that smaller class sizes are, unsurprisingly, related to higher academic achievement.
In Tennessee, many schools do not have the infrastructure to properly handle increases in enrollment. According to one Chattanooga Times Free Press article:
"Lunch starts even earlier at East Hamilton School — about 9:45 a.m. The school added about 350 new stud…