Thursday, 16 June 2005

More books I need to read

In Borders today (I had a 25%-off email coupon that expires Sunday), I saw a new book by Larry Diamond, Squandered Victory, on the shelf. I was sorely tempted to buy it, even though I already had picked out something I was using the 25% coupon on.

Good thing, too, since when I checked out, I got a coupon worth 30% off a single book purchase next week. Now I just wish I was flying somewhere so I’d be forced to read all the books already in the queue.

Reducing grade grubbing

Michelle Dion offers some sound advice to those instructors who want to reduce student lobbying for grade changes, inspired partially by this WaPo op-ed from earlier in the month.

I think a well-defined, clear grading policy is key; while I don’t do everything Michelle does (I don’t have enough time in my life to track attendance, and anonymous grading is unlikely to work in small classes anyway—even if I had the TA support to do it), I always make it clear at the outset what assignments are worth. It doesn’t eliminate the complaints, and sometimes I do make clerical errors that would lead to legitimate complaints anyway, but it does reduce them somewhat.

Embracing my inner RINO

I suppose RINO is as good a label for me as anything else, so long as I don’t have to pretend to like über-RINO John McCain. Not that liking someone is a prerequisite for getting my vote, mind you: ask John F’ing Kerry. So, I’m in.