Tuesday, 18 July 2006

More on the Auburn sham course scandal

One more before I head to naptime: Steven Taylor links a post from his Troy colleague Scott Nokes on the Auburn athletics sham course scandal. I found this passage amusing:

The reason the practical limit (on the number of directed readings) is low is that professors generally do not like doing directed readings, since it requires a high commitment of time for no extra pay, and for a single student. It also can mess up a department’s curriculum, but how that works is a little complex, and unimportant for understanding this story. The main point here is that most professors will avoid doing any directed reading if they can.

Spoken like a man who’s never taught in at a college where such extra work was a completely unadvertised expectation of the position. Every semester.

Mind you, I didn’t mind teaching directed readings courses, but I certainly would have preferred doing so under at least the pretense that it was voluntary on my part. To paraphrase a famous phrase, “being an internal candidate means never having to say ‘no’.”

In completely unrelated news, I have received two emails in the last 24 hours containing the phrase “I received an email saying that you are now my advisor.” It would have been nice to get an email saying that I had advisees. It would have been even nicer for my paycheck to start before I started having to do work for my new job.

What I'd be doing if I weren't completely zonked

I can’t believe I picked up a copy of NCAA Football 07 at Circuit City ($39.99, with the strategy guide gratis) and am simply too tired to play it.

I blame the heat. Or the hour I spent in Costco waiting for my car tires to be rotated and balanced. Or exhaustion from just watching people climb Alpe d’Huez on bikes.

A dissertation in a thousand words or less

In this post, I think I hit on the major theme of my dissertation and distill the last 50 years of research on political expertise into a nice little soundbite, even though the post is obstensibly about the Arizona voter lottery ballot proposition. (I, as always, have no problem with parties and candidates outright bribing people to vote, so a government-run voter lottery is hardly objectionable to me—indeed, it’s less objectionable than the government-run lottery that you have to pay to enter, aka the Tax on Stupid People.)

Granted, it’s still too academic and wordy, and it doesn’t cite sources—the highlights would be, in addition to Downs, The American Voter, a crapload of other Converse stuff, Zaller, Delli Carpini and Keeter, Lupia, Redlawsk and Lau, Bartels, Alvarez and Brehm, Ansolobehere, and my illustrious dissertation, in no particular order except placing myself dead last.