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Showing posts from May, 2016

Article Summary #22: Race and the Effects of Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship

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Citation: Cornwell, Christopher and David Mustard. 2002.  “Race and the Effects of Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship.” Pp. 59-72 in Donald Heller and Patricia Marin (Eds.), Who Should We Help? The Negative Social Consequences of Merit Scholarships. Cambridge: Civil Rights Project, Harvard University.  http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED468845 

Summary:  Georgia's HOPE program provides a large amount of money for Georgian students to attend colleges and universities within Georgia (surpassing the amount of PELL money students in the state receive).  The merit-based program is split between scholarships for students attending degree-granting 4-year institutions and grants for students attending largely technical schools.  This chapter explores how despite the increase in students meeting the merit-requirements to qualify for the lottery to receive the scholarship or grant and entering college, it is contributing to stratification of race by institutional type. HOPE incentivizes top students to stay w…

Short Story #387: The Festival by H. P. Lovecraft

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Title: The FestivalAuthor:  H. P. LovecraftSummary: The narrator explains that he is part of a long lineage of people and every one hundred years, a family member must venture forth to this place to take part in an ancient festival tied to Yuletide (which coincides with Christmas Eve).  He journeys to this strange town wherein he finds it particularly quiet and haunting.  He approaches the house he is looking for and is welcomed in by a mute.  While waiting for the midnight, he sits in the house and finds the man has a collection of rare and powerful texts including the Necronomicon.  He is haunted by the silent man and by the town in general and it only worsens as he reads from the evil book. At eleven, they leave the house and make their way through the town, as they do, other houses empty out and follow them.  They make their way to the churchyard with its graves and disheveled building.  They enter the church, all the while, the man not entirely clear on what is transpiring--he fee…

Image of the Week #22: Shut The Door!

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What Is ItA joke from the Wellesley News, the student newspaper of Wellesley College, from the late 1910s. 


Why I Find It InterestingWho doesn't love a good French language joke?  As someone who has challenges in hearing and making sense of English and other languages because of my dyslexia (for those that don't know dyslexia can affect hearing--not just vision), I appreciate this particular joke as I often suffer from this issue of mis-hearing or just not being able to make sense of what someone is saying. 

This submission is part of the Image of the Week series.  For access to all photos, which are open for reuse under a Creative Commons License, check out the full album on Flickr.


By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Letter to the Editor: The state is underfunding public colleges

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Last month I had another Letter to the Editor published.  This particular letter was in response to this Our View at the Salem News.  

"We love to talk about running higher education “like a business.” But when it comes to paying leadership a competitive market price, we balk and cry “that’s egregious!”

I call foul on The Salem News for whining about public higher education leadership pay while contrasting it with cost students are paying. When have they have ever complained about the product’s cost in relation to the pay of the CEO? But these are public funds, you say, and it’s not fair to the citizens? OK, I’ll take up that argument."

For the rest of the letter, click on through to the Salem News.



By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Review: Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life

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Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life by Annette Lareau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lareau's book explores the challenges that class offer up to children, particularly as it relates to outcomes and opportunities. What I really liked about this book is how she is able to connect the various ways that class does substantively change what youth are aware of and available to act upon based upon the class dynamics of their upbringing. This is particularly true when it comes to the education and job process.


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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Review: The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century

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The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century by Steven Pinker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I heard much about Pinker's book when it came out last year and put it on my To-Read list. I've been a big fan of Pinker in general and his book, The Better Nature of Our Angels is still one of my all-time favorite books. I rather enjoyed this book too, in part, because Pinker is eloquent and clear. This style guide is something I'm likely to purchase and revisit as it really does layout some fundamental guidelines while simplifying writing and not being preachy. It's a must for anyone who wants to find better ways to improve his or her writing.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Article Summary #21: Redesigning for collaboration in learning initiatives: An examination of four highly collaborative campuses

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Citation: Kezar, A. (2006). Redesigning for collaboration in learning initiatives: An examination of four highly collaborative campuses. Journal of Higher Education, 77 (5), 804-838.

Summary:  The increased external pressure, the decrease in support, and the burgeoning research on collaboration encourage institutions to look internally at opportunities for cross-discipline, cross-departmental, and cross-function collaboration.  However, institutions are not set up to do this in a smooth or sustainable manner.  Few models exist to encourage collaboration within higher education, but there are models to borrow from in the corporate sector.  The study looks at four institutions that engage in collaborative activities to deduce how those institutions are using and adapting strategies that already exist and are promoted within corporate literature.  More specifically, this study looks at how institutions create the institutional context that fosters collaboration since little literature exi…

Short Story #386: The Haunter of the Dark by H. P. Lovecraft

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Title: The Haunter of the DarkAuthor:  H. P. LovecraftSummary: The narrator begins by explaining how investigators have assigned a reason for the death of Robert Blake but that careful inspection of Blake's journal and other circumstantial evidence tells a more supernatural and dark tale than the mere idea that he received some electrical shock that did him in.  The narrator proceeds to introduce us to Blake who is a writer that dabbled in the darker tales--somewhere between horror and science fiction.  He took up residence near Brown University in Providence and in his room, he could see some church tower in the distance that always draws his attention.  While renting his place, he finds that hee is able to produce some rich content and it's only after a while that he can't resist the urge to visit this place that he sees from his room.  He goes in search of it but finds no one willing to tell him where it is or explain what it is, even when he is in the neighborhood.  Whe…

Image of the Week #21: "The Problem of the Near East"

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What Is ItAn article from the Wellesley News, the student newspaper of Wellesley College, from the late 1910s. 


Why I Find It InterestingIt doesn't entirely surprise me that nearly 100 years later and we are still incapable of respectfully or usefully discussing the politics and religions of the "Near East."  I'm curious if "Mohammedanism" was a generally used term by the West at this time and curious to know what kinds of images this evoked in the common person and of course, what Muslims made of this term.  This story ran about six years before The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and that makes me wonder what were the contemporary images of Muslims in the 1910s.  The West's fear of the "Holy War" seems to be something that still dominates many individuals' abilities to understand and meaningfully interact with followers of Islam. But to know that this misconception has been ongoing for generations reminds me of how hard it is for people to break t…

Allowing the Public To Vote? A Question to Answer

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Recently, a friend on Facebook asked me the following question.  This is a friend of a different political viewpoint from me and on occasion, we get into a debate about different things.  I appreciated the open question without limited judgement embedded in it.  Distilled down to its basic idea, it's an interesting question and thought I would share both question and answer.  Feel free to also chime in with your thoughts.

Question:  
" I have a pet peeve, and I'd like your opinion on it. Also want to make sure I'm being reasonable and all.  Here goes:
IF a person decides that they are going to forego work, class, a nap, or what have you to join a protest against a candidate or political party, shouldn't they be required to know and understand what that party or candidate represents? More importantly, shouldn't they be able to speak intelligently regarding the party or candidate they're supporting? This type of exasperating comportment brings about substantial…

Review: The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum

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The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A co-worker first introduced me to Temple Grandin when telling me about a biopic of her featuring Claire Danes. I watched the movie (being a fan of Danes) and was impressed to find out about Grandin's work in a variety of fields. So when this book came across my desk to review I was pretty excited and it definitely came through. Grandin and Panek do a great job exploring autism through the brain and understanding through the latest technology and research how to make sense of autism, recognize the challenges it can represent, but also the innumerable ways it can add value to people's lives. She doesn't present it as a gift by any means but she does excellent in emphasizing what benefits and opportunities are available if we more consciously and sincerely integrate autism into our culture.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attri…

Review: Ben Franklin: Unplugged: .... And Other Comic Monologues

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Ben Franklin: Unplugged: .... And Other Comic Monologues by Josh Kornbluth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Now, as some of my readers will know--I'm a fan of Josh Kornbluth--the mastermind behind one of my favorite films, Haiku Tunnel. When I found out that I would be reviewing his latest collection of comedic monologues, I did do a little dance. I really enjoyed it and keep an eye out for an interview with Josh Kornbluth that I will post sometime soon. Anyways, this collection of comedic monologues is a real hoot as Kornbluth explores his resemblance to Ben Franklin, finally decides to pay taxes, finish his decades-old thesis, and contemplate Jewishness and Andy Warhol. Through it all, he's must face off against his arch-nemesis and true dramatic foil...himself.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Article Summary #20: Conceptualizing change in the institutional diversity of U.S. colleges and universities

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Citation: Morphew, C. (2009). Conceptualizing change in the institutional diversity of U.S. colleges and universities. Journal of Higher Education, 80 (3), 243-269. 

Summary:  The diversity of higher education in the United States has always been seen as important in contributing to matching students with the right learning environment, creating a more dynamic society, and reducing the chance for indoctrination.  Birnbaum's study (1983) of institutions from 1960 to 1980 indicated a shift towards homogeneity among institutions. Morphew starts with this study and looks to recreate it to understand what has occurred since Birnbaum's study, particularly the period from 1972 to 2002.  Morphew wants to see what type of changes have occurred to institutional diversity in higher education in the United States between 1972 and 2002 and whether institutional theory can shed any light on the changes or lack thereof.  Morphew builds a five-item matrix (including type, degree level, sex, si…

Short Story #385: The Descendant by H. P. Lovecraft

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Title: The DescendantAuthor:  H. P. LovecraftSummary: The story begins with a narrator explaining that he is on his deathbed and feels the need to share a particular story before he dies.  He tells of a quiet and slightly mad older man who lives in the Gray's Inn.  The man has  pet cat whom he talked to a lot.  In fact, his talk was largely irrelevant but then a young man named Williams moved into to the Inn and tries constantly to befriend the old man and get him to share his knowledge..  It is revealed that the man is Lord Northam of England.  Williams attempts are largely rebuked but then one day, Williams acquires a copy of the Necronomicon, the book of the dead that captures the minds of so many intrigued by the dark arts.  This book provides an opening for the Lord Northam to open up.  He discusses his home and his lineage.  His line goes back to Roman times in England when soldiers first took to the land.  However, they encountered this one cave that they couldn't vanqui…

Image of the Week #20: Greater X-Ray Service

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What Is ItAn advertisement from the Wellesley News, the student newspaper of Wellesley College, from the late 1910s. 


Why I Find It InterestingI continued to find the General Electric advertisements interesting in that it makes me wonder how long has the practice of news-vertisements been around.  I remember seeing these in magazines that I used to read where there would be stories sponsored by or written by a company and it would be clearly delineated.  With General Electric, they take out nearly full page ads and fill a good chunk of it with text and compelling imagery.  They attempt to tell a story and through all of this, lure in the reader, whereas so many other ads in this publication keep it short and simple with maybe an image, big bold words, and the product.  I wonder when this practice began, which companies practiced it and what the end result was.  This piece uses X-Rays as a hook to get people interested in learning more about and potentially buying General Electric produ…

The PhD Chronicles: Orientation

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And now, I'm officially excited.  If the first post did not contain the excitement of someone just accepted into a PhD program.  This post most certainly does.  The Orientation was on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at UMASS Boston.  


I rushed to the event, having left work later than I wanted and being stuck in transport hell that is I93 during any time you really want to make use of it.  So rushed and harried was I that when I parked in the parking lot under the Campus Center, that I didn't realized I parked in a handicap space.  The poor lighting and dirty floor meant that I did not see it on the ground and I entered the spot from the one behind it which appeared to not be a space.  When I came back to my car to see the ticket, I was more angry at myself than I was at the ticket--I more than deserved it.

The Orientation was a good mixture of the necessary bureaucratic and the socializing.  We got student IDs, learned about the payment process for different students, and other things w…