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Showing posts from December, 2017

Review: The Unruly Life of Woody Allen: A Biography

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The Unruly Life of Woody Allen: A Biography by Marion Meade
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Note: This review was originally written in the early 2000s and published for a no longer running website: AudiobookCafe. This review is focused on both the book and audiobook. No doubt that a biography about the eccentric and neurotic little man, known as Woody Allen, would provoke some attention. In light of his scandalous past with Soon-Yi Previn, adopted daughter of his long-time romantic partner, Mia Farrow, this biography delivers Woody’s life with hard facts and sharp comments. “The Unruly Life of Woody Allen” tells the story of Woody Allen from his birth as Allan Konigsberg in 1935 to his initial career in comedy as a writer to his stand-up comedy and then on to his film career which includes screenwriting, acting, directing, and many other positions. We also learn of his personal life such as his parents, his relationships, his friends, and his enemies.

While Allen seems almost schizophrenic with…

Review: Facets of Ayn Rand: Memoirs

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Facets of Ayn Rand: Memoirs by Mary Ann Sures
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Note: This review was originally written in the early 2000s and published for a no longer running website: AudiobookCafe. This review is focused on both the book and audiobook. When you mention the name Howard Roark, Dagny Taggart, or especially John Galt, some people’s ears perk up, and devoted Ayn Rand’s fans stand to attention. These are the pillars of Rand’s two famous novels, “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged.” These books formed the basis of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, objectivism. But what do we know of Ayn Rand, the person; not the demigod?

“Facet of Ayn Rand,” delivers a very personal venture from Mary Anne and Charles Sures, close family friends of Ayn Rand for many years. In this interview format audiobook, Charles and Mary Anne talk about their life with Ayn through a series of questions asked by a representative of the Ayn Rand Institute. Through their answers, listeners are given new lessons, new perspect…

The PhD Chronicles: 5th Semester Down

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So that's 5 semesters completed; 30 credits achieved towards my PhD.  It's gone by way quicker than I would imagine (or at least I can say that now, after 2 dozen posts and 18 months, right?).  This semester has been ok as semesters go.  It was a bit disjointed and getting into any kind of rhythm seemed all but impossible.  I think that was the biggest challenge of the semester in that just as things normalized they got disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or just how things played out.  We got a few weeks into the semester and one faculty member canceled class and then we had a day-long adventure to College Unbound to learn about the cool work they are doing and tie it into our course.   November was a bit chaotic since there were holidays and conferences which meant I was almost nowhere to be found.  On top of that was, of course, an election that shattered all expectations and for myself, was devastating and hard to move forward from.  

Learning about quantitative analy…

Review: A Game of Thrones

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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Note: This review was originally written in the early 2000s and published for a no longer running website: AudiobookCafe. This review is focused on both the book and audiobook. Epic fantasy can be an extremely hard sell when it comes to audiobooks, especially if there isn’t an accompanying guide. “The Game of Thrones” is immense in breadth, and torturous in detail and design. While it is a great launching story for the six-book epic “A Song of Ice and Fire,” it can be daunting and confusing to remember all the characters, places, relationships, and histories. In fact, it is beneficial to go online to the many fan sites of Martin’s series to use their appendices, dictionaries, and other resource material to help keep track of what’s going on in this world.

That being said, if you can keep track of everyone, it’s an exciting and intriguing story filled with delicious characters of all sorts. As two families wield their might i…

Dissertation Journal #6: Year 2

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So in the last post, I covered the major projects of my first year in my doctoral program.  This post covers the second year and the different research projects I tackled that eventually led me to my dissertation focus.  

HIED612: Research on Students (June 2016) I rather liked this paper in that it connected my work on OER and thinking about supporting faculty and students while also drawing upon the annotated bibliography that I did for HIED612 (last post).  I was able to discuss and draw upon the idea of techno-capital and the absence of consideration about how OER doesn't seem to have any constructive discussion about students with regards to OER besides savings.  That bothered me enough to write this.  It also helped that I had previously just written a guide for students in classes using OER.  

HIED624 Globalization in Higher Education(June 2016)Before delving too far into this paper, it's useful to realize that this was my own response to this reflection paper that I wrote…

Open Access; Not a Fallacy, But a Tenet of Academic Freedom

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The following is a response to an article, The Fallacy of Open Access, in the Chronicle of Higher Ed from last month.
Suarez and McGlynn gloomily warn at the end of their essay, The Fallacy of Open Access, that “open access is not the solution to all problems in academic publishing.”  Their suggestions to place their faith in scholarly societies is problematic when so much of academic publishing (including the platforms that scholarly societies often use) are overwhelming owned by for-profit industries feels quaint. Given that over 50% of academic publications are published by for-profit companies and that number has continued to grow according to Larivière, Haustein, & Mongeon (2015).  Dewatripont, Ginsburgh, Legros, and Walckiers (2007) also pointed out the correlation between the increasingly for-profit academic publishing industry and the drastic increase in costs to access to research.  As for asking for financial compensation from publishers for scholarly work, such an idea w…

Dissertation Journal #5: Year 1

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It's been way too long since I've written a journal entry and this one has been stewing in my mind for five or so months.  I've finally had some time to put together my thoughts on it.

So as I go down the rabbit hole of dissertation, I wanted to take this post to highlight some of the projects I've taken up in some of my courses.  I do this because, in hindsight, I believe it shows some of the different places I've been and how I got to my topic.  In that regard, I think it might give some insight or hope for those just starting out about how they get to their topic (if they don't have one already OR if they have one but aren't sure how to get their angle on it).  As always, everyone's doctoral experience is different but there are certain universalities in that each student takes a collection of courses and within those, works on a variety of projects that may or may not capture their intellectual passion.  So, here's where my projects have taken me…