Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Sorry, but comments are currently in moderation mode. We've had a number of spam messages and I'm trying to keep a lid on the noise.

Folks who have posting rights never have to worry about comment moderation because when you're logged in, Blogger sees you as a member of the page. If you just comment and never post on your own, the comment will be snagged and sent to me for approval.

We have space for folks who'd like to avoid possible future hassles, so send me an email and I can get you an invite. Or, wait until the spam dies down. I mention it because I'm not likely to be around the machines much this afternoon. Sorry for the inconvenience.

(On a slightly different note, we've had a number of login attempts to the main account from locations other than where I am - you know, Orange City, IA.) These happen occasionally, but it's been fairly steady over the last 12 hours or so. We do have a Blogger contact who Fab and Les worked with in the past, and I've emailed and chatted with her online so she's flagged our blog and has set up measures that simply won't allow unauthorized access. I've been told, however, that the page may go completely offline briefly now and again, though the explanation for it went right over my head.)



  1. Thanks for keeping us updated, Terry. :)

  2. Good to know. Thanks.

    Just like old times, like when we tried Twitter...

  3. Side note: The "Punching Up or Down" article on IHE (posted with flava below) already has a comment from JS, and yes, comments on that article ARE being moderated.

  4. Best chat ever today. Tremendous mood elevator, and food for thought.

    1. You made me swallow half my sandwich down the wrong tube when you threw out Seneca vs Doctor Phil. That was inspired.

    2. Wish I could've been online at the time.
      Can anyone recall the Seneca vs Doctor Phil bit?
      Would love to hear that.

    3. He said "the students are the text" when pressed he elaborated with "their reactions to things are the primary source" to which Chiltepin replied "what's the difference then between their reactions to Plato and Dilbert?" after a couple of other comments Chiltepin said "no wait, what's the difference between their reactions to Seneca and Dr Phil since they are more alike than Plato and Dilbert" at which point my monitor got hit with salami and cheese. This (not the salami) was tossed around a little, Chiltepin and I both tried to get him to admit there was a hierarchy of value in which Seneca was more valuable to engage with than Dr Phil. He wouldn't. He said the point was to get students "to own their ideas" I said that people can own some pretty stupid ideas so just getting them to own their ideas would seem to miss the point. It went on like that for a while. No resolution really.

    4. Fantastic, and thank you!

    5. "the students are the text"
      "their reactions to things are the primary source"
      "[the point is to get them] to own their ideas"

      I'm just going to let those simmer a little while.

      As much as I was tempted to follow the chat wilst showing up at meetings yesterday, it's a damn good thing I didn't. I would have drawn attention to myself in a most unprofessional way.

    6. Maybe the poor guy just types too quickly, and meant:

      "the students are to sext"
      "their reactions to thongs are the primary source"
      "[the point is to get them] to drown their own ideas"

  5. It's never boring, is it? Thanks for keeping on top of everything, Terry.

    The chat was, indeed, brilliant. I was sorry I could only lurk (or perhaps I appeared briefly as someone named Alice and praised my own comments, because that, I gather, is the done thing, as modeled by someone with considerable more social media expertise than I). I think I got to see most of it, but missed Prof C's Seneca vs. Doctor Phil question, which does, indeed, sound inspired. Archie was trying to explore the nature and possible virtues (or not) of the Digital Humanities with Dr. Stommel, at the time, I believe, and Stommel was, indeed, claiming to have been banned, to which several people, including the RGM, were responding "but you're here!" with increasing levels of frustration/all caps (the RGM was also threatening to shoot himself, which I'm glad to see he hasn't done. That sort of threat, even in jest, always worries me a bit). And, yes, Prof C was trying to pin him down on the "student as text" thing, without much success. In short, it was delightfully chaotic, and pretty hilarious, and I'm sorry I missed the end.

    I would have liked to have asked him how he manages this "not grading" thing. I get that part of his workload may not be formal, for-credit classes, but it looks like he teaches some of those at the 300 and 400 level (and yes, he's done some time in the first year comp trenches, though pretty briefly, I think, and perhaps in a program that allowed for a more themed freshman writing seminar sort of approach -- which can work very well, but can also be abused by profs who embrace their own definition of "seminar" and mostly ignore the harder bits of the "writing" part). Does he just not turn in grades? Turn in all As (or Cs? or "passes"?). As far as I can tell, the man is tenure track but not tenured yet. I wonder how he gets away with it. Teaching isn't all that closely supervised at my institution (except perhaps via a spreadsheet of the dreaded student evals), but I know the registrar speaks up pretty quickly if an instructor doesn't turn in any grades (not that I've deliberately tried it, but I have been a bit late), and I'm pretty sure someone would eventually notice if an instructor turned in nothing but As.

    1. CC, your comment about the registrar made me laugh when I imagined how that phone call to the registrar's office would go at my school. Not well, but probably better than the phone call I'd have with the provost later on when he found out. Actually, he would find out much earlier because students would complain if they aren't graded.


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