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Archive for the ‘Trees and Forests’ Category

As I mentioned, when my sister’s boyfriend Kevin pruned the holly, magnolia, and crepe myrtle in the backyard the other day, he found the nest of the mockingbird that attacked me and my cats all last summer.  Here it is:

 

Mockingbird nest

Mockingbird nest

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Student

The view from the podium

I’ve been agonizing over laptops again.  Every year or two, something comes around to make me question whether I should allow (require?) students to have laptops in the classroom.  This year, it’s two articles: Dan Rockmore’s “The Case for Banning Laptops” in the New Yorker and Rebecca Schuman’s response in Slate, “In Defense of Laptops in the College Classroom.”

For a long time, I agreed with Schuman’s position, which is basically that if students are stupid enough to spend their time surfing the internet instead of focusing on class, we should let them.   (more…)

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Yesterday, I read Bill McKibben’s stark new piece on climate change in Rolling Stone.  I’m still reeling from it, still feeling the urgency of his terrifying and uncompromising message.  I’ll have more to say about it–including the way I think I’ll use the piece in my course, the (to me) startling reaction to it in comments, and a thoughtful piece in the New York Times that helps explain why such a simple message is so hard for people both to hear and to act on.

Meanwhile, as apocalyptic visions of the year 2030 whirl through my head, my mother and I have decided to fly to Kansas City in a couple of weeks to see my grandmother, who is 94.  I haven’t seen her in several years, so the trip is very important to me–but I was still cringing about pouring God-knows-how-much more carbon into the atmosphere when I’m really pushing myself and others to make changes in behavior. (more…)

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