This a must read for writers as well as readers - including communications and poly sci majors. "How to Read a Column" written in 2005 by William Safire is so full of historical allusions and esoteric journalism lingo that it might take a while to get through, but I'm thinking the effort is worth it. Tell me what you think. Safire died Sunday after a distinguished career as journalist, grammarian and novelist - and, despite that grammar part, always interesting.
After you enjoy this latest study tip from Abby Worland, drop by the McLane SLC and check out the bear portrait, a Baylor icon complete with Pat Neff hall and bluebonnets, painted by Frederic Mizen, Baylor's art department chairman from 1952 until 1960 and creator of the art for the first Coca Cola billboard in 1925.
Well, a recent study seems to indicate that it makes rats smarter. The Sunday NY Times Magazine reports on a study conducted at the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan tested two groups of mice performing at differing levels of exercise. The findings revealed that exercise enhanced the ability of the creatures to perform an avoidance task, and that those which were forced to exercise more strenuously showed greater skill than the control group. The article also describes studies with elderly adults and with college students. What are the implications?
Look just to the right of this posting today and you will see "Revolutionary Talking," a blog created by one of your classmates. See what he has to say and comment. When you are ready for your blog to be posted in this spot, just let me know.
It's official. The WSJ reports today that the "Income Gap Shrinks in Slump (that's the Recession we're in) At the Expense of the Wealthy." So, in 15 years, what do you think the eco profs are going to be saying about this period in US History? Right now, some are saying that American society will become less egalitarian. Also predicted by others interviewed for the article is a change in the relationships between employer and employee as well as fewer people aiming for jobs in the finance industry. What do you think this will mean for your future? What other consequences do you predict? To read the entire article, drop by Hankamer or Moody Library and scan this front page story. If you are a business major, you probably already have picked up your own.
This morning on the Today Show, Meredith Viera showed footage of college students driving while deprived of sleep. Pretty scary stuff. While driving through simulated road hazards the previous day (not sleepy), the Today Show interns navigated the obstacles with ease. That night they were kept awake and then retested the next morning. On the retest, they careened around the course, hitting the bright orange safety cones on every turn, unable to stop when unforeseen objects appeared in their paths. That got me thinking. Do you think there are parallels to the danger of driving while drowsy in the test-taking situation? Can you think of scenarios when a student might take a test, having little or no sleep the night before.
More on the foreign language front - today from the Lariat. An editorial complains that Baylor's various foreign language requirements imposed by degree program "abound with inconsistencies." In view of Baylor's mission to "educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service," what do you think the requirement should be? What responsibility does the university's stated mission impose on you? Pick a topic and tell us what you think.
I'm reading on my lunch break right now - I can't not read wherever I am. The first thing that catches my eye as I'm scrolling through the NY Times online (it wasn't delivered yet as I walked through the parking garage) is a piece I missed yesterday about reading on the subway in New York. Anyway, not only does it reinforce the message that there are lots of readers in the world who still like the printed-on-paper media style, but it gives some good strategies for blocking out distractions while reading. See what you think.
Because students need to know how your professors are directed to deal with absences related to the swine flu epidemic on the horizon, I'm posting the official Baylor website. Faculty members are encouraged to make course materials available to students so that they don't have to come to class if they are ill. However, the mandatory attendance policy is not rescinded. That means that you need to be especially careful to attend all classes so that, if you do become ill, you have an emergency stash of unused absences. Wash your hands, don't hang out with people who have a temperature or other flu symptoms, get enough rest, eat nutritiously, and stay well. And just ask your parents if you don't believe me. (That last statement is a joke in case you missed my attempt at humor.)
I've just discovered that there is a new version of the wireless Air Bear on campus. I think it may have solved all my connection problems - we'll soon see. If you set up Air Bear more than a year ago, you might like to download the new version.
What a wonderful day - for the first time since spring classes ended, the NY Times print edition is again on campus - and free. Pick up a copy in a variety of locations. Be aware of your surroundings and see how many NYT news racks you can spot. My favorite story today is an editorial essay titled "A One-Way Ticket to Mars." As indicated, the feasibility of sending a manned spacecraft to Mars is heightened if the crew decides to stay there since returning takes more fuel than can be stored, not to mention the extra weight required by the shields needed to protect the travelers on a round-trip flight. According to the author, numerous scientists and engineers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory indicated they would be willing to do so for the adventure and the presumable benefit to society. Here's an analogy that Lawrence Krauss provided to support the rationale. He says, "Colonists and pilgrims seldom set off for the New World with the expectation of a return trip..." What do you think of that argument?
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I moved this feature up on the blog so that it's the first thing you see when you open the blog. Here is a place to ask technology questions such as "How do I add my syllabus to my blog?" Ask away if you have a question; if you have an answer, please jump in. This will be a great exercise in collegiality.
Do you ever find yourself up a tree when it comes to acing that important exam or nailing all the points on the research paper assignment? If so, this blog may be for you. It's a place to explore learning strategies, best practices in picking the perfect professor, and ways to play the academic game so that you end up scoring a university degree. You may also visit my Baylor blog for more information about the Paul L. Foster Success Center and Academic Support Programs. If you find you cannot open some of the files posted to this site, be sure you have Adobe Reader on your computer. You can get a free download at http://www.adobe.com/.