Another First

The verb tenses going through my mind are odd.

This is my father’s birthday.

This would have been my father’s birthday.

This is the first year without my father on his birthday?

I’m not sure – but I called my mother. I generally call her every day anyway, but still. She was getting the car washed (which in a way is an appropriate thing to do on his birthday).

Daddy, July 2005.

Daddy, July 2005.

Certainly out-dated (that’s 2005), but such a characteristic pose – Daddy on the front porch with the newspaper.

Where’s OUR Recovery?

College enrollment declined by close to half a million (463,000) between 2012 and 2013, marking the second year in a row that a drop of this magnitude has occurred. The cumulative two-year drop of 930,000 was larger than any college enrollment drop before the recent recession, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics from the Current Population Survey released today. The Census Bureau began collecting data on college enrollment in this survey in 1966.

Not pretty. And the figures are from the Feds – the link is to a website. Places like these Colleges survive by hiring more admissions office and working a LOT harder. We opened a permanent encampment on the West Coast (in Portland, but serves everything beyond Denver) to go with our folks stationed in the Boston Metro Area, the NYC area, and the DC area. Still, campus visits are down 20%?

I wonder if 4 year colleges are beginning to cannibalize 2 year admissions – or if folks at the 2 year level are just not starting?

via Instapundit

Busy day!

I just checked my school email for the first time since 8:00 a.m.! I don’t think I’ve gone that long on a school day in years!

8:45-10:10, Houghton House Seminar Room – Fsem – I divided the class in half and they debated the British Museum vs. the New Parthenon Museum, Athens, positions on the Parthenon Marbles – with 2 colleagues serving as judges. The BM prevailed on points.

10:10-11:30, Library Learning Suite 2  (yes, they started without me) – Subcommittee on Admissions and Retention. Interesting stuff. We seem to be doing better than many of our comparison group. One of my favorite recent advisees is emplaced admissions staff on the West Coast (he’s in Portland and covers the region).

11:55-1:20, Houghton House 112 – Roman Art and Power – numismatic presentations.


Luckily, the email didn’t have any surprises, but I’m off in a bit for a Tenure Committee meeting on Campus, then back to Houghton House for Architectural Studies info session for First Years (yes, I’m on the steering committee and really should start going to those).

Going fast!

I’m already well into week 4. At the end of this week we have Family Weekend and Homecoming! Zipping right along!

My European Studies 101 has just pulled out of the Old Testament into the Greeks. We’re reading Hesiod first, then some lyric poets, then Plato’s Symposium. I really do like Hesiod’s Theogony more each time I read it – his origin myths are so – um – human and relational. His definition of deity is, essentially, immortality, but it’s not eternity, because every god has a parent (and sometimes two).

How much paper DOES each Senator use?

The Senate’s secret handbook of procedures revealed!

And “each Senator receives annual paper allowances for blank paper, letterhead paper and envelopes” based on population with a formula of “one and one-third sheets of blank paper per adult constituent.” Thus the Illinois senators each receive 11,605,333 sheets of blank paper; the West Virginia senators receive only 1,874,667.

via Instapundit.

Campus Open House

It’s all hands on deck this year for open houses.

After the story about a rape at HWS was on the front page of a Sunday edition of the New York Times this summer, we lived in anticipation of a global-warming melt of admitted students. But no! The theory out of Admissions is that they were already committed enough to come anyway.

Here’s the problem. Campus visits are down something like 25% so far this year. Usually a very high proportion of those who visit campus eventually apply. What no one knows (because colleges don’t disclose this sort of thing) is whether it’s JUST US or whether other colleges and universities with similar cases are having recruiting trouble. There are something like 75 now with public investigations by the Office of Civil Rights – from Yale, Amherst, Swarthmore, on down. We also wonder why WE got the NYT front page story, when plenty of other campuses are under investigation for more than one complaint – we have only one complaint, horrific though it is.

Whatever the case, I was on campus today giving tours of the art facilities to prospectives and their families.

Click here for a page from the campus website – which is clearly linked from the splash page – talk about disclosure! The organization is a bit messy – the NYT story is at the bottom.

The annual “omigosh that’s where I left it!”

I’m having that annual “Omigosh, that’s where I left it!” moment. It’s 55 degrees and overcast and I need to run downtown to drop off some dry cleaning and buy some coffee beans. I put on my leather jacket and THERE IT IS! A little box I bought in Rome that I figured I’d left in Rome, since it wasn’t in any of my suitcases.