1.20.2015

Standardized Tests for UNC Grads? Maybe.


Conservatives push for funding changes, curriculum revision, and even mandatory standardized tests in UNC system schools.



Tom Ross Resigns from UNC System Presidency
With 2015 barely three weeks old, there's no indication that the year will get any better for the University of North Carolina system.

The most recent torpedo came last week, when the president of the UNC system, Tom Ross, resigned from his post after being asked to step down. The press conference announcing his departure, led by Board of Governors Chairman John Fennebresque and arguably one of the most awkward pressers on record, provided plenty of opportunity to read between the lines.

Political? You betcha.
Even though Fennebresque flatly denied it, Ross is losing his job because North Carolina's political tide has shifted.


1.18.2015

Something to Work With





Generally speaking, I don't need any new hobbies.

I have enough around the house to more than fill my time: yard work, house work, work-work...plenty there. That's not to mention the task-work of children, the general duties of running the shop, and everything else.

And I certainly don't suffer for things to do that I consider fun: playing music, singing tenor, writing (and writing, and writing), trying new bourbon, watching sports, building fires in the woodstove.

Even so, if I had a little extra time to really spend on it--and I think the craft all but demands it--I would particularly enjoy getting to know my way around a wood shop much better.


1.07.2015

The (More Than) Twelve Days of Christmas Break



Though working in education might not afford you much in salary, there are many unsung benefits that come with life according to an academic calendar. Among them: vacations so generous they are referred to as breaks.

Christmas break (or the holiday or winter break in today's politically correct parlance) is one such example. Given the mid-week Christmas and New Years days, Kelly and I enjoyed a full two weeks away from work.

We did not struggle to fill the time.

We were helped, though, by the confluence of celebrated events that befalls the end of December. Within a span of only days, we celebrate our wedding anniversary, Christmas, my mother-in-law's birthday, Thomas's birthday, New Years, and my father's birthday. This, in short, means that our children rarely go no longer than 72 hours without at least witnessing someone open a present.