Archive for: December, 2017

Presents for this Season

Dec 12 2017 Published by under Uncategorized

Yes, there are little ones and loved ones and old ones who giving even just a little something to will make a huge difference in their life. And, for them, nobody else will.

But, there are other kids with great needs. We all talk the talk about the tax bill, etc.

I challenge to walk the walk and make a difference.

There are many lists of worthy places. Nicholas Kristof always has good ideas. Here's a bit about how to donate effectively (although I don't agree with all of it). Here's a link to his annual giving column.

And here's one of my favorites (h/t @drugmonkeyblog): Donor's Choice. It is a clearinghouse of projects for schoolkids. You can pick an area, you pick high risk or urgent projects. You can pick science or government or phys ed. The requests are itemized to what the teacher needs. You give money, and Donor's Choice fulfills the order and sends it to the school & teacher directly. They are committed to transparency and integrity. They are Good People.

And here's the picture of all the thankyou notes I got, taped up on my office door.

 

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Words of wisdom of the day

Dec 06 2017 Published by under Uncategorized

Colleague One works on bone strength and growth. Has a notebook labeled "Moment of Inertia"

Colleague Two seeing notebook: You have moments of inertia. I have a lifetime.

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Everytime I hear Carmina Burana: O Fortuna

Dec 05 2017 Published by under Uncategorized

I think of this:

Now you will too.

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From FASEB, links to calling Congress about tuition waivers

Dec 05 2017 Published by under Uncategorized

 
Dear Colleague:

Congress is working quickly to pass tax legislation. The bill (HR 1) approved by the House of Representatives makes tuition waivers for graduate students who serve as teaching or research assistants taxable income. This will increase tax burden for current students and may discourage others from pursuing a PhD. The Senate bill does not tax graduate student tuition waivers. As the House and Senate negotiate final language, they need to hear from graduate students and the research community to ensure that the final bill does not include the tuition waiver tax. Please click here to email your Senators/Representative TODAY. Suggested text is provided but you should include a personal appeal about how taxing graduate student tuition waivers would affect you or your institution. Please also share this alert with your graduate students and other faculty members.

Sincerely,

Tom Baldwin
FASEB President

 

 

 

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Things that have improved in (my) life

Dec 04 2017 Published by under Uncategorized

No smoking almost everywhere. (people used to smoke in restaurants and airplanes and stores).

Brewed decalf coffee (although I am coming to question the wisdom of decalf anything, still powdered nescafe just sucks and has little relationship to any flavored beverage).

That I can lecture in comfortable pants and flat shoes. I am lecturing this morning, and was remembering when I first started teaching, that one (if one was a woman) wore heels and stockings and a Nice Outfit. Men wore ties and suit coats. I am guessing men's shoes weren't quite so uncomfortable, but they sure as heck weren't sneakers. And, students frequently judged on how one looked. Not that student evaluations were taken seriously in those days (yet another sub-improvement in the world).

No, not everything is better. And right now many things seem worse, and that makes this list seem a little trivial. There are many things wrong in our world. We need to work towards fixing them. But, sometimes, right now for me, taking a moment to appreciate the little things makes dealing with The Big Things easier.   Amongst the (to the world, but not me) little things: I am well loved by several people, they forgive me for my screw-ups, and will hold me when I feel the world is really dark. Thank you, my friends and lovers. Thank you.

 

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