La Profesora Abstraída

Weblog of Michelle Dion, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, at McMaster University. My blog has moved to Visit my other website.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I never would have guessed

In fact, I might have predicted the opposite.

posted by Michelle @ 5:45 PM, 3 comments

Monday, August 21, 2006

Another national title for UT-Austin

Top party school. Of course, I was always working and studying too much to take much notice as an undergrad.

posted by Michelle @ 5:26 PM, 1 comments

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Linked with no comment

Analysis from the Council on Hemispheric Affairs regarding the electoral situation in Mexico.

posted by Michelle @ 12:47 PM, 2 comments

Monday, August 14, 2006

Violence outside national legislature in Mexico City

According to news sources, the national police force sought to remove PRD supporters from their encampment outside the national legislature. The reports of what happened are often contradictory or confused, such as this report from Milenio:
A las cuatro y media de la tarde, los legisladores agredidos se presentaron en la 50 Agencia de la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal, para denunciar a Vicente Fox, al diputado panista Alvaro Elías Loredo, la Federal Preventiva y Estado Mayor Presidencial por las agresiones cometidas en su contra.

A este respecto, Elías Loredo se deslindó de las acusaciones perredistas y dijo que se presentará un informe para aclarar que sucedió en este operativo.

Pero estas declaraciones no fueron tomadas con satisfacción por la bancada del PRD, e incluso Inti Muñoz, vocero de los diputados federales, dijo que se presentará una denuncia contra el panista Elías Loredo por ser responsable de esta actitud represiva, lo cual fue rechazado por éste.

Se dio a conocer que García Ochoa además de presentar una herida en el ojo izquierdo, y posiblemente la fractura de una costilla.

Clara Brugada, dijo que Elías Loredo ordenó la represión en contra de sus pares, por lo que lo responsabilizó de las agresiones en contra de doce legisladores y simpatizantes del PRD.

Dolores Padierna, dijo a Formato 21, que los federales preventivos los agredieron sin mediar conversación "fue un acto de represión", acotó.

El panista Alvaro Elías Loredo, dialogó con los responsables de la PFP para que cese esta situación, además de que se evalúa que se pronuncie al respecto, se desconoce si lo hará mediante una conferencia de prensa o un comunicado.

Al cuarto para las tres de la tarde, inició el desalojo de cientos de manifestantes que desde temprano intentaron irrumpir en el recinto.

He said. She said.

posted by Michelle @ 6:52 PM, 1 comments

Friday, August 11, 2006

New additions to my fall syllabi

Since I was on leave in 04-05, last year (05-06) was my first year at Tech where laptops and wireless access were ubiquitous on campus and in the classroom. I can tell which students are using laptops for notes and which are using them to IM or browse the web (i.e., those with blank stares, very little typing or eye movement to the front of the classroom, etc.).

Usually, I would ask those students questions when they appeared distracted, and often that would get them back on task. Sometimes, I would joke with them about what they might be looking at to get their attention. (Humor is my preferred way to deal with such classroom issues.) I used to think those students are just hurting themselves, not unlike sleepy students, so I'd tend to ignore them. (My classroom is pretty animated and interactive, and if they're tuned out, there's not much more I could do to engage them.)

However, last spring, I had some students specifically complain that the web habits of other students were distracting during class. This realization has led to the following addition to my fall syllabi (new material in italics):
Course attendance and participation, 20%
Your success in the seminar will require regular attendance and active participation in class discussions. To be able to participate actively in the discussion, you must have done the reading prior to class and you must attend class regularly. The quality, not quantity, of your participation is the key to a superior class participation grade. Asking thoughtful or insightful questions is just as important as answering questions posed by others in the class. Absences, tardiness, cell phone disruptions and abuse of internet technologies (e.g., web browsing/IMing during class) will adversely affect your participation grade.

posted by Michelle @ 7:31 PM, 3 comments

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Mexican election recount

Looks like voting boxes will only be recounted in less than 10% of the precincts. The precincts are distributed in about half of the voting districts of the country.

See also.

posted by Michelle @ 3:07 PM, 0 comments

Thursday, August 03, 2006

More about getting a Ph.D.

This time from Dean Dad.

posted by Michelle @ 1:04 PM, 0 comments

AMLO and protests in Mexico

At last week's rally in Mexico City, AMLO called for more demonstrations and permanent installations of protestors around the country. I refer you all to two posts by Greg Weeks, with commentary and links to several articles.

posted by Michelle @ 12:47 PM, 6 comments

Post in which I say something positive about WalMex

... though regular readers (assuming these exist...) may cry foul.

Wal-Mart is the biggest private employer in Mexico and has many different store chains and restaurants.

Now, the corporation plans to open banks in its stores. Though critics of Wal-Mart may be skeptical of such a move, I think competition from Wal-Mart may be just what the Mexican banking system needs. Mexican banks provide poor service, charge ridiculous fees, and lack transparency. Many banking fees/policies disproportionately hurt the lower and middle classes and increased competition should help reduce fees and increase access to affordable credit.

From Bloomberg.

I'm no fan of Wal-Mart (and when in the U.S., I do not shop there), but I do think WalMex banks would be good for working Mexicans.

posted by Michelle @ 12:32 PM, 1 comments

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

How do you 'sign' dog?

Gage and I sign it like this.

posted by Michelle @ 7:46 PM, 0 comments

Mexico City slideshow

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