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.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Required reading for university students

While I really disagree with some of this blog's posts (as discussed here), this one has a good warning for students today. I find that too many students feel they can effectively multi-task, that somehow multi-tasking makes them work better. Instead, I've found that students with laptops, especially in my grad methods class, tend to have more problems with the material. Or maybe the effect is spurious--they are on their laptops because they have already disengaged from the material.

In any case, I find that students have very poor poker faces when it comes to recreational surfing during class. The amused faces they make while browsing Facebook, YouTube, or their email are clearly not timed to match my occasional in-class wit.

At GT, apparently more faculty are banning laptops from class. This will be the policy in my methods class this fall, especially since very few (if no) students would be able to really efficiently take stats notes on their laptops, given the need for special characters. And, I give them handouts with the slides every week so they don't have to copy equations but can take notes around them.

I still haven't decided about my two summer school classes that start June 16.

posted by Michelle @ 10:55 AM, 1 comments

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What kind of logic?

According to the NYT, more than half of the undocumented workers at an Iowa meat-packing plant are going to be sent to prison for five months before being deported. Some are being put on probation. Imagine the cost of prosecuting and imprisoning those workers.

No charges have been brought against managers or owners at Agriprocessors, but there were indications that prosecutors were also preparing a case against the company. In pleading guilty, immigrants had to agree to cooperate with any investigation.

See also this news of a sweep in California.

posted by Michelle @ 12:07 PM, 4 comments

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fines levied against PAN & PRD for 2006 campaigns

According to La Jornada, the federal election authorities finally resolved the complaints about negative campaigning from the 2006 presidential election. Both the PAN and the PRD coalition were fined.

You can find links to some of the offending ads here and here.

posted by Michelle @ 1:37 PM, 2 comments

Mexico City slideshow

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