19. December 2013 · Comments Off on New (and newish) movies I liked this year · Categories: Olio

In alphabetical order:

The Book Thief
The Butler
Dallas Buyers Club
56 Up
Fill the Void
The Gatekeepers
The Kings of Summer
The Sapphires
Searching for Sugar Man
The Sessions
Silver Linings Playbook
Stories We Tell
This is Not a Film
20 Feet From Stardom
Up the Yangtze
The Way Way Back
We Live in Public
What Maisie Knew

The Stuey for best drama goes to What Maisie Knew. Best comedy goes to The Way Way Back. Best documentary goes to The Gatekeepers. All results tabulated by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

10. December 2013 · Comments Off on New books I quite liked this year · Categories: Olio

In order of date read:

My Promised Land, Shavit
Detroit: An Autopsy, LeDuff
The Retrospective, Yehoshua
Mary Coin, Silver
Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Marra
Paying for the Party, Armstrong
The Color Master, Bender
The Devil I Know, Kilroy
Bernstein Letters, Bernstein
My Mistake, Menaker
Someone, McDermott
Little Failure, Shteyngart

I’m not a fast reader, a 40 to 50 books a year kind of guy. I’m sure that this would be an even longer list if I had a few extra sets of eyeballs.

04. December 2013 · Comments Off on It’s getting close to grading time at universities · Categories: Uncategorized

If you’re a prof at Harvard (and at many other private schools), grading is easy nowadays. ┬áJust go down the roster and type the letter A. No mess, no fuss, no thinking. You don’t even have to give final exams. The late Clark Kerr used to joke that the three purposes of a university were “to provide sex for the students, sports for the alumni, and parking for the faculty.” It’s not a joke anymore.