podcast recommendation: this american life episode 562–the problem we all live with

Episode 562 This American Life–The Problem We All Live With I’ve lived and taught in the Midwest for ten years now and have yet to fully understand the place and the people. After the Michael Brown shooting and the Ferguson riots, I found this incredible episode of This American Life on Michael Brown’s school district–the worst district inContinue reading “podcast recommendation: this american life episode 562–the problem we all live with”

documentary recommendation: the untold history of the united states

Peter J. Kuznick’s research translates well to this Oliver Stone directed series of hour-long documentaries. I found myself admiring the post-structuralism historical mode as well as the well constructed mix of photographs, film footage and news reels.

hating writing

In the article “10 Famous Writers Who Hated Writing” from The Huffington Post, Bill Cotter discusses his “dark feelings” regarding what he labels as “the commission of the act of writing.” He lists quotes from famous authors revealing their angst on the very act of writing and he also discusses the problem of his own inarticulateness. And I must agree whenContinue reading “hating writing”

amy hempel reading

The power of the Internet brought me this mp3 of Amy Hempel reading “The Harvest” and suddenly I know what we’re listening to in class tomorrow. http://www.wiredforbooks.org/mp3/AmyHempel.mp3 Amy Hempel — “I moved through the days like a severed head that finishes a sentence.”

quick note on new semester and dead poets

A new semester will soon begin as I write this and my thoughts obsess over inspiring and motivating my students. It’s hard for me to believe I’ve been teaching since about 1999. I should be seasoned and secure in my teaching philosophy. Yet nothing concerns me more than motivating and caring for my students. TheContinue reading “quick note on new semester and dead poets”

thug notes

The first time I heard Thug Notes I found it very funny and engaging. I played it for my Lit 111 students. We liked the break down in a less elite language. And I love to see books and ideas from books featured in so called new media. I wonder though if this quick summary ofContinue reading “thug notes”

new year’s writing resolution

A few years back I made a joke to D about teaching and writing. I told her I was deciding to be a bad teacher and to focus on my writing. I told her I would be selfish. I would put my class work on cruise control. This was difficult to do because I feel suchContinue reading “new year’s writing resolution”

grading the college essay

Reading this defeatist article on Slate.com on grading the college essay. Rings true in many ways but why would I want to give standardized exams instead of essays? So as I prepare to spend the next three or four days reading my students’ work, I just have to keep telling myself to grade, and notContinue reading “grading the college essay”

thankful for graphic novels

The other day a student came in to the office while I was reading a graphic novel and asked me what I was doing slacking off at school. He seemed to think I was getting away from my responsibilities. Well, this holiday I’m thankful I will have a bit of  time off soon to prepContinue reading “thankful for graphic novels”

teacher’s lounge

I tell my students that Week 4 of the semester is usually where the wheels fall off–for students as well as instructors. This semester is particularly difficult as I try to write, edit and  act as a student again myself. As well as teaching I am refreshing myself in an online instruction course. Something aboutContinue reading “teacher’s lounge”

back in the classroom

I set up this blog to follow my writing but the past few weeks I am back in the classroom. Putting the work of editing manuscripts aside. I am also back in the writing center and tutoring for the first time in years. In fact I had my first tutoring session. A session discussing aContinue reading “back in the classroom”

storymatic in the classroom

Ran across this game at Marbles the Brain Store in Chicago and wondering if this might work in my Lit 150 intro to creative writing class.

more yale writers’ conference notes

Enjoyed Sergio Troncoso’s fiction workshop the past ten days and wanted to post some of my notes on the rest of the Yale Writer’s Conference. Day One: Keynote speech by author and medical doctor Richard Selzer  asked us to combine our interests and occupations with our love for language. Loved the idea he gave us toContinue reading “more yale writers’ conference notes”

yale writers’ conference notes

In the next couple of days I want to post more of my notes from the Yale Writers’ Conference. Today though Sergio Troncoso sent his workshop students this great link to Jorge Luis Borges’ lectures on poetry and philosophy: http://www.openculture.com/2012/05/jorge_luis_borges_1967-8_norton_lectures_on_poetry_and_everything_else_literary.html

school’s just about out for the summer

Finishing up a particularly rough semester. Spending the last few days finishing up student publication editing as well as grading portfolios. Still have a few more hours of math and grade finalizing. Always amazed at just how much work we complete at my community college in writing and lit courses. Ready for a trip toContinue reading “school’s just about out for the summer”