Monthly Archives: June 2016

“Asking someone to make a prediction represents a very simple route to raising curiosity and hence represents a very simple route to stimulating the brains of our students and preparing them for their learning.”

Can small changes in strategy result in significant improvements?  This new book for college instructors by James M. Lang argues convincingly that they can. While some of the techniques are not new – my mother asked her students to make … Continue reading

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“I have often pictured her stage-managing a fashion show of monsters.”

As unlikely as it sounds, this quote comes from a letter of recommendation for an associate dean of student affairs applicant, who also happens to be the former lover of the creative writing professor who sends all of the letters … Continue reading

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“[L]adies are only admitted to the library if accompanied by a Fellow of the College or furnished with a letter of introduction.”

Purely by coincidence, I was reading Virginia Woolf”s A Room of One’s Own during the week that the first woman became the presumptive nominee for a major political party in the U.S.  In 1928, when Woolf gave a series of … Continue reading

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“Why couldn’t she be more like his other teachers, who looked at him blankly the following fall when he said hello to them outside Woolworths, having in a matter of months forgotten his existence entirely?”

No contemporary writer is better at convincing the reader that a person with many faults can be a hero than Richard Russo.  His mixture of empathy, honesty, warmth and wit made Sully a heroic figure in Nobody’s Fool and makes … Continue reading

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