Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hurray for the Performing Arts Teachers!

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve spent time at my kids’ schools enjoying holiday performances and marveling at the quality of artistry displayed by various performing arts groups. As I watched a conductor lead a middle school orchestra through … Continue reading

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An Absence Finished: Claudia Emerson’s LATE WIFE: POEMS

Yesterday we learned of the passing of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Claudia Emerson. In honor of her memory, I’m posting this piece that was originally published in Illinois English Bulletin in slightly different form but has never appeared online. Late Wife: … Continue reading

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What If Students Write for Themselves?

“You can write your way out of dark places. I know because I’ve done it.” My confession emerged yesterday during a class discussion of Virginia Woolf’s “The Death of the Moth,” an essay in which she writes empathetically about a … Continue reading

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Eleven Quick Book Reviews

Here are some of my recent book reviews. All of these originally appeared in other places, in some cases in slightly different form. I hope at least one of the books in this post appeals to you! Jerry Lee Lewis: … Continue reading

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“Can We Use I In This?”

A recent writing assignment in my college composition class involved telling about a change experienced or witnessed by each writer. One student told about an interesting situation (too personal to be detailed here), but her language was convoluted and highly … Continue reading

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How TIME Magazine Blew Its Cover

Time magazine’s current cover story is raising some hackles among educators. After reading the article, my impression is that Time magazine goofed pretty badly with this cover. The actual story deals with challenges to teacher tenure laws, mostly in California. … Continue reading

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Review: EL DEAFO by Cece Bell

Cece Bell’s new graphic novel El Deafo is a masterpiece. After a brief childhood illness leaves her deaf, Cece makes her way through elementary school and middle school with a large apparatus under her clothes and cords leading to her … Continue reading

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Just Keep Going: Writing Strategies for Elaboration

In one of my first class sessions with a group of college writers, I gave a survey asking what issues they wanted us to definitely cover this semester. The most common concern was how to add length to their pieces … Continue reading

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Eight Quick Book Reviews

If Only by A. J. Pine Although romance isn’t exactly my default reading genre, a guy needs to stretch, right? If they’re all as good as A. J. Pine’s If Only, I might dabble in this again. Everything I want … Continue reading

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Review: SLOUCHING TOWARD FARGO by Neal Karlen

If you followed the St. Paul Saints of the Northern League in 1996 and 1997, you probably remember that your team included several memorable characters. The team leader was a convicted felon with Hall of Fame credentials. His name was … Continue reading

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