Grading College Papers

One of my High School teachers told me she takes the grade’s on an assignment, charts them and those grades cluster: A’s then B’s then C’s and so on. Part way through my first semester grading college papers, I noticed something strange.¬†Even though this was a class for upper level college humanity majors, it was clear quite a few of these students didn’t know how to write a basic paper. A paper is, is a bit like a lawyer making a case in court: it’s supposed to prove or show something. To do that, it has to actually start, preferably in one place, and get somewhere else (in an at least vaguely connected fashion) while backing it up with some evidence (teachers call those footnotes). But, by the second paper, the grade clusters showed a bunch of students couldn’t even do that. What were basically english majors couldn’t write a basic high school paper. So, all these students needed to do to get a C was to start one place and get somewhere else without dropping me in the Grand Canyon while throwing a few footnotes my way. That’s it. If I expect that out of one of my students, I’m kind of stuck with it as a rule when I write and publish. Some writing really does need evidence like footnotes. If I’m claiming Elvis is alive and well because I saw it on a webcam, I’m going to provide a link. If I’m analyzing the first album by … Continue reading Grading College Papers

Whoops

A future blog post (“We are toolmaker”) went live early. Worse, it wasn’t actually a full draft. It was more a collection of notes. If you read it, I apologize for the confusion. Worsest of all? It went live early due to me me me. I done did not do what I knew I was supposed to do and…. yeah. “We are Toolmaker” will be start later this week. Share with: TwitterRedditEmailLinkedInFacebook

The 43 episodes are outside. Again. And they still want names – II

Now I have another problem. The problem isn’t the 43 episodes of House Stories that are again sitting waiting outside my door. The problem is that I have to be Adam-the-name-giver for all 43 episodes of House Stories. I know this. They know this. And I can tell by their looks that I better have an answer, a name, for each and every one of them when I open the door. Ah, but that’s the catch. For House Stories, names just haven’t come. I thought of just numbering. I thought of using long titles and longer summaries to introduce both. I thought of this and I thought of that. And none of them fit. I began to wonder if, to name them, I had to understand them, know who they are.¬† Which is a bit of a problem to figure out with this bunch. Who is a story after all? Do I fight a story to know it? Do I have to wrestle all night with one like it was an angel? Or pretend I’m Serif and kung fu dance my Neo stories across the tables until we reach a draw?   Researchers say kids already hear in the womb. They hear voices, they hear music, they hear us talking, they hear the news, they hear the television, and they hear us talk about all of that. By the time someone can read my words, they already know the monsters under the bed are real. Monsters are the dark, twisted, … Continue reading The 43 episodes are outside. Again. And they still want names – II

The 43 episodes are outside. Again. And they still want names – I

House Stories started when I saw something. What everyone else saw meandered off one way. Ah, but what I saw was something else again. A magical next happening imagined itself in my mind. And it was more interesting, strange and fun than what everyone else saw; interesting enough I told people. Again and again, I kept seeing wonderful magical things happen. House Stories was showing itself to me. And I was telling the story of another neighborhood that lived just out of sight, just a squint away. After a while, we moved. It seemed like I left both neighborhoods and I couldn’t find my way back. Progress on House Stories, the book, slowed to a crawl. Even when I drove through the old neighborhood, I didn’t see people I knew or sense the other neighborhood. I wasn’t connected anymore. And we moved several more times. For 41 days, we stayed in tents on a friend’s property. Not too long after dinner, the sun set. it was far enough from the city it got dark: no street lights, no hall lights, no table lamps. The sky screamed with stars but, when we looked down, it was literally lights out. Doing anything meant a lantern or flashlight. It was a bit like sneaking a flashlight into bed as a kid without the being sneaky part. Without sneaky as fun, unless the proverbial book is really really good, after a while, it’s time to do something different. And there’s nothing to do except … Continue reading The 43 episodes are outside. Again. And they still want names – I

The $40,000 Savings Account

Today, my daughter, my parents and I drove to the hospital in Boulder to see the latest member of our clan. My brother and his wife just had their first child and it was time to go a visiting. On the way back, my Mom talked about Presidential Candidate Carson’s idea for health care savings accounts. What was interesting was why the idea appealed to her. When she was growing up, most people didn’t have health insurance. You just paid out of pocket. If you can pay for health care out of pocket, then a savings account is a great way to be prepared. My Dad remembers leaving school and walking to his grandfather’s house where he read to my Dad. His grandfather could do this because he was a Veterinarian. Veterinarians, and Doctors, often worked for themselves out of their homes. Doctors could even make housecalls because they knew everything they needed to know and could carry most of their equipment in a bag. But, medicine no longer looks like that. One generalist with a handful of tools has exploded into miles of specialities and catalogs upon catalogs of medicines and equipment. That explosion has increased life spans but part of the price is equipment and medicine that costs more than most people could ever pay for out of pocket and sometimes more than the specialist’s price new sports car. Doctors don’t make house calls any more because that entire model of medicine is dead. We replaced it with … Continue reading The $40,000 Savings Account

A book!

I’ve got a book coming out on pressWoodInk about prayer as an intentional practice called Practicing Prayer. This one is going to be a publishing back-to-the-future. Once, books were often first published in serial form. Many of Dickens’ books originally appeared as a series of episodes in the newspaper. Publishing has rediscovered this and pressWoodInk is going to try out the idea with Practicing Prayer. The first part will appear soon. Share with: TwitterRedditEmailLinkedInFacebook

Thunk, scribble, create: micropoetry history society culture criticism g*d y mas en minder. Hashtaging #ThusItBegins #After2016 #MommyDaddy