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{ Category Archives } Teaching

Thoughts on next year’s zombie class

I’m wondering how the course would work if I re-worked it next year as a series of Zombie subgenres (Hollywood, Vodou, Cyborg, Alien-slug, Fast/Virus, Philosophical, Nazi) and we approached the material from that perspective.  This would make the experience of the course way different from what it is now, and give me some variety in […]

Zombies!

Today marks the end of the first week of my annual horror j-session class, Zombies in Popular Media.  A few thoughts: This year brings another good mix of students with varying experience in zombie media.  As far as I can tell, though, I have no zombie fanatics.  Most years I’ve had at least one person […]

Dispatches from the Age of Electracy: End of the semester grading

Note: I’ll be taking a break from the Dispatches from the Age of Electracy series until after the new year. An interesting conversation opened up on Facebook last week about grading.  The OP asked “Hypothetically, what should I say to a student who’s unhappy about getting 91/100?” (click ‘read more’ below to see the full […]

The Stair Method…

Classes are done.  Now it’s just grading. and grading. and did I mention grading? The only time I dislike using all electronic project and paper submission is that it doesn’t give me this way out: See the Stair Method for more on this precise and detailed grading model.  

Thoughts on the first week of class

We got new directory portraits taken last week. I have two classes this semester: The Rhetoric of Digital Media and Literary Genres: Detective Fiction.  Here are a few thoughts on the first week: My opening spiel for the Digital Media class had to be tuned somewhat, since I used to start the class (formerly called […]

The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century

The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century Edited by Tony Hillerman and Otto Penzler I don’t envy anyone tasked with assembling a book like this.  You’d want to be original, but you couldn’t skip the best things.  You’d need to hit many of the major figures while not ignoring minor gems.  You’d want to […]

Six points for a blogging class

I’m speaking in a class about blogging today, and feeling a bit out of my depth.  Sure, I’m a blogger. Sure, I’ve been keeping this blog for nearly a decade.  But I don’t make a living at it.  And if you’re a regular reader, you know that my ability to update regularly is spotty at […]

We’re surrounded!: Universities, Electracy, and the coming tsunami, part 4

This is the fourth in a four-part blog series taking a snapshot of the current economic, political, and grammatological situation facing the modern American university system.  In part one, I provided a preface for this discussion.  Parts two, three, and four focus specifically on pressures from different quarters challenging us to re-imagine what it is […]

It will never get harder to copy things: Universities, Electracy, and the coming tsunami, part 3

This is the third in a four-part blog series taking a snapshot of the current economic, political, and grammatological situation facing the modern American university system.  In part one, I provided a preface for this discussion.  Parts two, three, and four focus specifically on pressures from different quarters challenging us to re-imagine what it is […]

Death from Above: Universities, Electracy, and the coming tsunami, part 2

This is the second in a four-part blog series taking a snapshot of the current economic, political, and grammatological situation facing the modern American university system.  In part one, I provided a preface for this discussion.  Parts two, three, and four focus specifically on pressures from different quarters challenging us to re-imagine what it is […]

The Ghosts of Travel Agents: Universities, Electracy, and the coming tsunami, part 1

This is the first in a four-part blog series taking a snapshot of the current economic, political, and grammatological situation facing the modern American university system.  In parts two, three, and four, I will focus specifically on pressures from different quarters challenging us to re-imagine what it is we do.  This part serves as a […]

Grading

Grading grading grading grading grading grading grading. Grading grading. Grading. Grading. Grading grading grading.

Teaching as extreme improvisation

RadioLab’s recent short, TJ and Dave, focuses on two actors whose show consists of a 50-minute improvisation with no groundwork set to start it.  Here’s the story, in case you think it sounds neat. As they talked about the experience, the actors discuss the joy of being in the place, of letting the work guide […]

How to email about a problem

I’ve seen this from both sides within the last few days.  I’ll use my own example as the “questioner” and let you extrapolate. When you email someone about a problem to be solved, you should include enough information that an additional exchange of emails is not necessary.  Here’s my example: Situation: After Avery’s Girl Scout […]

Highlights from the first day of class

The first day of Spring semester went well.  I think I managed to bring the right level of enthusiasm and interest to the class while simultaneously doing enough intellectual work on the first day to develop an idea for the students of what we’ll do in the course.   A few words about my teaching persona: […]