Of English Teacher Math: Teaching 200 Students How To Write

Here are some numbers to consider for the end of the semester.  I asked 140 IB English students to turn in their logs, into which they have composed over the last 4 weeks anywhere between 20 and 30 pages of response to the readings we’ve done out of The Best American Essays of the Century. Let’s justContinue reading “Of English Teacher Math: Teaching 200 Students How To Write”

Of Internet Trolls and Stupid Insecurities

A first for me!  I’ve experienced, or have been the victim of, my first internet troll (or so I think). It’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve become aware of such an animal as the internet troll, my first introduction probably coming from an internet video blogger by the name ofContinue reading “Of Internet Trolls and Stupid Insecurities”

Of School Reform and The Common Core

So here we are in the midst of another school reform movement.  Here’s a funny thing.  I’ve worked as a high school English teacher for about twenty-four years now, and while I consider myself progressive, forward thinking, willing to try new things, and while I feel confident that, in actual practice, I do progressive, forwardContinue reading “Of School Reform and The Common Core”

Of The End of Winter Break and a Bunch of Other Of

Sunday, January 6, the end of Winter Break in the school district for which I work.  Always mixed feelings about the end of any lengthy break from teaching. There’s some dread about having to get up and work hard again, always.  And there’s a sense of discombobulation and confusion about what it was we wereContinue reading “Of The End of Winter Break and a Bunch of Other Of”

Of Prepositions: A Prose Poem

Aboard a ship, about one or two years ago, above the rough sea, across the widest possible expanse, after a drink of the finest bourbon, against all of my best intentions, along the lines forming in your skin, amid the mist, among the surging anti-trees, WTF, around nothing worth mentioning, as far as I could throw, at last, before dawn, behind me, below me, beneath me, beside myself with something orContinue reading “Of Prepositions: A Prose Poem”

Of Childhood Rock and Roll Fantasy

It was 1977. I was 12. From the perspective of my suburban cultural landscape, I was not yet aware of Talking Heads or Blondie.  I hadn’t heard The Sex Pistols, The Boomtown Rats, XTC or Japan.  I had not yet discovered the punk rock and the new wave or the truly experimental prog.  I hadContinue reading “Of Childhood Rock and Roll Fantasy”

Of Likes and Comments

Some people like and don’t comment and some people comment and don’t like. Some people don’t like to like, think it’s somehow a lame effort or no effort and therefore stupid.  I don’t like that.  I like things all of the time.  I like it when people like.  I like it when people comment, unlessContinue reading “Of Likes and Comments”

Of Insouciance

There are a great many things about which I am taking it easy, and a great many more things about which I could take it easier. Taking it easy, being somewhat indifferent, showing a casual lack of concern: Oh, let me count the ways I have become, or would like to become more, insouciant. IContinue reading “Of Insouciance”