The Un-Enlightenment

America hits peak anti-intellectualism: Majority of Republicans now think college is bad (salon.com) I was part of the generation that first clued into the joy of Nickelodeon during the rise of cable TV in the 1980’s, but when the network was still so young that there was no such thing as Nick at Nite. Even at a time when most television networks ended their “broadcast day” and went off the air every night, it was still jarring to have Nickelodeon switch over to static in…

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My Generation?

Mom was fond of calling me a “Bicentennial Baby,” since I was born in 1976. It’s not a term that I’ve heard very often outside of my family; earlier this year I used it when I was talking with a grocery store worker, who said that he thought I was too young to be wearing the Nirvana t-shirt I had on, when he asked what year I was born, and he just smiled and shook his head. From what I’ve seen of the first two seasons…

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Resisting the New Normal

Asking anyone to the left of Joe Lieberman to pick the thing they hate the most about the current administration is like asking a parent to pick their favourite child: They probably have one, but they’re too polite to mention it. There’s a strong temptation among many of us to simply avoid discussing our own personal sore spots with things in Washington right now, for fear of sounding like we’re not concerned about the problems that the people around us have, friends and strangers alike.…

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Avoiding Americanization of Aussie Rules

Since I mentioned my beloved Detroit Red Wings in my last blog, I suppose that some of you are wondering how I feel about them missing the playoffs for the first time in a quarter-century this past season. First of all, given that Mom passed away less than a month into the regular season, it was pretty much impossible for me to feel any kind of emotional attachment to the team in the wake of everything else that was going on around me. Honestly, I…

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Stunting Students’ Growth

College Access Index Shows Shrinking Levels of Economic Diversity (npr.org) Senate Republicans Reject DeVos’ Proposed Education Cuts (rollcall.com) DeVos Says More Money Won’t Help Schools; Research Says Otherwise (npr.org) I was teaching a composition class in Toledo a few years ago, and in that class I had a student who always wore sports-themed clothes. He was a Red Wings fan, so I was able to get him to talk whenever I brought up the team’s fortunes (at least they made the playoffs that year, grumble…

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