The Death of Democracy

Rachel Maddow: Democracy has been hijacked, children have been poisoned in Michigan (salon.com) Michael Moore calls for Snyder’s arrest for Flint water (Detroit Free Press) It’s not easy being a person with political views that could accurately be described as left-of-centre, at least from a world perspective, trying to live in a country where even right-of-centre views are often shouted down as somehow being “socialist.” Sometimes I cope with my frustration by trying to fight for small things I believe in, especially when I can…

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Breaking Them While They’re Young

Parenting in the Age of Awfulness (wsj.com) Earlier this month I finished teaching three more classes, and even after ten years of teaching I still have a hard time dealing with the emotional rollercoaster ride of those last classes. The classes tend to be celebratory on their surface — especially when I can tell students that they’ll never have to worry about taking another English class for the rest of their lives — but all the time I’m sitting there and smiling, a lot of conflicting…

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It’s Not a War Zone

Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces, And The College Mental Health Crisis Media Coverage Ignores (Media Matters for America) Officer in viral classroom takedown fired (All In with Chris Hayes) One of the main influences in both my teaching philosophy and teaching performance is the bad experiences I’ve had as a student  with horrible teachers and unscrupulous administrators. Although I had a number of advantages over the years that most people aren’t lucky enough to get, I also went through things that no human being — and…

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21st Century Erasure

Legislators unhappy with [University of Tennessee]’s gender neutral pronoun push (knoxblogs.com) Duke freshmen object to Alison Bechdel’s  ‘pornographic’ graphic memoir, ‘Fun Home’ (latimes.com) About three years ago, right after starting a new teaching position, I was faced with a crisis of conscience. As a composition instructor my focus is on teaching the arts of rhetoric and argument, but I  have to handle some grammar in there as well, and I was having an increasingly difficult time dealing with the fact that I was being expected…

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