All posts by Sean Shannon

Bouquet: B, O …

The Rough Draft Diaries with Haley Taylor: “Violins Under the Bed” (wgte.org) There was a popular tweet a few weeks ago about how school spelling bees are traumatic because so many of us can remember when, and how, we got eliminated from them even decades after they happened. I shared my own story from a fifth grade spelling bee almost thirty-five years earlier, when the word I got was “bouquet,” I had the letters lined up in my head the way they should have been,…

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I Can Afford to Hoard Now

Part of my job as an English teacher is to stay current on developments in the language, from Oxford comma debates to ever-changing citation styles. Keeping track of all the “loan words” that seep into English from other languages is a small part of that work, but it’s one of the more enjoyable things I get to do, if only because it helps me learn more about other cultures. It also provides an ongoing example of how languages change over time, and aren’t the static…

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Holiday Pain

As wonderful as Mom was, she wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. She made chili every few weeks, and I never did like it, to the point where I wound up staying away from vegetarian chili recipes for most of my life. After I got here to Wisconsin, though, I knew that I needed to start making good warm-me-up meals I could take to campus with me for lunch and heat up in the microwave, so I bit the bullet and tried making…

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Decimating Design

I’m part of the generation that grew up on the first wave of cyberpunk, from movies like Blade Runner and television shows like Max Headroom, to countless books and graphic novels. There’s a lot to be said about how this work may have influenced our attitudes and philosophies, but one of the things that always caught my eye, probably because I was so young, was the visual motif of television/computer screens everywhere. The idea of being able to walk someplace and literally be unable to…

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#OKAsshole

Today is the nineteenth anniversary of me launching the .org, so perhaps it was fitting that I used the topic of nostalgia as a launching-off point for my class discussions this past week. By having my students look at the arguments around them about whether or not things were better “back in the day” than they are now — for example, by comparing the old-school rap of my early years to the mumble rap of today — I tried to get my students thinking about…

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