Category Archives: teaching

Can’t Start Over

One of the books I’ve been recommending almost non-stop since I first read it is Annette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods, her ethnographic study of how socioeconomic class affects parenting styles, which in turn affect how children develop. Not only was Unequal Childhoods very useful for me in my research for my next book, but I was able to apply its concepts to my teaching approaches immediately, as I work to find ways to help my students adjust to the demands of college life. More recently, I…

Read More »

Fail Points

Electoral College in the 2020 presidential election (Ballotpedia) The more byzantine machinations of how America’s systems of governance work can be fascinating, if you’re into that sort of thing. Over the past twenty years, though, everything from the Florida recount after the 2000 presidential election, to the large numbers of faithless electors who cast votes they weren’t supposed to cast when the Electoral College met four years ago, has given many Americans far too much of an education about those mechanisms than they ever would…

Read More »

No More Balls to the Face

[The following blog contains mentions of bullying and suicide.] Free college is a ‘socialist takeover of higher education’ and student debt cancellation is ‘wrong,’ Betsy DeVos says (MarketWatch via MSN) I’ve never been inside of a ball pit. By the time I first heard of ball pits, I was already outside of what most people would consider their target age group, and I don’t think I even knew the location of any ball pits in Toledo until after I turned eighteen. This used to make…

Read More »

Behind the Curtain

About a decade ago, I taught a student in Michigan who was just enough of a clown to help the class get some good laughs when they were needed, but didn’t prevent me from teaching the learning units I needed to get to, so his comedy was a welcome addition to the class. It was a serious discussion with this student that became the most memorable moment I had with him, though. At the start of a class, as we were transitioning from pre-class banter…

Read More »

The Quickening

Airborne Covid-19: Updated CDC guidance acknowledges virus can spread through the air (CNN via MSN)Wisconsin surpasses 100,000 all-time cases of coronavirus (fox47.com) One of the things I missed out on this summer was the release of the yearly “Mindset List,” first produced at Beloit College but now a product of Marist College, which enumerates the cultural experiences that incoming first-year college students each year are likely to have been the first to experience, or not experience, or take for granted. This is something I always…

Read More »