Category Archives: work

No Off Switch

Last month was incredibly exhausting for me. In addition to all the weather-related problems I’ve been documenting online (perhaps too much, I know), and some challenges at work, I’ve been chin-deep in research for my next big book. An opportunity arose for me to go deep into one thread of my research, in order to write an article for a major academic journal, so I spent an awful lot of time tackling that, doing work that should definitely help when I get around to writing…

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A Stand in the Snow

Polar vortex to bring prolonged, life-threatening cold outbreak to midwestern US this week (Accuweather) I’ve been thinking lately about how I’ll probably have to write a multi-volume memoir when the time comes for me to do that, simply because I have far too many bad memories indelibly stamped into my brain to just gloss over those events in a chapter or two. I’m guessing that I’ll need at least one whole book to describe all the horrible teachers I had when I was younger, and…

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The Trouble with Textbooks

College students outraged over $999  online textbook (channel3000.com) One of the primary guiding principles of my teaching career, if not my whole life, is to never forget where I came from. While I could cite many examples of how that principle guides my non-teaching life, my bad experiences as a K-12 student have done a lot to shape how I approach my work as a teacher. Even when I was still a student in those classrooms, I could see how some teachers were inflicting misery…

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Post-Pyrrhic and Punch-Drunk

Five weeks ago, I blogged about a very problematic turn of events for me. On the one hand, the leading book review organization Kirkus Reviews had posted an incredibly positive review of my first novel, The Prostitutes of Lake Wiishkoban. For many authors, getting this kind of a review can be career-making , and it was coming as I headed into a summer where I didn’t have any teaching work. Getting this review in front of as many people as possible became a top priority for me,…

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Careering Into Catastrophe

Trump Plan To Merge Labor, Education Departments Could Undermine Them Both (Huffington Post via MSN) As the Fred Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? opens in theatres, it’s important to revisit one of Mister Rogers’ most famous quotes, and my personal favourite of his: “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” You’ve probably seen this quote in meme form on your social media feeds…

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