Category Archives: rhetoric

Meteor is Coming

[This blog contains spoilers for the video game Final Fantasy VII.] ‘Mega fire’ measuring 1.5 million acres forms in Australia as bushfires merge (sfgate.com) The phrase “video game logic” doesn’t get used as often as it used to, and I have to wonder if that’s necessarily a good thing. I don’t long for the days when older people would smugly assert that there was no rational way Mario should be jumping several times his own height to stomp down on a goomba, but as video…

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Screw You, Emptor

House Democrats Grill Betsy DeVos Over Denying Student Borrower Relief (NPR) Today is the start of Finals Week here, and as has been the case throughout my teaching career, I wound up spending most of the past week trying to coach my students, most of whom are in their first semester of college, through the challenges of this difficult time. Even as someone who enjoyed the academic side of my college experience more than most, I remember all too well the unique stresses that those…

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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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Beyond All Repair

What Betsy DeVos got wrong about Detroit schools (Detroit Free Press)Education Secretary Betsy DeVos held in civil contempt for violating judge’s order on student loan collection (USA Today) I don’t read that many novels about war — I haven’t been reading many novels at all lately, since I’m chin-deep in research for my next non-fiction book — but I’ve read the same scene in more than a couple of novels, and it’s kind of stuck in my head since I realized how frequently I’ve seen…

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We Must Catch Them When They Fall

[The following blog contains mentions of bullying, child abuse and spousal abuse.] One of the most formative moments of my young life came when I was on a week-long school trip to a campground in Michigan in sixth grade. At a time when my father’s physical abuse of me and Mom was at its peak, I still really didn’t want to go on this trip because I couldn’t healthily deal with most of my classmates. Making matters worse was that as part of the “fun”…

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