Category Archives: rhetoric

#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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The Last Worst-Case Scenario

Historic Hurricane Dorian unleashing ‘catastrophic’ blow in northern Bahamas, hurricane warnings posted for Florida’s east coast (Washington Post)UN Climate Panel: Emissions Must Fall Rapidly by 2030 to Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change (ecowatch.com) A little over a year ago, when I woke up to an email telling me that I’d been offered this full-time teaching position here in Wisconsin, I had to read it through three times to make sure that I was understanding it correctly. To say that I’d cast a wide net in my…

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Telling The Planet Where to Stick It

Ontario gas pump sticker violators will face fines, says Ford (Global News)Elections Canada climate advertising guidelines puts chill on green groups’ advocacy (Reuters via Yahoo!)Democratic National Committee votes against allowing 2020 candidates to participate in climate change debate (CNN) My personality is probably a good explanation for why I tend to be such a night owl, but my earlier living situation played a large part in that as well. For most of the time I lived in Toledo, I was going to bed in a…

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