The truth about American optimism

Today when I navigated to the library homepage at my institution, a stranger appeared. The handy quick links I'd come to know and rely on to help students get the materials they need--gone. The research guides, essential for accessing resources such as subject librarians--buried in a peripheral page somewhere in the footer. The Web of... Continue Reading →

The language carrot …

“I don’t speak,” Bijaz said. “I operate a machine called language. It creaks and groans, but is mine own.”"Dune Messiah" (1969) by Frank Herbert Today, the BBC published an article on what it means to be fluent in a language. Fluency might be the unicorn sighting of the second language universe--that thing everyone carries on... Continue Reading →

Hace mucho tiempo no nos escribimos

Blog updates succumbed to summer ennui this year, but there's nothing like refreshing time away from the U.S. to get the words flowing again. It's remarkable what a reliable metro system with occupants who know how to act in public will do for my overall humor. I'm writing this from the patio of my hotel... Continue Reading →

The trouble with books …

The next time your students ask if they can rely on books for their research, you can tell them this: Book publishers don’t normally fact-check books. They’ll run sensitive material by lawyers, but otherwise it’s on authors to make sure their work is accurate. Generally, this works out fine. Sometimes, it does not. When books... Continue Reading →

Looks like I'll be adding some additions to my Mexican handicraft collection after all this year.

Shift the onus to them

This is a great article on classroom management: Why shouldn’t students feel entitled? You’ve relieved them of responsibility. Think about it. You assess by legislative fiat, document attendance, lord over technology, interact with students 24-7 via email or text, keep students on track via Blackboard or Canvas, treat students as customers, are blamed for grade... Continue Reading →

Some people have bad hair days; I have bad technology days. This morning, the OneNote app on my phone stopped syncing with my work account (most likely due to the hyper-vigilant Internet security protocols at my workplace--a problem our IT department perennialy insists on deflecting to faculty). Otherwise, I'm still recuperating from TESOL proposals, which... Continue Reading →

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