Sparking the texts instead of reading them

A student in my “History and Future of the Book” class today referred to how some students in a different class got caught “sparking the texts instead of reading them.”  I knew she was referring to Spark Notes, but I’d never heard the name being used as a verb before.

''You Can Always Look It Up''… or Can You?

E.D. Hirsch (2000) The progressive theory that students should gain knowledge through a limited number of projects instead of by taking courses in separate subjects is based on the following reasoning. If you learn a bunch of facts in separate, academic courses you will passively acquire a lot of inert, fragmented knowledge. You will be the victim of something called “rote learning. “But if you engage in integrated, hands-on projects…

Esme by H.H. Munro (SAKI)

H.H. Munro (SAKI)  Esme “The hyena hailed our approach with unmistakable relief and demonstrations of friendliness. It had probably been accustomed to uniform kindness from humans, while its first experience of a pack of hounds had left a bad impression. The hounds looked more than ever embarrassed as their quarry paraded its sudden intimacy with us, and the faint toot of a horn in the distance was seized on as…

1

Creationist Diorama-Rama

Bennett Gordon, Science and Technology blog (Utne Reader): Every diorama in the Home School Science Fair, which took place inside a shopping mall in Roseville, Minnesota, had a biblical quote attached to it. A young woman whose project involved teaching her dog how to run circles between her legs decorated the words: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) in pink lace fabric. This quote…

3

Sorry, Boys, This Is Our Domain

Stephanie Rosenbloom, NYT: Research shows that among the youngest Internet users, the primary creators of Web content (blogs, graphics, photographs, Web sites) are not misfits resembling the Lone Gunmen of “The X Files.” On the contrary, the cyberpioneers of the moment are digitally effusive teenage girls. “Most guys don’t have patience for this kind of thing,” said Nicole Dominguez, 13, of Miramar, Fla., whose hobbies include designing free icons, layouts and “glitters” (shimmering animations) for the Web…

Game Criticism, Why We Need It, and Why Reviews Aren't It

Greg Costikyan on Play This Thing! A review is a buyer’s guide. It exists to tell you about some new product that you can buy, and whether you should or should not buy it. A good review goes beyond that, and suggests who should buy it, since not everyone enjoys everything. (E.g., A romance novel may be very fine of its kind, but is quite unlikely to appeal to me,…

Man Fired for Posting Comic Gets Last Laugh

ABC News: In the comic, Dilbert asks, “Why does it seem as if most of the decisions in my workplace are made by drunken lemurs?” “I wanted to try to boost the morale for the employees,” Steward said. His bosses, however, didn’t find the joke so funny. They didn’t like the implication that they were the drunken lemurs in this scenario. Using surveillance video, his bosses identified Steward as the…