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American Lit Podcast #5 Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (3 of 4)

Literary questions aren’t really worth exploring if there’s an obviously “right” answer, so let’s explore a thorny question. Near the end of Chapter 13, in the third paragraph from the end.   Hawthorne tells us of Hester, “At times a fearful doubt strove to possess her soul, whether it were not better to send Pearl at once to Heaven, and go herself to such futurity as Eternal Justice should provide.”…

Americans Spending More Time Following the News

In short, instead of replacing traditional news platforms, Americans are increasingly integrating new technologies into their news consumption habits. More than a third (36%) of Americans say they got news from both digital and traditional sources yesterday, just shy of the number who relied solely on traditional sources (39%). Only 9% of Americans got news through the internet and mobile technology without also using traditional sources. The net impact of…

Show, Don’t (Just) Tell (updating a handout)

I trimmed out some stale examples and added these examples to my handout on showing and telling. What if your goal were to write about your favorite sport. Telling (No Details) I like many different sports, from skiing to rock-climbing, but when it comes right down to it, I would have to say that ping-pong is my favorite sport. (Snooze. This kind of writing can help you meet a word count, but it really…

Mind – Research Upends Traditional Thinking on Study Habits

The findings can help anyone, from a fourth grader doing long division to a retiree taking on a new language. But they directly contradict much of the common wisdom about good study habits, and they have not caught on. For instance, instead of sticking to one study location, simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention. So does studying distinct but related skills or concepts in one sitting,…

American Lit Podcast #4 Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (2 of 4)

This is the section of the book where the relationships between the characters start to take solid shape, and Hawthorne makes these points numerous times. When we aim to interpret a literary work, our task has to go beyond listing our emotional reactions, our gut reactions, to the events of the plot or the setting. “The authorities should not have been so harsh with Hester.” “The townspeople are slow to…