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7 Essential Skills You Didn't Learn in College

Like the labor-activist plays of the 1930s, where characters never face any problems that can’t be fixed by joining the Communist Party (or, at least, a union), Wired knows of no problem that can’t be solved by a geeky application of technology. Students in Seton Hill’s New Media Journalism program are doing pretty well on this list of College 2.0 skills. I teach a statistics unit in my journalism class,…

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OpenOffice files Oracle divorce papers

OpenOffice.org is (was?) an amazing, free alternative to Microsoft Office, that was originally developed by Sun Microsystems. If the geeky details don’t excite you, what all this means is that instead of being a corporation’s neglected project, the legal groundwork is being set so that enthusiastic volunteers can develop the project according to the needs of the community. While OpenOffice had a successful development track record, it was also the…

American Lit Podcast #9 — Joel Chandler Harris, Nights with Uncle Remus

In the past, my students have expressed frustration when they encountered Jim’s thick dialect in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, so I thought I’d ease them into that, by producing a podcast that introduces the dialect, in the context of much shorter tales. We are studying Nights with Uncle Remus, which is the second collection of African-American folklore, collected and published by Joel Chandler Harris in the 1880s.  The first collection…

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Suspense by Anne: Choosing Active or Passive Voice – Why Should We?

This article does a good job tying together two concepts I’ve been asking my freshman writing students to consider — showing vs. telling, and active vs. passive verbs. Active and Passive Voices are the difference between showing and telling. What are Active and Passive Voice? Active voice, when written well, draws the reader in, lets them share in the story, and involves and excites the emotions. It SHOWS what happens.…