Chimp "Girls" Play With "Dolls" Too–First Wild Evidence

As my 12-year-old son gets ready to surpass my six-foot height any day (his lip needs a third shave, but he’s apparently in no rush to graduate away from calling me “Daddy”) and as my 8-year-old navigates a peer community that includes mean girls and true friends, gallant young gentlemen (thank you, little boy who offered your frog hat to my daughter backstage during Saturday’s “Honk” matinee) and the pushy…

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The Hidden Feminist Messages in ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’

Hidden? Sure, but certainly not accidental. I didn’t notice it when I was a kid, but it sure jumped out at me when I watched the Schoolhouse Rock videos with my kids. And even small details are pro-girl. The nameless character who shows up in a mini-skirt and platforms in “Interjections!” is unbelievably excited not about a boy, but about an A+ in a report card:Some of this consistent, cleverly…

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Looking for a good read for my American Lit survey next term.

What’s a well-written, gripping, yet breezy novel (something that will engage students who would otherwise be distracted by late April weather)? A colleague has chosen The Virgin Suicides. What about The Secret Life of Bees? The Hunger Games? Little Brother? (Yes, I know Cory Doctorow is Canadian) I’ll likely need to trim some of these works, but so far.. Frost, poems (assorted) Fitzgerald, short stories (assorted) Eliot, “The Love Song…

Journalists: Let the Quotes Do The Work Whenever Possible

Beginning journalism students often need some practice giving the best lines to their sources. Here are the first two paragraphs in a story about missing tailgates. It’s just a routine story, but the writing makes it inviting and personal. Luke Himler said employees at Hollywood Cars near Greensburg were moving vehicles on the lot Saturday morning when he noticed something odd about a Dodge Ram.  “I wondered why the tailgate…