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NAVY TO DROP ALL-CAPS COMMUNICATIONS

Caps off to the Navy’s plan to drop all-caps. OFFICIAL COMMUNICATIONS AND ORDERS HAVE BEEN IN ALL CAPS SINCE 19TH CENTURY. YOUNG SAILORS ACCUSTOMED TO TEXTING SEE ALL-CAPS ORDERS AS A FORM OF SHOUTING! NAVY WANTS ITS ORDERS AND OFFICIAL MESSAGES TO BE MORE READABLE AND LESS RUDE. “WHILE THIS DECISION WAS MADE TO SAVE MONEY AND GAIN EFFICIENCIES, IF AN ANCILLARY BENEFIT IS THAT SAILORS READING MESSAGE TRAFFIC NO…

Lego faces are getting angrier, study finds

The headline is hype. How about “Lego faces are getting more diverse?” That would be just as true, and less misleading. Many of the recent sets come with heads that you can rotate — a happy face on one side, a scared or angry face on the other side. So it’s also true that Lego faces are getting sadder, more surprised, more smug, more whatever — any variation from the…

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Positive Feedback on a Blogging Assignment

A former student who is now excelling in grad school took a moment to share her thoughts about my blogging portfolio assignment, which is usually 25-40% of a student’s grade. In April, a different former student who had blogged for me  in several classes, whom I invited as a career workshop guest, surprised me by saying: “Every job I’ve had since I graduated from college has been because of my…

The Essayification of Everything

The word Michel de Montaigne chose to describe his prose ruminations published in 1580 was “Essais,” which, at the time, meant merely “Attempts,” as no such genre had yet been codified. This etymology is significant, as it points toward the experimental nature of essayistic writing: it involves the nuanced process of trying something out. Later on, at the end of the 16th century, Francis Bacon imported the French term into…

Ave atque vale

What is a liberal education and what it is for? From Cicero’s artes liberales, to the attempts at common curricula in more recent times, to the chaotic cafeteria that passes for a curriculum in most American universities today, the concept has suffered from vagueness, confusion, and contradiction. From the beginning, the champions of a liberal education have thought of it as seeking at least four kinds of goals. One was…