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Kids, Pants, Booze, Music: Trouble In River City And Always

He’s not holding back here; he is telling these people, now that he’s poked their fear of booze, elites, outsiders, slippery slopes, and those who would interfere with authentic and worthy pursuits they perhaps love like harness racing, that the difference between pool and billards, those six pockets, mark a person as decent or not. And now: the children. All week long, your River City youth will be fritterin’ away,…

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Writing for the Godless: Flannery O’Connor on Dogma, Belief, and the Difference Between Religion and Faith

I’m not teaching her time period this term, but I usually throw in some Flannery O’Connor whenever I can. One of the most extraordinary meditations on religion and the role of spirituality in society comes from beloved author Flannery O’Connor, whose writing blended her Catholic faith with strong secular themes of ethics and moral philosophy, and nowhere does her singular spirit shine more luminously than in The Habit of Being:…

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A Prof Debunks Standardized Testing & Pearson Strikes Back

All this emphasis on standardized testing in the schools sure makes lots of sense to the purveyors of standardized tests. Stroup testified that for $468 million the Legislature had bought a pile of stress and wasted time from Pearson Education, the biggest player in the standardized-testing industry. Lest anyone miss that Stroup’s message threatened Pearson’s hegemony in the accountability industry, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen) brought Stroup’s testimony to a…

Nervous job candidates.
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What employers really want? Workers they don’t have to train

I do teach a number of very practical courses, but my overall goal as a teacher is not to train students to use any particular software that might be in demand; rather, my goal is to train students to solve problems, deal with the unexpected, etc. Those skills will help them get internships, which in turn will give them the practical experience employers want. More companies are hiring from the…

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Highlighters and Intellectual Growth in College

Tucked away in this article on how to avoid being a helicopter parent is a little soliloquy on how a student’s use of a highlighter mirrors his or her intellectual growth. (In my freshman writing class, I usually make a big show, in the first week or two, of throwing one student’s highlighter out into the hallway, telling the class that with a highlighter, you can only agree with or ignore…