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Sesame Street Is Moving to HBO, and the Symbolism Is Crushing

I’ve been fascinated by the rhetoric of headlines surrounding the “Sesame Street moves to HBO” story. * HBO gentrifies ‘Sesame Street’ –VentureBeat * Sesame Street Episodes Will Shrink to Half an Hour –Time * Sesame Street Is Heading to HBO, and Getting Even Bigger –Esquire * This episode of Sesame Street brought to you by the letters HBO –Financial Times In short, Sesame Street was founded to help low-income kids keep up…

invisible-observer

Updating Journalism Handouts

I’ve spent the afternoon touching up some older journalism handouts, seeing which are still in good shape, which need some work, and which new ones  I’ll need to create from scratch. I realize I’ve never actually written a handout on the inverted pyramid, writing leads, writing headlines, punctuating quotes from sources… of course there are textbook chapters on all those subjects, but when I have the time, I do like…

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Why Teachers, Parents, and Society at Large Have Destroyed Kids’ Love of Learning

I have experimented with rewarding students for embracing complexity, taking risks, and for celebrating their failures. Returning to musical theater after a 25-year break has been a valuable lesson in humility for me, and a reminder of just how scary it is — exciting and scary — to do something new. The truth—for this parent and so many others—is this: Her child has sacrificed her natural curiosity and love of…

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Personal Essays: 7 Tips for Expressing Ideas in Words

Wondering how to write a personal essay? Is your personal essay due tomorrow morning? If so, here are some quick tips. Good luck! Your instructor is not going to grade you on how much you loved your deceased family member, how wonderfully you played in the big game, or how narrowly you escaped death. Your instructor wants to gauge your ability to focus on one specific incident — even a…

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Key and Peele sportscenter teacher parody: New sketch imagines teachers as athletes (VIDEO).

Oh, how I wish we lived in a world where this was NOT a spoof. A spot-on parody of SportsCenter’s hyperbole-laden talking heads, busy CGI ticker screens, and obsessive play-by-plays, the clip cleverly reimagines athletes as the educators we entrust our children to every day.Unsurprisingly, it’s a biting critique that says a lot about the economic and symbolic power we assign to an industry in which men are considered exceptional…

Understanding Sonnet 130 (Preview)
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Close Reading of Sonnet 130: Form, Theme, and Cultural Context (and a Rage Comic)

I’m preparing to teach Shakespeare again this fall. Seton Hill offers the course every other year, so each time it comes around, it feels new.  The course will focus on plays, but I do like starting out with a brief unit on the sonnet in order to help my students get accustomed to the language. It occurred to me that a lecture on the sonnet would be a good place to start…