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So, what do professors do all day, anyway?

Some days I am not Dennis. I am Marky McPaper Markerson. Or Meety McMeeter Meetingson. Days that I’m Ready McReader Readerson, it’s not so bad, but only part of that time am I reading for pleasure — I’m often reading to decide whether to teach a particular text, or wondering whether I should teach Flannery O’Connor again or swap her out for someone else, or reading someone else’s instructional materials…

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Bihar Boards: An annual ritual of cheating and chitting!

When Board examinations are due in Bihar, parents tighten their belts, pull up their socks and transform overnight into expert rock climbers. They scale walls made of brick and mortar without any fear. Where Spiderman needs a web to swing from one building to another or a spider bite to grow tiny hair on his fingertips, the average fearless Bihari father and brother don’t need that.– India Today.

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4

Unpopular grammar rules

Language is a fluid, living social construct. The rules of grammar were not carved on stone tablets and handed down by God. They were created by human beings who had observations about how language works, and opinions about how it should work. “Subject pronoun,” “predicate nominative,” and the like are almost insider terms, ones that many people forget shortly after learning them in school. As we say, knowing why those…

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Before I Go: A Stanford neurosurgeon’s parting wisdom about life and time

A very moving reflection by a dying man, who contemplates the meaning of the time he has left with his baby daughter. Time for me is double-edged: Every day brings me further from the low of my last cancer relapse, but every day also brings me closer to the next cancer recurrence — and eventually, death. Perhaps later than I think, but certainly sooner than I desire. There are, I…

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I’m a 12-year-old girl. Why don’t the characters in my apps look like me?

I found that when an app did sell girl characters, it charged on average $7.53, which is a lot in the world of apps. After all, each of the apps I downloaded only cost an average of $0.26. In other words, girl characters cost about 29 times more than the cost of the apps themselves. Disney’s “Temple Run Oz” charges $29.97 to become the only girl character. Sometimes there are…

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5

Notes on watching “Aliens” for the first time again, with a bunch of kids

“This movie has so many cliches in it,” a boy said when Colonial Marines disembarked the drop ship and made their way through rainy darkness to enter the alien-infested colony. My son told him, “This movie was made in 1986. It invented all the cliches.” Another of his friends was impressed by the “personal data transmitters” implanted in the colonists—impressed that someone had thought of that back in 1986. –MZS |…