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A professor examines why her students seem to act so helpless (essay)

This essay on college students acting helpless (Chronicle of Higher Education) struck a few chords. I put a lot of time into writing my course policies and assignment instructions. The students who want to know how they can earn a 99 instead of a 95 invariably ask really good questions that arise from their close scrutiny of those documents; on the other end of the spectrum, however, I do get a fair share…

Always Bet on Text

Graydon Hoare offers a rousing hymn to the virtues of text. Don’t get me wrong, I like me some illustrations, photos, movies and music. But text wins by a mile. Text is everything. My thoughts on this are quite absolute: text is the most powerful, useful, effective communication technology ever, period. Text is the oldest and most stable communication technology (assuming we treat speech/signing as natural phenomenon — there are…

I know stuff must be important to people who don’t spend their evenings generating 1400-word memos.

In my defense, I broke that long email down so the recipient (my chair) really only has to read about three bullet points in order to grasp the “Action Item” section… but then I had to *write* all those “just in case this become important later” details, and corral them under increasingly woebegone subheads like “Background/Still More Details” and “Heading Even Further Down This Rabbit Hole.”

A new study says young Americans have a broad definition of news

I expect that many of my students will be living the experiences documented in this study of how young people encounter news; nevertheless, it’s difficult to notice your own environment if you can’t compare it to *different* environments. Because I grew up with the three TV network news shows and the copy of The Washington Post (my dad would pick it up in the driveway on his way out to…