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Republican National Convention: Scrutiny of Melania Trump’s speech follows plagiarism allegations

As a college English teacher, I come to the table with a nuanced professional stance on the value of originality in writing. In a given discourse community, I can refer to common ideas without making it look like I am claiming original thinking. For example, when I was an undergrad with a work-study job in the theatre department’s scene shop, I saw a tired grad student scowl at the lopsided chicken-wire…

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The cultural implications of the myth that English majors end up working permanently at Starbucks

Would you like facts with that? English majors are statistically more likely to end up as CEOs, doctors or accountants than food service workers. The top occupations for English-degree holders ages 27 to 66 are elementary and middle school teachers, postsecondary teachers, and lawyers, judges, magistrates and other judicial workers. Indeed, English majors, who go on to a range of careers, are less likely to work in food service than…

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The “Other Side” Is Not Dumb.

The song “No One Is Alone,” from the musical Into the Woods, always gives me chills. Last year when my daughter was learning it in her voice class, I helped her work through some of the words. While the whole musical has a dark tone that I find comes too close to nihilism, in the context of that darkness, I find this part deeply moving: Everybody makes One another’s terrible mistakes Witches…

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The Myth of the Unemployed Humanities Major

Students who work their way up to leadership positions in clubs, get work-study jobs or internships writing press releases or running social media accounts or editing newsletters, who take challenging courses (and do the hard work necessary for getting an A), and who practice writing and talking about what they learn are already demonstrating the skills employers want. Writing a few music reviews for bands you like couldn’t hurt, but…

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‘Thought Leader’ gives talk that will inspire your thoughts

Saving this for the next time I assign an oral presentation. Now that doesn’t sound important, and it’s not. But if I repeat it three times, I’m making you believe that it is important… Let’s look at a picture of the planet for no reason …. Slowing my speech, lowering the volume of my voice, by looking at you directly, and by making a list on my fingers, I’ve made you…

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English Teacher Re-Titles Classic Poems As Clickbait In Last-Ditch Effort To Trick Students Into Learning

Funny and clever. Via Excuse the Bananas “Confessions Of An Angst-Ridden Sailor Who Took Out His Emotions On The Wrong Bird”  by Samuel Taylor Coleridge “13 Ways To Have No Chill When It Late At Night & You Lonely AF”  by Edgar Allan Poe “This Tyger Is Way Too Turnt” by William Blake “3 Foods You Never Knew You Could Compare To Your Dreams” by Langston Hughes

Richard Dawkins

Ex-Pope Benedict says the Selfish Gene is science fiction. He’s half right

The Selfish Gene is a brilliant phrase. It’s also accurate, so long as you realise that “selfish” doesn’t mean selfish, “gene” doesn’t mean gene, and the definite article is a bit of an abstraction. But taken as the literal truth, it’s about as much use as “In the beginning was the word”. Given Dawkins’s hostility to everyone else’s metaphysics, this is an unfortunate weakness. “Science fiction” may not be the…