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Facebook, Now You Remind Me of a Half-Drunk Cocktail Party Schmoozer

Last week, Facebook asked me what sportsing teams I cared about (and helpfully supplied me with a list of the teams I’d be statistically most likely to favor if I had any interest in sportsing). Now Facebook is asking me what TV shows I’ve  watched. Well, yes, I’ve watched episodes of each of these shows, but I have no particular desire to define my online presence (and thus the marketing targeted to…

Show, Don't (Just) Tell

Show, Don’t (Just) Tell (New Example)

I wrote down this example on a student paper a while ago, and thought I’d add it to my existing handout on showing and telling. Winning is important to me. It doesn’t matter to me what I do, so long as I win.  Unengaging and unconvincing. This is like saying “I am a hard worker” or “I am a fast learner.” Anyone can make those claims, but without proof they…

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What Makes Ohio State the Most Unequal Public University in America?

So while university presidents are making huge salaries, Tom Frank explains, students “borrowed and forked over enormous sums in exchange for the privilege of hearing lectures…lectures that were then delivered by people who earned barely enough to stay alive. It is a double disaster of the kind that only we Americans are capable of pulling off.” The schools that followed OSU on the “most unequal” list were, in order, Penn…

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A Classicist Goes to Work in Silicon Valley

Kristina Chew writes about what her friend called “the most creative career change ever.” It turns out a humanities Ph.D. can provide you with precisely the opposite of what people think—skills that are applicable and even useful outside the academy. Graduate training provides one with well-honed research and analytical skills as well as the steadfastness to soldier on with a project in which progress comes slowly and with little immediate…

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Microsoft Research Launches Code Hunt Game to Teach Programming

Another item for the “when I’m finished with my current to-do list” list. Instead of presenting you with a problem and comparing your solution to a set of fixed test cases, Code Hunt presents an empty slate and a set of constantly changing test cases. It thus teaches coding as a side consequence of solving a problem by matching inputs and outputs, Microsoft explains. Let’s be honest, learning certain aspects…

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Has life in the age of casual magic made moviegoers numb to the amazing?

This is one of the reasons I’ve become more interested in local theater. The dropped lines, unexpected blackouts, and last-minute casting replacements are what makes it so much more engaging to me than a slick professional production. Avatar left me completely numb… yes the visuals were stunning, but I feel much more connected to fantasy characters in a BBC-TV video production from the 1980s. We are living in an age…

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Ethics of standardized testing

A blogger who had a much worse day than I did writes: Today I finished administering the sixth day of New York State Common Core assessments. I was a facilitator in a process that made my 10 year old students struggle,to the point of frustration, to complete yet another 90 minute test. I sat by as I watched my students attempt to answer questions today that were beyond their abilities.…

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Video Resumes

I’m thinking of asking students in a media class next term to make a video resume. Zulic came across one applicant for a marketing job who had posted a three-minute YouTube video highlighting some of her prior work, along with her future ambitions. She got the job, beating out hundreds of others. Such video resumes will probably become more common, but for now, a well-made video seems sure to get…