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The Day I Stopped Saying ‘Hurry Up’

Adorable photos help tell this story about a type-A parent realizing she’s been blessed with a type-B child. “You don’t have to rush. Just take your time,” I said gently. Her whole face instantly brightened and her shoulders relaxed. And so we sat side-by-side talking about things that ukulele-playing-6-year-olds talk about. There were even moments when we sat in silence just smiling at each other and admiring the sights and…

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Summer Project: Responsive Web Design

I spent more time than I’d like to admit this summer redesigning my WordPress website. The new theme emphasizes thumbnails, which are very easy to create on an iPad or handheld and upload via the WordPress iOS app. Most important for me, though, is the fact that this new theme is responsive — that is, it arranges the content in a manner that is useful for very narrow screens through…

Family catch and eat octopus with six tentacles during Greek vacation

I keep a silly personal blog devoted to a six-legged toy that both my kids have outgrown but which still amuses me. I sometimes use that blog, and that toy, in classroom activities, and occasionally students develop an affection for what I called a “hectopus” (combining “hexagon” with “octopus,” though I concede “hexapus” would have been a better choice). Anyway, one of my former students sent me this story about…

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Feeling a bit puzzled by the “Twitter Tools” plugin

I really like MailChimp’s “Social” plugin, which not only publishes a WordPress blog entry to Twitter and Facebook, but also collects responses from Twitter and Facebook users and collects them as WordPress comments. Today I installed a different plugin, Twitter Tools, which is really just a single tool — it lets you create a WordPress post via tweet. One problem — when I then try to publish the resulting WordPress…

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Positive Feedback on a Blogging Assignment

A former student who is now excelling in grad school took a moment to share her thoughts about my blogging portfolio assignment, which is usually 25-40% of a student’s grade. In April, a different former student who had blogged for me  in several classes, whom I invited as a career workshop guest, surprised me by saying: “Every job I’ve had since I graduated from college has been because of my…

Why You Should Blog to Get Your Next Job

It’s your resume, only better: Everyone has a resume. But a blog allows you to highlight the skills on your resume, times ten. For example, if you’re a writer, you can flex your writing muscles and post examples of your creative writing. Even if you’re a tax accountant, you can write your thought-provoking opinions on some of the new tax laws or add a testimonial from a happy client. Just…

Academic blogging: pleasure and credit

To be honest, I’m not optimistic that there’s a way to gain the recognition that many academic bloggers have longed for without destroying what I believe is the real value of academic blogging, which is in many ways about pleasing yourself, escaping the targets and the quotas and the faceless bean-counters; about communicating and sharing through spontaneity and idiosyncratic self-expression. (So, I don’t blog for weeks at a time; and…