high-school-poems
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High School Poems in a College Writing Workshop

Poems that you wrote in high school to celebrate a first love, work through a painful breakup, or say goodbye to friends at graduation may be of extreme personal value to you; but if such poems are historical artifacts — if you value them as definitive records of the way you felt at that time — they won’t work terribly well as submissions for college writing classes, since most professors…

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The Unstoppable Rise of the Digital Content Creator

This is why I have been encouraging blogging for years. Unlike social media posts, that are fodder that generate income for someone else, a blog lets you accrue content for yourself, on your own terms, building up your personal credibility as a source of reliable and timely links, commentary, and perspective. Of course you can create content on platforms other than your blog, but if you blog about that content,…

TheBoat
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The Boat (Graphic Novel)

My mother had a cousin who served in Viet Nam. In the late 70s, he brought dozens of Vietnamese refugees to America, and one summer there were 30-40 Vietnamese men and boys living in my house, sleeping shoulder-to-shoulder on the floor of our rec room, as Cousin Jim worked out places for them to stay, and eventually started up a furniture business to help them earn a living. As a…

21WARGAMES-master675
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‘WarGames’ and Cybersecurity’s Debt to a Hollywood Hack

After finishing his synopsis, Reagan turned to Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and asked: “Could something like this really happen?” Could someone break into our most sensitive computers? General Vessey said he would look into it. One week later, the general returned to the White House with his answer. “WarGames,” it turned out, wasn’t far-fetched. “Mr. president,” he said, “the problem is…

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The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens

That feeling when you hit a million followers, make more money than your mom, push a diet pill scheme, lose your blog, and turn 16. | When I began reporting on the world of Tumblr teens, I first wanted to explain the absurdist comedy of Pizza and dozens of other Tumblrs like hers. But I soon discovered a secret world hidden in plain sight, one in which teenagers, through wit and…

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Don’t Be Cruel

[M]angled syntax, disordered thinking, and frequent error happen to be hallmarks of a novice writer learning a new discourse. If we incorrectly assume they reflect a lack of effort or character — and base our feedback on that assumption — we do our students a disservice and risk inflicting real damage. | It takes enormous amounts of time and mental energy to craft substantive, constructive comments that will truly help students…