Back in the MLA

As the humanities decline in the United States, the country is losing the craft of understanding, losing its capacity for citizenship. Even educated people are increasingly unable and unwilling to distinguish between fake and real information, becoming a community that cannot understand itself as anything more than a circulation of figures. Self-righteousness takes the place of substantive discussion. Narcissism and outrage become the dominant techniques of self-definition. And the cure…

Myths about “Learning Styles Persist in Society

I first heard the formalized theories about “learning styles” as a junior faculty member, at a faculty workshop. I didn’t build my whole pedagogy around it, but it was one of the things I thought about, especially in the context of encouraging students to take intellectual risks with multimodal student projects (rather than just fun using their tools in the way they were accustomed to using them). Many people, including…

Quantum’s King Lear at Carrie Blast Furnace

The girl and I were thrilled to catch Quantum Theatre’s outdoor production of King Lear. The smell of a storm in the air, gusting wind, piped-in industrial sounds (metallic groans and rumbles) and the knowledge that the only reason we were able to get tickets was this was a special add-on performance to make up for a show that was rained out over the weekend all added to the tension…

Skin of Evil (TNG Rewatch, Season 1 Episode 23)

My rewatch reflection on the Star Trek:TNG episode “Skin of Evil,” in which the crew encounters a malignant oil slick. Some good character moments with Worf and Yar, and some good solo acting from Marina Sirtis as Troi psychoanalyzes a disembodied voice. While I appreciate the Roddenberrian argument against playing along with a power-mad enemy’s sick games, dramatizing a that philosophical concept is not enough to carry a full episode. If you’re a fan the final holodeck send-off scene is worth watching but overall it’s a weak episode.