Shakespeare on Eclipses

Prepping for tomorrow’s first meeting of my Shakespeare class. In 1598, during Shakespeare’s lifetime, England experienced a total solar eclipse, with the path of totality tracking from Cornwall in the southwest up to Aberdeen in Scotland. As we in the twenty-first century prepare for the Great American Eclipse on Aug 21, let’s look at three of the ways Shakespeare used eclipses in his plays and poems: 1. An eclipse as an ill…

The Distracted Classroom: Transparency, Autonomy, and Pedagogy

I don’t ban technology in my classroom, even though I know some students can’t manage the potential distraction. (An early assignment in my freshman writing class demonstrates that multitasking is a lie — we can only pay attention to one thing at a time,,and though we can do something routine like fold laundry while also watching TV, we stop watching TV if we lose a sock, and we stop folding…

The Feynman Technique

To master a topic, pretend you are teaching it to someone. Use simple language and analogies. If you stumble, study the topic some more, then try again. Richard Feynman was a physicist who received a nobel prize for his work in quantum electrodynamics. He was notorious for asking his mathematicians to explain concepts in simple language to test their understanding. Here his unique technique to learn new materials: Step 1.…