Last night I dreamed I was a stagehand during a metatheatrical number called “Butts in Seats.”

I saw Seton Hill’s production of The Drowsy Chaperone last night, which I loved. After I left the theater, I realized I left my hat under the seat, so I went back into the house for it. As I passed in front of the stage, Karen Glass and a line of black-clad theater technicians walked out from behind a curtain. I remember thinking to myself, “This must be the number…

My undergraduate connects the Leontes/Polixenes conflict in The Winter’s Tale to a pro wrestling “heel turn”

Today’s class on The Winter’s Tale was very much the kind of class that I hoped for when I was an undergraduate thinking, “Maybe I’d like to be an English professor.” Leontes and Polyxines in “The Winter’s Tale” grew up together, but for no good reason other than it sets the plot in motion, Leontes becomes insanely jealous of his friend’s attention to his wife Hermione. I reminded my students…

Writing a news story calls on different skills than writing a traditional essay.

Updated an older instructional handout with a bunch of new examples and some fancy red/green color coding. To write a news story, you’ll use many of the skills that help you write good personal essays; however, the two kinds of writing have important differences, so what counts as “good writing” is also different. English Essay: Driven by your thoughtful analysis of long quotations from already-published sources (written by experts). It’s a…


Paper too short? Here are actual tips for serious students, not dumb tricks your prof will notice.

Is your academic essay a bit short? First, make sure that you have formatted your draft as required (usually professors ask you to double-space). Faking a longer paper won’t make your writing any more persuasive or intelligent or analytical or factual. It won’t help you to learn what your instructor wants you to learn. My Academic Paper is Too Short