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Overwhelmed? Start a new to-do list with “1) Breathe; 2) Make ‘to-do’ list”

Felt momentarily overwhelmed by the day’s tasks. Made the following list:   1) Breathe. 2) Make “to do” list. 3) Post blog entry about “to do” list. 4) Go to lunch. 5) Prioritize to-do list. (Break up the intimidating tasks into smaller steps.) 6) Do first important item on list. (Repeat as necessary.)   I’m off to lunch.

A Few Good Men at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre

Fantastic performances, powerful writing. 30 years ago when this play had its pre-Broadway tryout at the University of Virginia, I wrote a review for the University Journal. (I just sent an email to the U.Va. library in the hopes of tracking down that review.) Director Marya Sea Kaminski, who consistently introduces herself as someone who “serves” the Pubic Theater as artistic director, has put together a rousing companion piece to…

Inverted Pyramid, #SharpieGate edition

Context: Sunday, President Trump tweeted a supportive message for people in the path of Hurricane Dorian; however, he included Alabama in the list of states in the path of the storm. Within minutes the National Weather Service posted a statement asserting that Alabama would not be affected. As usual, Trump doubled down when facing any opposition, and variously asserted that he was operating on new information, and that he was…

Reporters accurately repeat what VP spokesperson says; different official cites “misreporting”

The media reports that on an official trip to Ireland, VP Pence will not stay in the vicinity where he is doing work, but his entourage will fly 180 miles away to stay at a Trump-owned property. To respond to public criticism, the Pence camp organizes a media event, where the main speaker is the VP’s spokesman, Marc Short, who says Trump said, “Well, you should stay at my place.”…

What Critics of Student Writing Get Wrong

  [T]o improve as writers, students need to write frequently, for meaningful reasons, to readers who respond as actual readers do — with interest in ideas, puzzlement over lack of clarity or logic, and feedback about how to think more deeply and write more clearly to accomplish the writer’s purposes. There is no shortcut… When opinion columnists opine that “our students can’t write,” they mean that students can’t put together…