Sometimes I find myself reverting back to Strunk and White when grading student papers, writing in the margins that the best writing is efficient writing. As a college student, I was a member of the nationally respected (and feared? ) Morehead State University Individual Events speech team. Luckily, I learn efficient writing early on and practiced it, literally, every weekend as I delivered all of those speeches at colleges and universities around the midwest. With only 7 to 10 minutes to speak, every word was carefully chosen and powerfully concise. If you’re looking to improve your various writing styles, one of these books may be the ‘coach’ you need.
Forbes magazine’s Halah Touryalai reports that one-third of millennials regret going to college. Is higher education falling down the ivory tower?
I know that once flowers fade we’re not supposed to find them beautiful, but I must admit I found my first peonies of the spring beautiful, even as they were withering away. There’s so much life around us in the spring and summertime. But even as the living transitions into decay, there’s still something wonderful about that movement.
As a part of the 2013 Instructional Technology Immersion Seminar several faculty members are learning new ways to incorporate technology into our classrooms. More importantly, I’m realizing all of the ways in which these technologies can help you, the student, too. Being able to include as many technologies into your resume as possible can help you seperate yourself from your peer pack. Here’s a simple example of how you can use SlideRocket from Google.
It’s Monday. It’s the first Monday of summer break, or as I choose to look at it, the first Monday of my sabbatical. I know that technically my sabbatical doesn’t begin until the fall semester, but why put off until August what I can call sabbatical today? In honor of this eagerly awaited time, I thought I’d write some simple goals I’m looking forward to during this time.
Starting today, by my count, I have 245 days to try and replenish and accomplish much. My first goal is to:
Read 35 books while on sabbatical. It’s a modest goal– a book a week, so let’s cross our fingers that we can do it.
Goal number two:
Watch a movie each day. I do teach film courses after all and will be teaching a new film course when I return in January 2014, so this seems a tad significant.
Goal number three:
Focus on me. Make me happy. I don’t know how I can quantify that, but just this past week I feel like I’ve done more for myself than I have done in a very long time. That needs to continue.
Goal number four:
This is a good list as far as I’m concerned. I shall take it all as I am able and see fit. I am so very, very grateful for that.
Today, my sabbatical began. Well, I guess, technically it didn’t because my sabbatical is for the fall semester making today the first day of summer break. Does it really matter? To me, no. Perhaps to you it does… whoever ‘you’ are. I came downstairs after pulling myself away from the wonderful “The Orchardist,” and saw this rose. For a hundred years at Columbia College, students have been participating in the graduation tradition known as Ivy Chain. At this beautiful ceremony, students can give a rose to those people who have helped them succeed at the College. Yesterday I had the pleasure of receiving one from Presidential Award winner Kaitlyn Cavanah, a 4.0 graduate in Accounting. What a force of nature she is and what a pleasure it has been to know her over the last four years.
The Department of Defense reports that in 2012, military sexual assaults rose to over 26,000– an increase of one-third since 2010. This comes on the heels of the disgusting irony that Lt. Col. Jeffrey Kruskinski, who himself led the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, was charged with sexual battery on Sunday. This disgusts me. In all of the talk of honor, valor, and pride in the United States military, the glut of sexual assaults, reported and unreported, is a blight of arrogance, privilege, and dishonor. This February, the documentary The Invisible War vied for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards, putting too many faces to these crimes. This issue of military assault cannot be ignored.
Please contact your Representatives in Congress and the Senate to help enact measures like the Ruth Moore Act of 2013 to forge a solution to this scourge on the dignity of our servicemen and women.
This morning I did something so cool. I read. I started a book of fiction that I read for myself. “The Orchardist” isn’t for school. It isn’t for a scholarly paper. I’m reading it for the sheer pleasure and joy of reading wondrous words written for the art of the English language. It was lovely. In honor of the joys of reading, here’s my guy Paul Newman engaging in the same wonderful activity.
Thursday, I went to my mailbox and took a deep, springtime breath of fresh air. It smelled so good and I wondered what it was? Pear tree? Flowers? Two hours later my throat felt like it was made of broken glass. Swallowing was painful and I knew I was in the clutches of an allergy attack. This attack has throttled and beaten me down the past few days. I’ve been ingesting vitamins and herbs in a desperate attempt to unclog my head and lungs as fast as possible. Nutriferon, alfalfa, licorice, echinacea– you name it, I’m trying it. Today, I left my home to go into town– a brave venture that I was sure was going to lead to heavy sweating and fever-breaking. As soon as I opened my door I saw the signs of spring, the lovely signs. I’m excited to see more and more flowers along my congestion-free path in the months ahead. These pansies were a lovely start.