Category Archives: Teaching

There, Their and They’re – What Word Choice Says about the Chooser

Many grammatical or diction errors are easily forgiven, especially in English as it is spoken in North America. Because the countries of North America, such as Canada and United States—and less so Mexico—are largely immigrant cultures, there is a lot … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching, Writing | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on There, Their and They’re – What Word Choice Says about the Chooser

The Flat Earth Experience

In his The Time Machine Weena tries to throw herself in the fire because she has never seen flames before. She doesn’t know that it will burn her and that she should exercise care. She is a figure of profound … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Culture, Supernatural, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on The Flat Earth Experience

Serendipity and Other People’s Hard Work: Contributing to Intellectual Society

Many years ago, when I used to build computers from found parts, installing hard drives was much more of an ordeal. You needed to look up the serial number of the hard drive in a database—if you were lucky enough … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Internet, Mars, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Serendipity and Other People’s Hard Work: Contributing to Intellectual Society

The Winter Solstice and Trying to Explain the Movement of the Sun

Many years ago I found myself trying to explain the movement of the sun during the winter to a class in Victoria, British Columbia, and ever since I have been struck by how cultural knowledge can be allowed or disallowed … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Peoples, Culture, History, Literature, Teaching | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on The Winter Solstice and Trying to Explain the Movement of the Sun

The Best line from a Student Paper

Although I have read many great student sentences over the years, probably the most memorable one is from my student’s essay when I was teaching in the United States. One of my students was writing about Frederick Douglass, the famous … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Teaching, Writing | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on The Best line from a Student Paper

How Using Academic Research is like being in an Argentinian Argument

Although many academics tacitly accept that research makes a paper stronger, they don’t exactly examine that premise. In fact, if the paper is well argued, and has evidence it has garnered from the primary text(s), other sources are superfluous. They … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Teaching, Writing | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on How Using Academic Research is like being in an Argentinian Argument

What I Learned in Graduate School

By the time students enter university they are not limited to learning from their professors. They still find information in the classroom, and can mine the textbooks for still more, but much of the learning is done by discussing ideas … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Teaching | Tagged , | Comments Off on What I Learned in Graduate School

Killing Kids in Books and Film

Perhaps because I teach courses about apocalyptic literature, and I’m an avid fan of end of the world stories, I have read and watched enough of the genre that I’ve noted a significant, if not disturbing trend. This is a … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Post-Apocalyptic, Teaching, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Killing Kids in Books and Film

The Type of Material for My Class

I often assign in-class essays for my foreign students and I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what might be the most effective exercise for their skills. To be fair, or perhaps just, I try to avoid … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Culture, Teaching, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Type of Material for My Class

The Stars of the Herschels and the Books of our Library

I was thinking of Caroline and William Herschel tonight, counting the many thousands of visible stars, not once being daunted by the enormous task. For most people in the cities, who only hear about the stars by report, or see … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Culture, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Stars of the Herschels and the Books of our Library