It stands to reason that the traits praised by educators are the ones they see as the goal of education. My own report cards from elementary school provide an interesting window into this question.
I am overjoyed to announce that I am part of a brand-new project, The Bais Yaakov Project. The website is still being built, with support from The CUNY Graduate Center's New Media Lab, and will hopefully go live in early 2019. The Project: The Bais Yaakov Project is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and digitization of … Continue reading Announcing: The Bais Yaakov Project!
Sherman Alexie's essay "The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me" includes a paragraph about paragraphs: I still remember the exact moment when I first understood, with a sudden clarity, the purpose of a paragraph... I realized that a paragraph was a fence that held words. The words inside the paragraph worked together for … Continue reading Comics as a Tool for Summarizing and Understanding Essays
When I was offered a course on Critical Approaches to Children's Literature at Lehman College for the fall semester, I was super-excited to get started on my syllabus. There's so much I can do in a course like that! And then as I started putting it together, I got more and more frustrated with it: … Continue reading Syllabus Creation: A Nightmare Within a Dream
Yesterday was the first day of class for my two composition sections at College of Staten Island. Both sections meet once a week for four hours each week - a grueling schedule for any class, and even worse when the point of the class is learning how to write, and when four (FOUR) essays are … Continue reading Release and Relief on the First Day of Class
I recently helped a friend who was struggling in her undergraduate classes. Her writing is excellent; she's brilliant. But her organization was a mess. As soon as we sat down to begin working, she sheepishly admitted that her organization is terrible, and apologized profusely as she struggled to find the assignment sheet in her email, … Continue reading A Little Organization Goes a Long Way
Medieval studies has become a site of tension as the field is one of the last to interrogate its approaches, methodologies, effects, and responsibilities. Over the last few years, with the rise of white supremacists across America and Europe, medieval scholars have ramped up efforts that were already underway to bring a more nuanced and … Continue reading Kalamazoo 2019 Can Be #TheFutureWeWant
As the summer begins to wind down for me (what, it just started? ah well, it's almost over too), I'm beginning to put together my fall syllabi in earnest. I'm teaching two sections of first-year writing at a new campus, the College of Staten Island, and as with every campus, I need to tweak my … Continue reading Setting the Bar Low: Teaching Students to Draft
I'm organizing a panel at the 2019 International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo! I'm super-excited about this. I've shared the CFP in multiple medieval places, and I'll continue doing so. I know sharing it on this blog isn't exactly going to generate submissions... But I'm proud of the call, and I want to share … Continue reading Call for Papers: Kalamazoo 2019
At a Kalamazoo ICMS roundtable titled "Teaching Violence and Trauma in the Premodern Classroom (A Roundtable)," the question arose: How do we get our students to understand that the violence and horrors depicted in the literary and historical texts are not necessarily representative of the realities of the time? I was reminded of an exercise … Continue reading Literary Hindsight: Teaching Medieval Love and Violence