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Essays and Musings

Though a blog would be lovely, I’ve discovered repeatedly over time that I have not the diarist’s spirit. Here, then, are some more fleshed-out thoughts that seemed worth sharing. Please enjoy!

On Failure

Rather than saying merely that failure is “okay,” I think comp/rhet teaches two related but different things about failure: that it is inevitable, and that it is interesting.

On the MLA, Citations, and Digital Literacy as Modern Language

The unfortunate thing about the MLA guidelines is that, even when URLs are available, the message sent by making them optional is that they’re tricky, burdensome, and in any case not all that important. Not so.

Transparency as Obscurantism (on gift-giving, performance, and pedagogy)

Gift certificates have gotten me thinking: what if transparency in the classroom, like transparency in gift-giving, destroys an illusion that’s needed for classrooms to work? Maybe what makes my students uncomfortable isn’t the realization that teachers are only human, but rather the way in which that realization is being thrust in their faces.

On Mean Means, and What a Mean Might Mean

A grade of C can be “average” only if it takes into account the entire population, not just those in school – if people who have never even encountered the course material are treated as failing the course.

On SEO and the Ubiquity of My Name

It unnerves me to think that those I would try to impress, those who I believe do share my own aesthetic, would look me up and think I’d been found. So what to do, then, with this name, this ungooglable name?

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