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My Problem With National Novel Writing Month

I love National Novel Writing Month! It’s fall, so it’s time to start thinking about what I’ll write in November! (so far I’m as far as “no idea,” “probably fantasy but idk,” and “definitely not my main fantasy series”) I’ve done NaNoWriMo every year since 2005. I’ve won NaNoWriMo every year since 2005. That’s atContinue reading “My Problem With National Novel Writing Month”

One Easy Trick To Write More Words

Yeah, sorry for the clickbait headline again. I’m kind of enjoying it, though. But I promise I won’t make you read through thirty slides. I don’t do that. Anyway, today I want to talk about the trick I’ve used to write pretty much anything I’ve ever finished: dissertation, novel drafts, articles, you name it. Write-ins.Continue reading “One Easy Trick To Write More Words”

The Walled Garden

One day in graduate school, I told to my thesis adviser (and later dissertation adviser) that I felt like I was being kept in a walled garden in the English department. English as a discipline had appealed to me initially because it’s so diverse in their topics and methods of study. Here, I could borrowContinue reading “The Walled Garden”

They and We: Ways We Talk About Students

One of the most important principles in my pedagogy is respect for students. Students are not a problem to be solved; they are complex human beings whom we are serving through pedagogy. It is not our job to impress upon them our own ways, but rather our job is to support them in becoming whoContinue reading “They and We: Ways We Talk About Students”

One Weird Trick To Become A Better Teacher

Study improvisational theater. Seriously. That’s the trick. I mean it. If I could add one required course to all pedagogy curricula, it would be one that teaches improvisational games, like the sort you see on Who’s Line Is It Anyway. I never had to take such a course. I was never a drama kid (IContinue reading “One Weird Trick To Become A Better Teacher”

Icebreakers: Broken or Cool?

I’m reaching the end of the first week of the fall semester at my institution; you might be just getting ready to start or maybe you’ve been holding classes for a couple weeks. So of course you’re probably thinking about those awkward first classes yourself, like I am. Like most people who have been teachingContinue reading “Icebreakers: Broken or Cool?”

The Problem With Required Syllabus Language

It’s August, which of course for all of us teachers, we’re dusting off our syllabi and getting excited about some new teaching technique that we can’t wait to try and abandon when it turns out to be entirely unrealistic for our excessive teaching loads[1]. I recently read an excellent syllabus that balanced clever on-topic graphicalContinue reading “The Problem With Required Syllabus Language”