The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life conducted a survey about American’s religious beliefs, confirming our country’s religious beliefs are plumb crazy. According to the survey, most of the people who identify with Evangelical Christianity think that there’s more than one way to interpret the Bible. Huh? And that there’s more than one way to get to ‘eternal life.’ Huh? *head scratch* These beliefs seem completely counter the most fundamental of Evangelical teachings. First of all, thank God people believe this way. But, the do ironies abound. My protestant students, for instance, think the Catholics are just exactly like them, without understanding the basicRead More →

Ok, I just have to say I really like the song “Valerie.” The original is by the Zutons and it’s very catchy. But the Mark Ronson/Amy Winehouse version is great fun. I love Amy Winehouse’s voice. She sounds so jazzy and authentic. The Washington Post says this about her: Aurally, she evokes comparisons to Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington, to Dusty Springfield and Nina Simone. Hers is a voice marinated in regret and pulsing with pain, yet soaked in snarkiness while fully rooted in the saccharine sensibilities of ’60s girl groups.Read More →

Saturday was the kid’s graduation. The weekend was very frustrating and emotional for me. Frustrating because there was a lot of waiting around without anything to do, and because we had to pack up her dorm room. Emotional because…well…she’s graduating. It made me reflect nostalgically on my own high school graduation. It made me feel very old. As did listening to the 80s music at the PALS’ (Parents’ Association of the Louisiana School) graduation party. And also emotional because it means that the kid is leaving the nest. I wasn’t very sympathetic to my family when I left the nest and the kid isn’t veryRead More →

I watched Susperia the other day, which is a 70s horror movie by Dario Argento. It is considered to be a classic. It is the first part of a trilogy called “Three Mothers,” thirty years in the making. I have the second part from Netflix sitting at home. According to Rolling Stone, part three will be released this summer amidst all the big budget summer movies. The film is very strange and -very- 70s. The special effects are not very good, but the setting is very vivid. I’m not that into horror films, but this one was fun to watch. Some more threes: Three moviesRead More →

Three Gratitudes: 1. chiropractors everywhere. 2. Special K Powerbars; they taste great and have 10 grams of protein. 3. “good” students — those who actually put forth the effort. There are many of them and I often forget about them in my culture shock. ∞Read More →

Today in class, students were supposed to bring an editorial from a newspaper. More than half the students didn’t know what an editorial was or where to find it. What kind of education system do we have in this state? When students can’t tell the difference between an editorial and a news article, I get scared. I’m not talking about the more sophisticated position that questions the difference between information and persuasion, either: “there’s no such thing as information; all information is perspectival.” The students simply didn’t know the kinds of writing in a newspaper. It means that our educational system is not teaching studentsRead More →

From deep in the heart of Gen Y in higher ed: It’s time to rethink teaching public speaking, though with deeply mixed feelings. Do I teach to the new, more visual, more “parallel” (rather than linear) thinkers? Or do I try to drag them to the 19th century way of thinking, as Kathleen Jamieson would have us do in Eloquence in an Electronic Age. It’s a puzzle.

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