the good doctor

The condemnation this weekend of a vile editorial about whether Dr. Jill Biden should retain her academic title when she becomes First Lady was gratifyingly swift, and its defense has been predictably toothless. It is not the first attack Dr. Biden has endured for her education commitments, and it certainly won’t be the last. MaybeContinue reading “the good doctor”

no better than its places

“Old Bob” was a horse that belonged to Blanford Barnard (“B.B.”) Dougherty, one of the founders of the school that became Appalachian State University, and its distinguished first president. This is “Old Bob” in 1920, led by John Adams, who “worked for the Dougherty family.” The accuracy of this photo is disputed, though. I amContinue reading “no better than its places”

the shock and the sacred

All over the country right now, teachers are being asked to work double and triple-hard. In response to widespread shuttering of schools — for weeks, maybe longer — thousands of districts are asking their staffs to create, sometimes out of nothing, credible and productive work that can be done by students from their homes orContinue reading “the shock and the sacred”

the presence of social distancing

I am probably taking my undergrads online starting Monday, as they return from spring break. This isn’t university policy yet, but it’s not NOT policy either. Most recent guidance states that “faculty may choose to take classes online as they determine best meets the needs of their classes,” and I so determine. It is timeContinue reading “the presence of social distancing”

This Syllabus is Not a Contract

It has become quite fashionable for educators and educational institutions to describe their offerings as contracts with their students. This is completely inaccurate, and misleading. I think I know why it is happening, though. I believe there is evidence that the value of education generally, and higher education specifically, is being gradually rendered suspect byContinue reading “This Syllabus is Not a Contract”

The Grim Pedagogies of “Hereditary”

  (Kinda spoilery, sorry – go see it!) Believe it or not, the most memorable moment for me in horror movie of the year Hereditary is a relatively quiet one: a mom speaking to her son. Annie looks hard at Peter, both in profile. And suddenly something true, but horrible, erupts from her lips: sheContinue reading “The Grim Pedagogies of “Hereditary””