To the Class of 2006

On the occasion of graduation, an excerpt from Alan Lightman’s novel, Reunion (in which the narrator attends his 30th college graduation reunion): “Young people explode with their discovery of the world and the newness of life. They sleep and sleep in their tiny cocoons, and suddenly one day, perhaps in one moment, as in theContinue reading “To the Class of 2006”

Student (Dis)Engagement?

From “A Very Long Disengagement” by Mark Bauerlein, Chronicle of Higher Education (6 January 2006): “Last spring Nielsen Media Research reported that the average college student watches 3 hours 41 minutes of television each day. . . . Last year the National Survey of Student Engagement found that 44 percent of first-year students never discussContinue reading “Student (Dis)Engagement?”

Classroom Dynamics

“Any questions?” asked Howard. The answer to this never changed. Silence. But it was an interesting breed of silence particular to upscale liberal arts colleges. It was not silent because nobody had anything to say — quite the opposite. You could feel it, Howard could feel it, millions of things to say brewing in thisContinue reading “Classroom Dynamics”

Kids are Funny, Part Deux

More conversations in the household — 10 Year Old Son: There are too many girls in my Sunday school class. Father: How can that be? That’s like saying there are too many flowers. 5 Year Old Son: Boys and girls are enemies. Father: What?! 5 Year Old Son: Like England and France. I don’t knowContinue reading “Kids are Funny, Part Deux”

What’s up with the hats?

I dislike the look of people who wear hats backwards (a.k.a., “hat boys”). Reading Patrick Allitt’s book, I’m the Teacher, You’re the Student, I realized why. Allitt, who teaches history at Emory, writes: “Then came the trend, starting around 1994, to wear the hats backward, with the bill sticking out behind and the adjustable plasticContinue reading “What’s up with the hats?”