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June 8, 2007
Some of you were curious if the man in the slideshow in my previous post is me. Alas, no.
June 7, 2007
Sometimes, when you've finished reading 56,000 exams, you have to take a break and go see a big concrete chicken and a wax dummy of Colonel
June 6, 2007
Everyone focuses on neurasthenic high school juniors desperate to get into good colleges, but let's shift for a moment to the professors awaiting them.Today's New York Times features exactly the sort of student I want to see in my classrooms at George Washington University. He's independent, odd, intellectually curious, and living a somewhat difficult life. I'm thrilled that our admissions committee saw what there was to see in him.
June 6, 2007
Here was my day, in a sentence: “The past of the character greatly contributes to the meaning of the novel as a whole.” Indeed. Many, many AP English Lit essays I graded today began with the same startling insight. Please pass the hemlock.
June 6, 2007
If I knew the literature well enough, I'd start developing a theory of academic gossip. As it is, I'm stuck at the level of observations.Over the past few months, some really provocative pieces of gossip have been flying around campus. (Happily, I haven't been the star of any of them.) I've heard the same (or closely related) rumors from multiple sources, each from a different angle. As a piece of anthropological fieldwork, it's kind of fun.
June 5, 2007
According to this article in the Boston Globe, Gov. Patrick is considering a plan to make community colleges in Massachusetts tuition-free by 2015. As appealing as the idea is at first glance, I have to recommend against it.
June 5, 2007
Jim Barkus, Chief Reader for AP Literature, told us our punctuality each day and steady application to the task of reading student essays would get the job done by Saturday evening; we weren’t to worry about our speed. It’s a little hard not to think of speed, though.

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