Higher Education Webinars

The Education of Oronte Churm

Oronte Churm is the pen name of John Griswold, who teaches in the MFA program at McNeese State University, proudly nestled in Cajun country on the Louisiana Gulf.

May 21, 2008 - 11:53am
As I wrote in a couple of earlier posts (here and here), I’ve long had an interest in independent publishing. Today I have an interview with an actual owner-operator of one such literary press that I’ve been watching.
May 15, 2008 - 12:09pm
Last month I went to an organizational meeting for anyone on campus interested in teaching courses (off-campus) for people who traditionally haven’t had the chance to go to university. It’s a worthy project that would help with a number of social ills, but the organizing body doesn’t want publicity at this early stage—not everyone would be down with it politically—so I can’t offer specifics.
May 14, 2008 - 11:11am
The end of every semester is, in a sense, a finality; all those minds I’ve been living in for four months withdraw suddenly and leave only silence. But it’s also false closure, a pretense that students have learned some difficult thing once and for all, when I know good and well that Dr. Trinkle will sit reading their lab reports next fall in his office on the engineering quad, shaking his fist in the direction of the English Building.
May 7, 2008 - 8:55am
My guest today, Dinty W. Moore, is a writer and professor of English at Ohio University.
May 3, 2008 - 12:17pm
Another of the benefits of revealing my real name and location is the ability to profile remarkable people I’ve met. With Josh Birnbaum, I made it just in time: He’s graduating from Illinois in a few days with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. More importantly to both of us, he’s a very talented young photojournalist whose work I discovered for myself while writing about Unofficial St. Pat’s Day. Josh’s photos were in the Daily Illini’s galleries of the event, and I immediately googled his website. His pictures are humane, moving and witty.
May 1, 2008 - 4:22pm
Only yesterday did I hear of the death, last September, of Professor Emeritus James J. McNiece, Jr., of Northern Illinois University. Jim McNiece was my first creative writing teacher, but oddly enough I can’t remember how many classes I took with him—certainly two, maybe three. Was there an independent study? I obviously took whatever he had to give; he once bemusedly told the class that when he walked down the hall in the department, I kept popping out from behind corners to ask him even more questions. (He retired a few years after; I hope I wasn’t the last straw.)
April 24, 2008 - 2:52pm
When I was very little, my mom took me down to the Mississippi to see a river barge that had broken loose from its tug in a recent flood. It was stranded on the bank, overflowing with coal, and we walked down to the thing and touched its hull. It looked to me like a rusted building stuck awkwardly in the mud. The forces involved were terrifying.
April 18, 2008 - 11:17am
It’s been one of those weeks. Our semester is nearly done, and at first I blamed the odd events on spring, when young persons’ fancies lightly turn to thoughts of love, freedom, and playing endless video games all summer long. But there’s something else at work.
April 16, 2008 - 2:55am
Print on Demand (POD) books have been around for several years, but their production quality wasn’t good, since they’re not printed on offset presses in quantity but individually as needed on industrial inkjet printers. Until recently, binding glues often didn’t hold, cover inks were misregistered, and the paper had the look of the outhouse. Using POD—especially for self-publishing—has meant risking scam.
April 12, 2008 - 2:24pm
Or so the sign implies:

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