Oronte

John Griswold, who uses the pen name Oronte Churm at Inside Higher Ed and elsewhere, was born in Vietnam and raised in coal country in Southern Illinois. His stories, poems, and essays have appeared in War, Literature and the Arts; Brevity; Natural Bridge;  and Ninth Letter. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, listed as notable in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009, and included in The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. 3 (WW Norton).

His most recent book is a collection of essays, Pirates You Don't Know, and Other Adventures in the Examined Life (University of Georgia Press 2014). He is also the author of a novel, A Democracy of Ghosts, and a nonfiction book, Herrin: The Brief History of an Infamous American City.

He teaches in the MFA program at McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana.

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Most Recent Articles

January 23, 2008
One of the TAs in my group office had a public conniption today over her student evaluations from last semester. The packets had been put in all our mailboxes, now that grades are a done deal. Her fellow Ph.D. candidate talked her down with something about statistical variation, and how students are know-nothing, don’t-listen, can’t-do kids who will probably write better as a result of her class but resented the work of being made to learn.
January 21, 2008
The website for mtv U. has a page of video responses by professors around the country to student comments at RateMyProfessors.com. The profs are largely goodhumored and relaxed, so while their responses provide no more details than the original student comments, they somehow manage to be disarming.Except maybe Professor Adams of Pace University, accused of speaking in monotone, whom I find the most endearing of all.
January 18, 2008
My intern brought me my tray in bed this morning as usual, with my copy of Inside Higher Ed, still damp from the press, folded neatly next to my coffee and grapefruit.
January 15, 2008
One of the main benefits of studying abroad has always been the new perspective that immersion in another culture provides on one’s own. We understood that back in the fourth grade, when we were taken to see the workings of the instant pudding factory upstate, a field trip as exotic and exciting to us as the Grand Tour.
January 11, 2008
James e-mailed this week to say he’d flunked out of Hinterland. I’d had to fail him in my lecture class that ended just before the holidays, and I felt a pang of sadness and guilt.
January 8, 2008
The World's Fair, that is, one of the ScienceBlogs from Seed Media, where the barker always shouts, "All manner of human creativity on display!"
January 7, 2008
Especially when the posting is just a couple of links to fun videos? The videos in this case represent a trend I've been following, which replicates computer effects with human labor. Call it a lashback to technology's capacity to dehumanize. Call it playful. Call it a bucket-load of work for the filmmakers and performers.Here's a ping pong match, done Matrix style, but without CGI effects. Watch to the end; it's worth it.
January 2, 2008
Recently I had lunch with a materials science professor, and my family spent New Year’s with an engineer and his family.
December 28, 2007
My brother-in-law’s grandfather was kind and had an infectious laugh, but he was also a tough old bird, and to watch him eat was to be shown what he’d endured in his time. As a young man he’d been a machine-gunner in World War I, which he spoke of as a life’s adventure, and when he came home he went straight to the mines and then the munitions factory. He was middle-aged in the Depression, in already-depressed Southern Illinois.
December 21, 2007
Aaahhhhh.Hear that? That's the sound of no-students, the sound of final grades being deposited in a bank of computer servers. It's the sound of our cat, Gargantua, eating our Christmas tree.Happy holidays, everyone!

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