Browsed by
Author: admin

Snow

Snow

There is something mesmerizing about the first big snowfall every winter. The world is muffled, slowed. Everything feels at once more still and more alive. The atmosphere quiets, just before the snow starts. The air seems to be holding its breath. The birds hunker down instead of twittering in the bushes. And then it begins. Tiny. Impossibly tiny flakes. It is hard to imagine that something so small can pile up into drifts so large. And yet, it sticks. You…

Read More Read More

Up North

Up North

I love the phrase “Up North,” which, in Michigan and Minnesota, indicates not just a direction but an ethos. It is a place to go when you need to relax, to pay more attention to sunsets and lake water temperatures than email. For many, Up North is a ritual or habit — renting the same place Up North for the same week every summer, or owning a cabin Up North and retreating to it whenever possible. Up North is where…

Read More Read More

how to live your best sabbatical life (installment #1)

how to live your best sabbatical life (installment #1)

This afternoon, I re-learned the fact that if you are banging your head against a writing wall, you can just stop trying to work on the thing. You can doze off on the couch instead, for as long as your brains feel like sleeping. And then when you wake up, you can make yourself a brownie sundae, using the homemade strawberry-rhubarb sauce your friend gifted you recently, which has been sitting in your fridge just waiting patiently for someone to…

Read More Read More

Finding time

Finding time

I’ve tried a lot to write here in the last nine months. Or possibly I’ve only thought about writing here. It’s hard to know because time has felt both stretched and compressed, unclockable and relentless. And it’s often difficult to tell the difference between things I’ve been meaning to do and things I’ve done. But I turned in final grades for this module, and I can imagine breathing again, so I sat down just now to write a thing. Narrating…

Read More Read More

Journals & bibliographic style

Journals & bibliographic style

The first time I ever saw anyone do an uncontrolled jig of sheer appreciative agreement while sitting in a conference presentation room chair was last week. I may be immodest for saying so, but it was in response to a comment of mine. I said that academic journals should not ask authors to make formatting conversions of any kind in order to submit an essay. I heard at least one “huzzah!” in addition to seeing the jig. And so, because…

Read More Read More

Borrow these ideas

Borrow these ideas

There is a lot of brilliance to read right now about teaching for the coming year. So much, in fact, that it can be hard to wade through. We’re all working to figure out how to shift our modes of delivery to include far more asynchronous and online content than we normally have and, hopefully, far less panic than we had during the sudden pivot this spring. And we’re all talking about what we’re thinking. And it is a lot….

Read More Read More

Resilient Design for Remote Teaching and Learning

Resilient Design for Remote Teaching and Learning

Starting in March, my college, like many across the nation, had to require faculty, staff, and students to pivot to remote teaching and learning in response to the public health risks of Covid-19. We were lucky. We had two weeks of warning and some emergency training in online teaching tools and methods. As plenty of people have articulated, what we faculty across the globe were doing was not best practices for online course development, but triage. Some things we did…

Read More Read More

On the necessity of art

On the necessity of art

If the orders to isolate ourselves in our homes have shown us anything in the last few months, it is that human beings turn instinctively to the arts when we feel things deeply. Isolation, depression, and abiding worry cannot go undocumented; our psyches demand both that we express great pain and that we build for ourselves modes of coping that will help us feel less alone. Reading novels and watching dancers and looking at paintings produces pleasure in a world…

Read More Read More

Not just business as usual

Not just business as usual

I’m in week one of remote teaching and learning, after a two-week “break” during which faculty were frenetically retooling classes, and students were trying to figure out what to pack up and where to take it. My campus has been pretty spectacular about offering all kinds of support systems — from a food pantry and emergency grants for students to tenure clock pauses and revised (extremely humane) policies for faculty course evaluations to careful plans executed so as not to…

Read More Read More

Sidewalk poetry

Sidewalk poetry

The city of Saint Paul has stamped poetry into its sidewalks. Scattered throughout neighborhoods in a wide swathe between the capitol and the Mississippi River, the poems turn up sporadically enough that they always feel like surprise gifts underfoot. Each is brief enough to fit into a single sidewalk panel. I have seen dozens of them in the last five years. Some are little riddles, and some offer quiet introspection, and some are just flashes of an image. I cannot…

Read More Read More

css.php