Tag: teaching

  • The Trick of Teaching: Magic and the Classroom

    The Trick of Teaching: Magic and the Classroom

    Since the title of my recent book is The Last Vanishing Man (and the title story includes historically-accurate descriptions of stage illusions), it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love everything having to do with magic β€” the lore, the history, the illusions, the beliefs in some sort of “real” magic (what does “real” mean?),…

  • He Gave Us Each Other: In Memory of Jeffrey Pratt Beedy

    He Gave Us Each Other: In Memory of Jeffrey Pratt Beedy

    Today, I gathered with friends, colleagues, acquaintances, former students, former teachers, and former staff members at the New Hampton School, the high school I graduated from in 1994 and then returned to for my first job after college, a job I planned to stay at for a year or two and ended up staying for…

  • When It’s Fun to Grade

    When It’s Fun to Grade

    This morning I was grading work for a 2-credit, half-semester course I teach called Cluster Learning Springboard. While going from one assignment to the next, I suddenly realized I was having an emotion I don’t usually associate with grading: joy. It was legitimately fun to see what the students had created. If you are a…

  • The Strength of Kindness

    The Strength of Kindness

    1. Take a moment, settle yourself, and note your immediate emotional response to these words: kindnessjoycontemplationgenerositylovepeace Now think about them in the context of your work. Would your work be better if there were more of these things? Do you feel that they are relevant to what you do every day? I’ll be honest: a…

  • Poor Queer Studies for a Society of Outsiders

    Poor Queer Studies for a Society of Outsiders

    At this year’s MLA Convention, I am honored to be on a panel devoted to “Woolf’s 21st Century Academia”, a panel sponsored by the International Virginia Woolf Society. My presentation, “Poor Queer Studies for a Society of Outsiders” positions Woolf’s Three Guineas alongside Matt Brim’s Poor Queer Studies. However, once I really got into it,…

  • The Good, The Bad, and the Interdisciplinary

    The Good, The Bad, and the Interdisciplinary

    Interdisciplinarity is one of those words, like openness and diversity, that many people in academia like to affirm as a positive value, but when it comes to building the structures and supports necessary for it to be a meaningful practice, things get complicated, challenging, frustrating. The idea of interdisciplinarity is appealing, but the implications may…

  • Instead of Rigor: Play and Risk

    Instead of Rigor: Play and Risk

    Buildings and bridgesare made to bend in the windto withstand the worldthat’s what it takes.All that steel and stoneis no match for the air, my friendwhat doesn’t bend breakswhat doesn’t bend breaks… β€”Ani Di Franco How Does Rigor Mean? Among educators, the word rigor often has a talismanic power. That power may come from a…

  • Show & Tell

    Show & Tell

    Last weekend, I took an online seminar (via The Shipman Agency) led by Garth Greenwell, one of my favorite contemporary American writers, titled “Some Recent Queer Aesthetics”. It was glorious and exactly what I needed β€” during the pandemic, for various reasons, I’ve been feeling disconnected from both body and being, disconnected from communities, and,…

  • MLA 2020: “(Against) The Syllabus as an Instrument of Cruelty”

    MLA 2020: “(Against) The Syllabus as an Instrument of Cruelty”

    At this year’s MLA Convention, I was a member of a great panel discussing “The State of the Syllabus”. It was tremendously well attended, especially for a session on the very first day of the Convention. My contribution was a brief discussion of the syllabus as an instrument of cruelty. (Originally, I proposed it as…

  • Looking Back on Fall 2019

    Looking Back on Fall 2019

    I did not intend to abandon this site for months, but the past term was a busy one, and then the holiday break got even busier and more stressful in many ways. I’ve wanted to do some reflection on the past term, but now that past term feels very past, so I’m not going to…