Category

college life

college life

How To Achieve Syllabus Efficiency

On a typical day, I prepare to teach three different texts for the three courses I’m currently teaching: Shakespeare, Early British Literature, and introductory creative writing. This seems inefficient, don’t you think? What if I could prepare only one reading for all three courses?
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October 27, 2018
college life

Salvete Omnes: Commencement Best Practices

Meanwhile, Harvard holds their commencement exercises outdoors, rain or shine. This year, there was no shine. So 32,000 damp people negotiated regalia, umbrellas, and uncomfortable folding chairs. My husband and I, in a stroke of boldness and foresight, figured out how to watch via livestream…
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June 2, 2017
artscollege life

Doing Something Else

Calvin College, where I teach, faced another brutal round of budget cuts this fall, and not surprisingly, the arts took a hard hit. I lament this deeply, though I’m not complaining. I understand all the exigencies behind it, and I gratefully acknowledge that the process…
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January 9, 2016
college life

Wolverine Pilgrimage

In the van on the way there, I wind up sitting in the way-back with my twelve-year-old niece. She is hopelessly bored, fiddling with her phone while the grownups discuss my college’s cuts to arts programs, the difficulties faced by arts organizations, recent discoveries concerning…
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October 17, 2015
college life

In Their Words: Calvin Seniors on Vocation

A week ago, I was enjoying the splendor of commencement day, saluting some fine young people that Calvin College has now unleashed on the world. (Yes, you’re welcome, world.) This fresh new batch of graduates includes my own daughter! It was my first experience as…
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May 30, 2015
college lifesilly

Hogwarts Adjusts to New Realities

“I am so glad I’m not taking Divination anymore!” Hermione had just come down from the girls’ dormitory into the Gryffindor common room. She plopped down into a squashy armchair next to Harry and Ron, looking thoroughly disgusted. “Look at this,” she said, flipping open…
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November 15, 2014
college life

Advice Season

I guess what I find annoying about ordinary (i.e., non-Calvinist) graduation advice is that it’s so vague and general and far too easy. The speaker lays down these wise-sounding words and then waltzes off, carefree, to the banquet luncheon. He or she doesn’t have to…
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May 17, 2014
college life

Engage Your Core

I don’t think I am very good at engaging my core. I guess it kind of means pulling in your stomach muscles (“navel to spine”), but when I’m balancing and folding and twisting I have other things to think about, especially at 6:52 in the…
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July 12, 2013