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Monthly Archives: July 2013



If you like conciseness and efficiency, the Japanese goods store Daiso offers these small cards for $1.50 each package.
On Telegraph in Berkeley.


“Before and after”

“Before and after”

How are you filling the spaces in between, friends?

Self pity

By D.H. Lawrence

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.


How does Lawrence know this? Does he speak sparrow?
Even if the bird did feel sorry for itself, the result is the same: bird’s dead.
Nature is what it is. Time is what it is. Get in the game, folks.


Characterization: how the author presents the dramatis personae of his or her story.

Direct characterization is when the author tells you directly that the character is of a particular state of mind or in a specific condition. The author comes right out and writes that the character simply is.

Indirect characterization is when the author describes the character and lets you the reader draw your own conclusions. He or she can do this by describing

Looks of the character, e.g., clothing,  physical state
Effect the character has on other characters or situations
Actions that the character takes
Speech of the character or that which is directed to that character
Thoughts of the character if the POV is omnicient

Remember it with this word mnemonic: “Indirect characterization is when the author says the LEAST about a character.”

In addition are these considerations of the character:
Flat character is one in which the author presents few aspects to his or her personality. This may be because the character is simple, or because the character is a foil or plays a symbolic role.

Round character is fully developed, complex.

Static character does not grow or change through the course of the story.

Dynamic character grows or changes as a result of the complications and climaxes inherent in the story or situation.

Click to access Characterization.pdf

You can also look at this .pdf and see how the National Council of the Teachers of English straight joinked my intellect.

“STEAL” indeed.

Let me be honest:


Rough night. Running a little late, sun already coming up for a one-hundred degree day. A little sore. Wake at 0440, too dark to run. Alarm goes off — ahhhhhh half-hour more.
Then I get up and run it and my time is uggggghhhh and this hill is a pull and…

You know why I do it? (Yes you do because you read my motives, already posted.)

Leadership by example.



Handwriting fluency and the in-class thesis

Handwriting fluency and the in-class thesis

Another reason that I assign a hand-written journal: seeing as you will be tested largely by hand writing essays in class, fluency and practice are crucial.  The journal is a training ground.

From the article:

“Students completed a measure of handwriting fluency and provided samples of writing from exam conditions and a formative class essay. The results indicated that, compared to a class essay, exam writing was constrained by the low level writing skill of handwriting fluency. Surprisingly, it was found that the undergraduates were very slow writers whose writing speed was equivalent to published fluency data on 11-year-old schoolchildren. The relationships between handwriting fluency and writing quality were also very similar to those of published data on 11-year-old children, with handwriting fluency accounting for large amounts of the variance in writing quality and tutor marks for exam answers. The results of the current study indicate that lower level processes constrain the higher level performance of undergraduate students to a significant extent.”

Worth a read if you want to see for yourself.

from the Landy article:

Landy pointed out that in the Gorgias, a stretch of tortured logic leads Socrates to the curious conclusion that “if you want to harm a criminal, the best thing you can do is to make sure he escapes punishment.”
As for the parables in the Gospel of St. Mark, Landy rejects the popular belief that they are there to help Jesus make himself understood. Quite the contrary, they are designed to “keep outsiders out” and to bring those with advanced metaphoric interpretation skills “even further in,” Landy suggests…To get the most out of the text today, Landy said, readers “should try to talk and think in metaphors, just as Jesus is doing,” rather than look for hidden meanings.


This speaks directly to the summer readings, hey?

“Fiction books give a boost to the brain, says Stanford professor”

“Fiction books give a boost to the brain, says Stanford professor”

“Landy’s new ‘formative fiction’ theory advises against a utilitarian search for meaning or information that results in an ‘I got what I need and I can move on’ attitude. His theory implies that readers will get much more out of a text by lingering over passages, contemplating ideas between reading sessions and re-reading passages after some reflection.”