Tag Archives: creativity

robo-readers do what teachers can’t! Or, how we turned writing literacy into an algorithm

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has this weekly radio show called “Spark.” It is, in my opinion, the best technology-focused show that Americans don’t know about.

This week’s show included a story on the use of computer tools to read and score student writing on standardized tests. Spark host Nora Young interviewed Mark Shermis, the Dean of the College of Education at the University of Akron, who had this to say about how so-called “robo readers” assess writing:… Read more

Stephen Dobyns, ‘How to Like It’

from The Cortland Review, issue 26.

How to Like It

These are the first days of fall. The wind
at evening smells of roads still to be traveled,
while the sound of leaves blowing across the lawns
is like an unsettled feeling in the blood,
the desire to get in a car and just keep driving.
A man and a dog descend their front steps.
The dog says, Let’s go downtown and get crazy drunk.
Let’s tip over … Read more

weighing in on Edward Albee

Edward Albee is gay and he’s a writer, but he wants you to know he’s not a gay writer.

Albee received this year’s Pioneer Award from the Lambda Literary Association; this honor is described on the Lambda website as one that is bestowed

on individuals who have broken new ground in the field of LGBT literature and publishing. Established in 1995, the Award honors those who, through their achievements and passionate commitment, have contributed to the LGBT literary community

Read more

do it like a dude / affix spikes to our lips

Here is the video for a song called “Do it like a dude,” sung by Jessie J:

In case you scrolled past the video without watching it, I’ll just tell you that it’s an absolute celebration of gay ladies and the sex they have together. Here are some lyrics:

I can do it like a brother
Do it like a dude
Grab my crotch, wear my hat low like you

Do it like a brother
Do it like a dude

Read more

my ‘I come from’ poem

I’m helping to teach a course this semester for pre-service secondary writing teachers. On the first day of class, we all wrote “I come from” poems. This is an activity that comes from Linda Christensen’s fantastic book Teaching for Joy and Justice. Here’s the poem I wrote.

Where I Come From

I come from the thumb of the mitten
knuckled under by desperation, the ‘out of a job yet?
keep buying foreign’ sticker slapped to the slanted back of … Read more

if you care about equity in education, you should watch Summer Heights High

I was introduced to the Australian mockumentary “Summer Heights High” by my friend Steven Caldwell (who is also, by the way, the person who gave me the phrase ‘be the chainsaw you wish to see in the world‘). This show was apparently a raging hit when it aired in Australia, and Steven thought I would find its take on public education hilarious.

I didn’t find the show hilarious. I found it tragic and deeply moving and … Read more

Ok Go: “White Knuckles”

Here’s the latest Ok Go video, “white knuckles.”

You know what would be really innovative? If OK Go made a video that didn’t involve every band member rigidly marching roughly in time with every other band member while alternating looking directly at the camera and moving offscreen to pull in some new prop. I’m not bored of this gimmick yet, but I’m getting there.

Read more

Sons of Anarchy returns Sept. 7

The FX series Sons of Anarchy is one of the best dramas on television right now. For reasons that are unclear to me, however, many people whose opinions I deeply respect do not watch this show. I want to make it clear that I believe this is a mistake.

Take Hamlet, Oedipus Rex, and Easy Rider and throw into a tumbler. Add Katey Sagal (Married with Children, Futurama), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Charley Hunnam (Queer as Read more