Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hurricane Sandy

As a long-time New Englander I’ve weathered hurricanes, nor’easters, blizzards, and a whole lot of turned-out-to-be-nothing. My policy is: prepare, then don’t worry. Still, last night we looked up at the moon and it looked…weird. The ring around it was … Continue reading

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“I am very poorly today and very stupid and hate everyone and everything”

Today I am so fond of these recently published quotes from a letter Charles Darwin wrote to his friend Charles Lyell. He writes, in that classic 19th century penmanship, “I am very poorly today and very stupid and hate everyone … Continue reading

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Experience and expectations

At the end of my street is a tree whose leaves are a perfect gold tipped with blazing red. On clear days, the curve of the upper branches against the blue sky is breathtaking. Every time I walk by, I … Continue reading

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White cliffs of Dover

In one of my classes, I teach a session on writing a Results section in a biology paper. It’s always hard for students to describe their visual results (gels) without interpreting, so this week I found an image of a … Continue reading

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First frost

In the morning, it’s so cold. The luxuriant bushes of basil have turned black overnight and droop like sad flags. I wander around the garden looking at all the new plants to see which ones are frost-hardy. My Yankee upbringing … Continue reading

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Reading for pleasure

The year I got into grad school (English lit) a thousand people showed up to tell me I would hate it. “It’ll ruin reading for you,” they said. “You’ll never read for pleasure again.” For a couple years that was … Continue reading

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Why is a raven like a writing desk

This semester I’m revising the writing curriculum for a computer systems class. Over the past many years, it’s been taught as a standalone writing practicum, as a pure grading operation (ugh), and now as a micro-class more or less tied … Continue reading

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