Category Archives: Writing

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Being A TryHard In An Era of FailBetters

I am a tryhard. A tryhard wants to fit in and stand out at the same time–to be noticed but not remembered. Being a tryhard can be exhausting and sometimes leads to serious regret. (See my class picture circa 1990, … Continue reading

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Visiting Day II: Revision and Expectation

“Visiting Day,” last week’s entry, was revised eight times. Eight times (8!) I returned to that short piece, tweaked and tightened until I forgot why I wrote it in the first place. Long gone now, that first draft surprised me. … Continue reading

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Visiting Day Again

A rite of passage followed me back to the city. Visiting Day at summer camp came and went. But I can’t let it go this time. The day started out as it always does: we do what we’re supposed to … Continue reading

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When Composition and Literature Meet

March 15, 2019: This is the brief talk I gave as part of a panel welcoming students accepted or wait-listed to The Graduate Center at CUNY.  Here I describe a class I’m teaching now, focused on the “academic novel” and … Continue reading

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Private Pain, Public Humanities: Critical University Studies and Composition

This is the talk I gave at the Critical University Studies Friday Forum at The Graduate Center , CUNY on Friday October 20th. I’ll open my talk with something participatory. If that’s upsetting to you (as it would be to … Continue reading

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Am I Good at Critical University Studies?

Is activist scholarship like all scholarship: meant to be judged? I’m wondering because, thanks to my CUNY colleagues, more than ever I feel connected to the activist field of Critical University Studies. Critical University Studies aims to intervene in higher … Continue reading

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Tomorrow We Revise: November 2016

Dear Readers, Tomorrow my writing class meets. I can’t wait. I teach literature too and love wrestling with how reading works in our world. But it’s a week into worry for what might happen to this country and to my college and … Continue reading

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Congratulations Award Winners: Now Here’s Your Writing Assignment

On November 10, 2015, I was the guest speaker for the Induction Ceremony of the Golden Key Honors Society at Lehman College, CUNY.  Here’s what I said: Congratulations! Thank you so much or having me here and for giving me … Continue reading

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Teaching is Embarrassing: Manifesto on Higher Education for the Start of 2015

On September 16, for Convocation at Lehman College, I was honored to be awarded Teacher of the Year.  I gave a one minute acceptance speech.  I hope this serves as a welcome back to the blog and to the new … Continue reading

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September: Already Gone, Always to Return

Welcome (back?) after a long hiatus. My first post for the 2014 academic year was published on another site–the AEPL blog: The Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning–thanks for the opportunity. Perpetual September: On Being a Beginner in an Age … Continue reading

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