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The craft of #writing: ratcheting chapter tension Hugo Nominee Review: A Desolation Called Peace – Arkady Martine A Writer Looks at Fifty Hugo Nominee Review: the galaxy, and the ground within – Becky Chambers Hugo Nominee Review: Project Hail Mary – Andy Weir

Expertise and Humility

Every year, when research paper season rolls around, I always have a few students that want to cite themselves, use their own ‘knowledge’, or consider themselves experts in their chosen topic. It takes a bit of convincing before they’re willing to acknowledge that maybe they’re not experts in their field at the age of 16 […]

I Run ‘Because’ I’m Skinny

“Why do you go running? You’re already so skinny.” I’ve heard that sentiment, in a variety of forms for many years now. The assumption implicit in the question is that exercise, particularly longer-distance running (though I probably wouldn’t count my 5ks as ‘long-distance’), is primarily about weight/metabolism control. I’ve always been skinny, scrawny even. And […]

Teaching Dune

Speculative fiction makes for an excellent teaching tool, in particular with how it requires our minds to be flexible when reading. In stretching the bounds of our every day realities, fantasy and science fiction writers are still exploring themes common to the human experience (to the best of my understanding, most authors are writing for […]

Dear Cats, I Promise You Won’t Starve

My dear cats, I’m writing to inform you that our daily feeding rituals have become untenable. I ask that you consider my concerns and hope that we can come to an agreeable understanding moving forward, so that our cohabitation can continue to be a benefit to us all. Findus, you joined our family almost 9 […]

Expectations

I wrote the following piece for my school’s literary magazine. It’s a student-initiated, student-run endeavor that I loosely oversee. We take submissions from HS students and staff at the school and the student editors put it all together. This year, our theme revolved around expectations. Expectations are a form of time travel. Almost inherently, to […]

Teaching The Merry Wives of Windsor

When I first took over teaching my Honors 10 English class, the curriculum included Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. That’s an excellent play, but when I saw that many of those students had read Romeo and Juliet the year before, and that the only other Shakespeare plays in our curriculum were Macbeth in Brit. Lit. and Hamlet […]

The Importance of Connotation

Words only hold meaning in context. Speak any word in a place where no one else understands that language and it holds no meaning. That is true for the denotation (a word’s literal or most common meaning) as well as for connotation (whatever else it signifies along with its denotation). English is such a rich […]