You think this class is tough? Check out Auden’s!

tumblr_mb8gp7oZH21qz4v5ho1_1280Think this class requires a lot of reading? Check out this syllabus from a lit class taught by poet W.H. Auden in the early 1940s! (Click on the picture to make it bigger).

Imagine 6,000 pages of reading for 2 credits for 2 semesters! And that 6,000 pages probably doesn’t include the suggested readings!

In comparison, my graduate school classes require 1,000 pages of reading for a 2 unit class. That’s about 100 pages a week per class. And that’s a lot!

To compare again, I assign my college students between 50 and 100 pages a week for a 5 unit community college writing classes.

Read more about Auden’s class here.

Why You Should Exercise Outside

According a recent article in the New York Times, Gretchen Reynolds argues that the benefits of exercising outdoors far exceed those of working out in a gym:

“While the allure of the gym — climate-controlled, convenient and predictable — is obvious, especially in winter, emerging science suggests there are benefits to exercising outdoors that can’t be replicated on a treadmill, a recumbent bicycle or a track.”
Hmn,  I wonder how working out outside might help with what Richard Louv has coined “nature deficit disorder”?
Read more here:

Happy Valentine’s Day 2013!

APadventureVDay2013It’s Valentine’s Day! My 9-year-old and I  found Adventure Time artwork and added the text for his valentine’s day cards then I changed it to be from me aka Art Predator!

While my students and I agree that Valentine’s Day SHOULD be a school holiday, it’s not. (Why did they give us Tuesday off for a President Day when they could have given us Thursday? We would have loved those Presidents even more!)

To encourage my students to make it to class today, we’re having a small party with food (Shh, don’t tell!), we’ll do some writing practice, and, well, there’s an in-class writing activity too called an in class essay exam.

Here’s ideas on how to ace an in-class essay exam–and what your teachers are really looking for!

PS Can you help ME go on an adventure? Just vote here for me to go to Chile where I will blog my heart out for you!


Teachers are not happy, students aren’t happy. What might happen if more teachers quit?

Diane Ravitch's blog

A letter from a disgusted teacher:


Kris L. Nielsen
Monroe, NC 28110

Union County Public Schools
Human Resources Department
400 North Church Street
Monroe, NC 28112

October 25, 2012

To All it May Concern:

I’m doing something I thought I would never do—something that will make me a statistic and a caricature of the times. Some will support me, some will shake their heads and smirk condescendingly—and others will try to convince me that I’m part of the problem. Perhaps they’re right, but I don’t think so. All I know is that I’ve hit a wall, and in order to preserve my sanity, my family, and the forward movement of our lives, I have no other choice.

Before I go too much into my choice, I must say that I have the advantages and disadvantages of differentiated experience under my belt. I have seen the other side, where…

View original post 1,450 more words

You’ve Felt It Your Entire Life: Like A Splinter In Your Mind

This is text from the first Matrix film with images from “real” life. It’s intended as a wake up call. Which pill will you choose?

To read more about the philosphy behind the Matrix films, check out Matt Lawrence’s book Like a Splinter in Your Mind.

Video by

Project D - The Matrix - Anime Festival Summer...

Project D – The Matrix – Anime Festival Summer 2009 (Photo credit: Regis Andrade)