Arts + Letters

Teachers, Your Students Are Your Greatest Resources. Watch this Powerful Talk…by a Kid.

Too often, we position teachers in ways that divide them from their students. Teachers are the adults; students are the…

Technology is Ruining the Performing Arts–and That’s a Good Thing. Here’s Why.

Teaching is a live performance art. We don’t discuss it that way enough, but it is precisely that. New teachers struggle…

Wait, Frankenstein’s Monster is What Happens When One Learns Improperly!?

While rereading Frankenstein recently, I couldn’t help but think Mary Shelley was offering us a critique of education. There is…

Yet Another Reason to Visit the New York Public Library: Authors’ Locks of Hair?

That’s not a typo. As shared in this recent New Yorker article, the famed library has lots of odd artifacts…

Humiliation, Multiplication, and Ice Cream

In the memoir Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, the author describes a scene in first grade where six-year-old J.D. realizes…

The Etymology of “Lit” is Lit

Lovers of quirky wordy things prepare to spend the next three minutes reading Merriam-Webster’s brief summary of the etymology of…

The Etymology of ‘Pedagogy’ Might Surprise You

If you love education and love etymology, you’ll dig this. I love looking to the histories of words to better…

Face It: Emojis Could Be the Key To Learning

Human beings have gone from cave drawings to spoken language to written language to printed language to… emojis. Have we…

The Semicolon That Almost Destroyed Texas

Like me, you probably don’t fully appreciate the importance of punctuation and grammar in making society function. Fortunately, Malcolm Gladwell’s…

Is Captain America a Woman? No. This Data Viz of 34,000 Comic Book Characters Shows Us Why That’s a Problem

Graphic novels and comic books are becoming increasingly popular in schools. New York City public schools even officially recommended Black Panther for…

There’s a Great Gatsby Video Game!?! English Class Just Got WAY Awesomer.

How did I not know that Nintendo made a Great Gatsby video game? I’m ashamed. I know video game have…

Is Texting the Future or Downfall of Writing in Schools?

Leave it to a linguist like Columbia University’s John McWhorter to challenge popular fears that texting marks the end of language…

Explore the Words that Are Unique to Individual Hip-Hop Artists

As an English teacher, I always enjoyed compendia–those books that listed the number of times words appeared in other books.…

The Strange Tale of Merriam-Webster’s Ghost Word

Merriam-Webster is redefining the role of the dictionary in the 21st century. If you don’t follow them on Twitter, I…

Before You “Agree” with Terms of Service, Check Out this Art Installation

Whenever we–or our students–click on an “I Agree” button in response to a company’s Terms of Service (ToS), we are…

Why Tolkien Had a “Heartfelt Loathing” for All Things Disney

A fascinating read about what happened when Tolkien and his friend C.S. Lewis went to see Disney’s Snow White and…
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