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Showing posts from September, 2011

Five Ways to Screw up Your Life with the Internet

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I used to announce to students that they had to do a social networking project where they had to publish something relevant to whatever we were studying on their Facebook page and then share it with the class.

Wait for it . . .

About 30 seconds after this announcement, some students would go white, others would start to fidget, while still others looked like their head was about to blow off. Here's what they were thinking, "I have to show my Facebook page to my professor?!@#$"

So think about that. If you wouldn't want your parents or siblings looking at your Facebook page, you need to do some adjusting ASAP!

What? You don't care what your professor or relatives think?

Think about this. When you apply for your dream job, your prospective employer is going to Google you and if your latest post features you in a sexually explicit pose chugging a bottle of tequila, well, guess who isn't going to get the job?


Pajamas media just published a list of the Five …

Quit Procrastinating!

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Instead of correcting that stack of rough drafts, or doing my lesson plans, or updating my roll sheets, I decided I really need to do a blog post about New School Year's Resolutions. Suddenly, I discovered I have a tendency to procrastinate and then began scouring YouTube for procrastination videos. After a few Google searches and twenty minutes, I decided the following YouTube video is my favorite:


Then, I spent another twenty minutes Googling "procrastination strategies" and these two seemed like good ideas.

1. Get organized - make a list of what you have to do and prioritize it. I know when I feel overwhelmed by work if I figure out what I should get done first, then second, and third, it helps me feel a little less stressed and actually get something done. However, only do this once because listing can also be a great procrastinating technique.

2. Fear of failure leads to procrastination. Face it, everybody fails sometime. Just take the plunge and get it ove…

Extraordinary Analysis

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Writing a critical analysis is often tricky for college freshman. Instead of writing high school book reports filled with plot summary and description, they are now compelled to write beyond the text -- to "stick his or her neck out." John Trimble reminds writers that "The critic's job is to explain and evaluate--that is, to bring his readers to a better understanding of his subject". But what does that mean?

It means you need a top notch thesis statement. Sometimes it's easier to understand what a critical analysis is by looking at examples of good topic questions.

Here again Trimble gives some good examples:
"How is Hamlet like Horatio--and unlike him?"
or "How does King Claudius win over the enraged Laertes?"

If you think of comic books like any other piece of literature including Hamlet, you can come up with good topic questions that will lead to a great thesis statement.

If we look at Trimble's examples and apply them to…

Remembering 9/11

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9/11 is a time to reflect.

9/11 was the worst terrorist attack inflicted on civilians of the United States of America. Innocent men, women, and children died when the Twin Towers fell.

9/11 remembrances can be personal like those who got tattoos, tattoos ranging from remembrances of that terrible day, to remembrances of family and co-workers killed.

9/11 leads some to their local fire departments to leave flowers or attend candlelight vigils. Others go to religious services.

9/11 led our nation to build a national memorial on ground zero where so many lost their lives. Two 7-story waterfalls spill into the base of each missing Twin Tower and "nearly 3,000 names of the men, women, and children killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 are inscribed in bronze on parapets surrounding the twin Memorial pools."
How do you remember those who died on 9/11?

Extraordinary Rhetoric

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Writers, politicians, advertisers and graphic novelists all use rhetoric in the same way--to persuade you to do something, believe something, or buy something. To bring readers and/or viewers, around to their way of thinking.

Creators can rely on ethos (or authority) to get their message across. When the president gives a speech we listen - he is an authority. In the same way, advertisers often use celebrities to sell products. If I buy Kim Kardashian's makeup, I'll look as great as she does because she's an expert at looking good. There are also experts In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, where a "menagerie" has been brought together to save the British Empire--all because they have some ethos, as strange as it may be.

Often times you will see advertisements that offer proof that a product works, or statistics that report customer satisfaction. These are appeals to logic or logos. If studies show that 99 percent of people using XYZ toothpaste have whi…

Visualizing The Price of Pot

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Inforporn: The Price of Pot by Cameron Bird at Wired (September 2011).


Click here for the full graphic and article.

Read Think b4 u Write is always attracted to articles and essays with pretty pictures, and while this graphic is nice looking it accompanies an article about the disparities of marijuana laws in the United States.

The graphic displays fluctuations in pricing: the darker the green the cheaper the marijuana ($92 per ounce), while yellow tips the scale at $526 per ounce. The red and purple bars record fines and jail time, and the red cross indicates a medical marijuana state.

In part the article reads, "The US is still of two minds on marijuana: While 16 states now consider it a medicine, others continue to hand down heavy sentences—including jail time—for simple possession."

Do you think this is an effective graphic? Why or why not? Where do you stand on this issue? Should marijuana be legalized? Or should it be illegal? Or is there some compromise? What a…