Showing posts from January, 2014

Even Leonardo had to Write a Resume'

One would think that Leonardo da Vinci, the guy who invented the helicopter, created the most famous picture of man (you know the guy in the circle holding out his arms), and painted the Mona Lisa , wouldn't have to create a resume', but then one would be WRONG!  Before da Vinci was the toast of Renaissance Europe, he was a nobody, a student, just like you, and just like you he had to send out a resume' or two. Marc Cenedella posted a translation of DaVinci's resume as follows: “Most Illustrious Lord, Having now sufficiently considered the specimens of all those who proclaim themselves skilled contrivers of instruments of war, and that the invention and operation of the said instruments are nothing different from those in common use: I shall endeavor, without prejudice to any one else, to explain myself to your Excellency, showing your Lordship my secret, and then offering them to your best pleasure and approbation to work with effect at opportune moment

"Bless Her Heart"

Once the kids were safely dropped off at school, this one-time stay-at-home mom had lots of opportunity to coffee klatch.  These gab fests would eventually make their way to a sentence that began with "Bless her heart." Instantly, my antennae would go up because a juicy bit of gossip was about to be revealed. A cheating husband, less-than-stellar children, or the expanding width of a rear end were all fair game if it was preceded by "Bless her heart." What is the point of "bless her heart" and other "tee-ups"? After all, a blessing is a good thing, right? Wrong, not when it is instantly followed by some snarky comment. Like the author of "Why Verbal Tee-Ups Often Signal Insincerity" I cringe when someone says to me "Don't take this the wrong way . . . "  I mean you know what's coming.  Professor James Pennebaker asserts these "tee-ups" are preludes to criticism and worse. "Language experts have

DWYL - Do What You Love

It may be hard to see in this home/work space, but there it is a cute little picture proclaiming "Do What You Love" next to another cute little graphic "Love What You Do." We've all heard this phrase, but at Jacobin an article entitled "In the Name of Love" claims that "There’s little doubt that 'do what you love' (DWYL) is now the unofficial work mantra for our time. The problem is that it leads not to salvation, but to the devaluation of actual work, including the very work it pretends to elevate — and more importantly, the dehumanization of the vast majority of laborers." After all, we're not all Bill Gates building computers in our garage. Is DWYL just a bit of self-aggrandizing fluff? Jacobin makes a good point when saying, "By keeping us focused on ourselves and our individual happiness, DWYL distracts us from the working conditions of others while validating our own choices and relieving us from obli

Vindicated. Finally!

Reading Twilight , Harry Potter (take that Harold Bloom), Hunger Games , and Watchmen , for that matter, will improve your brain. Don't believe me? Let's ask the experts. ABC News is reporting that scientists are using some of their most sophisticated tools to peer inside the human brain to see what happens when we engage in the process of reading, and they are finding a number of surprises: -- Reading is a very complex task that requires several different regions of the brain to work together. -- But surprisingly, we don't use the same neural circuits to read as we grow from infants to adults. So our brains are constantly changing throughout our lives. -- It appears possible that reading can improve the "connectivity" between the various brain circuits that are essential to understanding the written word. -- And there is recent evidence that simply reading a good novel can keep that enhanced "conne

Reading Visuals: Infographics

My students often look at me like I'm crazy when I assign readings about reading visuals.  We don't just read written texts anymore...we read television, YouTube, graphic essays, and infographics.  In this visual-laden society, being able to read a graphic is a required skill.  As a teacher, a good visual in an otherwise excruciatingly dull (sorry, but you all know what I mean) essay can often make me drop my red pen for a moment or two.  And it appears, I am not alone. Over at Brain Pickings they published an article entitled "How to be an Educated Consumer of Infographics:  David Bryne on the Art-Science of Visual Storytelling" and I just couldn't resist another blog post about visuals....I got The Best American Infographics of 2013 as a Christmas present and devoured it in one afternoon.  According to Bryne, of Talking Heads fame, The very best [infographics] engender and facilitate an insight by visual means — allow us to grasp some relationship quickly