Showing posts from July, 2015

Celebrate Geeks and Dorks - Even if you're not at Comic Con

July 12 begins the week of the Dork and the Geek. Grammarly is celebrating by offering the Ultimate Language Geek Personality Quiz. I took it and was labeled a Grammar Despot: "The world is a dangerous place for a grammar despot. You cannot read your Facebook news feed or page through the grocery ads without being assaulted with crimes against grammar. When you see 'fewer' in the place of 'less' or 'you’re' in the place of 'your,' you feel your blood pressure rise. Conventions of writing make you feel comfortable and secure. You have a message for anyone who writes anything: Please follow grammar rules." This doesn't seem too surprising for an English Professor, but following the basic rules of good writing is important for more than just passing composition. I have a love/hate relationship with grammar. Getting too hung up on the rules can stifle creativity, but when you make common errors, like using the wrong form of its or it's

6 Things College Can Teach You

Tiffany Jones, editor, at CSUEB's Pioneer writes "Six things college has taught me, to date" . The first one made this former mother of two college students laugh, yes, out loud. "We all wish our mom still did our laundry." C'mon admit it, I bet you arrive home with a suitcase full of dirty laundry when you visit your parents. All kidding aside, she offers some sound advice. 1. Being a big kid is hard - no moms and dads at college . 2. Time management is key to success - get off social media 24/7, get to class on time, do your homework the day before, not 4:00 a.m. 3. You can’t escape reality - make goals and live up to them. 4. Conflict is essential - The advice I'd give my own children and students, "You can say whatever you want to your teacher/boss/counselors as long as you do so politely." 5. Being discouraged is okay - should read "Being discouraged is essential." If you aren't discouraged from time to time, yo

Advice on the Art of Writing

Roberto Bolaño offers "12 Tips on the Art of Writing Short Stories," but good writing is just good writing. Let's take a look at his advice: (1) Never approach short stories one at a time. If one approaches short stories one at a time, one can quite honestly be writing the same short story until the day one dies.           This works just as well for college essays. If you write the same essay over and over again, you will get bored and never grow as a thinker (or writer). (2) It is best to write short stories three or five at a time. If one has the energy, write them nine or fifteen at a time.           Maybe you won't sit down and write three or five essays at a time, but do write when you feel ENERGIZED, don't write that essay at 3:00 a.m. (4) One must read Horacio Quiroga, Felisberto Hernández, and Jorge Luis Borges. One must read Juan Rulfo and Augusto Monterroso. Any short-story writer who has some appreciation for these authors will never read C