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End-of-term nightmare

Last night I had a worse-than-standard "teaching anxiety" dream: I dreamed I was reading my students’ course evaluations, and all their comments were not only negative, but horribly detailed. One said something like "We could tell she’d read a lot about Lacan [not that I’ve ever taught Lacan], but this class was, on the whole, […]

Three reasons why the five-paragraph theme is a bad thing

There’s been a small flurry of interesting posts about the infamous five-paragraph essay recently. Body and Soul links to a New York Times article about the low standards in Texas high schools, which begins with an anecdote about a Texas high-schooler who was "trained to write five-paragraph ‘persuasive essays’ for the state exam" and was […]