Teaching

The following is a list of resources I have found useful for academic or creative purposes. It's a constant work in progress, and I include it here for my own or my students' convenience in referencing as well as to encourage discourse and ideas. Annotations are still pending.

TEXTUAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR THE CLASSROOM


Calvin and Hobbes (Bill Watterson, 1985-1995, Universal Press Syndicate)



By the Sword (Richard Cohen, 2002, Random House) -- personal essay excerpts



The Philosophy of Literature Form (Kenneth Burke, 1941, University of California Press)
Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you all the steps that had gone before. You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent, depending upon the quality of your ally's assistance. However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress. (110-11)
 "Classic Literature," Zits (Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, 2009, King Features Syndicate)



Jurassic Park (Michael Crichton, 1990, Alfred A. Knopf) -- "Destroying the Planet" excerpt
  • You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away -- all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It's powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that's happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us. 

VIDEO SUPPLEMENTS FOR THE CLASSROOM

"What Makes a Hero?" (Matthew Winkler, 2012, TED-Ed)


"How the Heroic Journey Led Me Astray" (Colin Stokes, 2013, TEDx)


Everybody Loves Raymond 3.8, "The Article" -- peer review scene (2:00 - 4:40)


Doubt (2008, Miramax) -- "Intolerance" and "Mrs. Miller"


Mona Lisa Smile (2003, Columbia) -- "It's Art!"


How It Should Have Ended (2010, Starz Media)


"Argument Clinic," Monty Python's Flying Circus (1972)


Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975, Python (Monty) Pictures) -- "She's a Witch!"


Friends 10.5, "The One Where Rachel's Sister Babysits" -- Joey writes a letter


The Karate Kid (1984, Columbia) -- "Paint the House"


Jurassic Park (1993, Universal) -- "Lunch"


Meet the Robinsons (2007, Disney) -- "Keep Moving Forward"


OTHER RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS

First Person Pronouns and Personal Experience in Academic Writing

Cory's Guide to Good [Writing] Style

A Public Example of Plagiarism

Can You Tell This Article is a Hoax?

Why It's Impossible Not to Love Superman

On World-building More So Than Prometheus or Calvinball

Example of Synthesis using Disney's Frozen

40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World

Rare Interview with Bill Watterson (author/illustrator of Calvin and Hobbes)

Powerful Women, Heroic Girls

"8 Words to Seek and Destroy" (Robbie Blair, 2012, Lit Reactor)

Example of Exploratory Writing: "The Struggle To Be A Good Critic" (Morgan Jerkins, 2015, Electric Lit)

"Secret Skin" by Michael Chabon ("An essay in unitard theory.")

RESOURCES FOR COLLEAGUES

The Stages of Grading

The End of the College Essay

The Writing Revolution

Adjunct Professors Are the New Working Poor

Not Working for Free, But Thanks for Thinking of Me

Onion Article on Artistic Passion vs. Livable Wage

The MFA is the New MBA
Updated 2/19/2015

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