This is part of a series on how to have a decent day as a substitute teacher. I’ll post links to the series in the comment section later. When you arrive to teach a class as an outsider, what pull do you have with students? This diverse group of kids will be yours from approximately 8:30 […]
To: Laurie L. Patton President, Middlebury College More
In today’s political climate, there are sharp divisions of opinion over a range of issues, from health care and climate change to education and labor law. Ideally, a civil debate undertaken with mutual respect could ease tension and advance knowledge. Politics, however, often takes a very different turn.
One of the landmark decisions of the United States Supreme Court, New York Times v. Sullivan, was decided in 1964 at the height of civil rights movement. Writing for the majority, Justice William Brennan insisted that the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech rested on “a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.” He then concluded that the First Amendment offered extensive protection to the media from defamation suits brought by private individuals—a principle that was later extended to apply to public figures as well. Defamation suits in his view could chill public debate.More
The Dodo bird was prevalent on an isolated island that was a safe space from many predators. When European explorers discovered this rather good natured, plump, and flightless bird it was in no way prepared for what was to come. The poor, hapless bird didn’t know enough to protect itself (nor was it very capable […]
Back in October, I asked for help in inspiring my son to apply to Hillsdale College. After a campus visit, his enthusiasm increased markedly and he applied. Last week, the college gave him the thumbs-up: More
My daughter, a high school senior in NJ with plans to become a dentist, had her heart set on attending the University of Southern California. The school’s deadline for merit scholarship notification has, alas, passed, so she knows she will not be receiving one. At this point, all she can hope for is a letter […]
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell1.asp Posted in February, after his farewell column! More
Suppose for the past half century or so you’ve been forced to pay the Acme Swamp Company to engorge all lakes, caverns, rivers, streams, and puddles with effluents, along with enough reptiles to put Jurassic Park to shame. Then, after you’ve discovered that the Acme Company has also supplied Wile E. Coyote with Roadrunner-catching equipment since the Truman Administration, you decide to “drain the swamp.” And then—surprise! surprise! —you’re devastated to learn that the swamp you tried to drain simply filled up again from tributaries that cannot be shut off. And you’ve been paying for those tributaries, too, for a long, long time. In fact, you’ve discovered that these streams are not only exorbitantly pricey, but frequently destructive, parasitic, and virtually impregnable. Question is, what can you do?
The “swamp” in question of course is Washington DC, but also includes much of the bureaucracy, judiciary, and cultural command posts of the country, such as the media and entertainment industries. The tributaries comprise America’s educational system, long dominated by the radical left and protected by tenure and union power. It is this ideological effluent center that has done so much to poison the discourse of American politics, smearing every institution that contributed to the country’s greatness, and radiating hatred of all things most citizens hold dear—family, patriotism, free enterprise, free speech, freedom of religion, the Bill of Rights generally, and of course America’s founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.More
“I got married “old school” — to a woman.” It was my first college show and I didn’t want it to be my last. I had heard the war stories from my fellow comedians: preternaturally sensitive college students, indoctrinated by academic and administrative lifers who are liable to faint at the sight of a sombrero. American colleges, it seemed, comprised a continent-wide archipelago of young people with the kind of ideological fealty to authority one associates with North Koreans.
I got lucky, though, in that my college debut was at West Chester University’s Freshmen Orientation Day. Instead of being surrounded by note-taking faculty, these freshmen were seated with their parents and siblings, lending the show a relative air of fun and freedom. Everything, it seemed, has been turned upside down. Gone are the days when you monitored what you laugh at in the presence of your parents: Thanks to the fevered political climate that prevails on American campuses, the presence of parents was actually liberating.More
On these pages I have wondered aloud how I ever heard of Allen Drury, and also the one Portuguese person who ever won a Nobel Prize. Although I did not say so, I also wondered how I had ever learned the Spanish or Portuguese adjective “lifetime,” or as I chose to translate it, “-for-life.” I […]
When I was fourteen, I found a draft of a letter my brother had written and discarded. It was a description of how his math teacher had been unkind and unprofessional toward him. With mixed motives–I enjoyed attention from adults and I was pleased to be an actor in the situation–I took it to school and […]
You won’t have to wait long before it happens. Most likely, it will occur within the first few minutes of the day. You’ll be engrossed in giving direction and notice movement out of the corner of your eye. A student has sidled up to you, a sweet, charming little figure. She gazes at you, small hand held […]
I got this idea reading @marcin ‘s comment on a group writing post. She says this: Several eons ago, I ran an art exhibit for students at our local middle school. I invited about twelve local artists to come to our middle school and work for the day so the kids could meet them and […]
Over the summer, the New York Times published an error-ridden piece on Michigan’s charter schools that it has yet to retract. Now, the NYT is doubling down with another piece adding new errors to old ones. The errors begin in the opening sentence: