Easing back into it

I'm with Michelle: This break has spoiled me too. As always, I had so much fun at home. I hung out with all my friends and spent a good deal of time with their children too, which I enjoyed immensely. I love children's entelechial smiles, scowls, pouts, frowns, and passive, vacant, along-for-the-ride expressions. But more than that, I love the way they observe and listen to everything, then grab you-never-know-what out of the heteroglossia and pull it together to form their own bright, funny, utterly unpredictable remixes.

I'm also with Prof. B. in my readiness for the semester to be over.

Should I assign Deirdre McCloskey's The Secret Sins of Economics (PDF, via Tyler Cowen) in my first-year composition class (not this semester, of course)? Or would that be too cruel? There's a lot to discuss: the style, while self-indulgent, is innovative, and McCloskey addresses opposing views actively and directly. I guess I've had the urge to assign experimental discourse lately; next Wednesday we'll be discussing Nomy Lamm's "It's a Big Fat Revolution," and I'm even toying with the idea of assigning This Is the Title of This Story, Which Is Also Found Several Times in the Story Itself. Right now I'm trying to explain metacommentary and self-referentiality in research papers -- what those are, how much is too much if one's not deliberately using them as style devices, etc., so these things are on my mind.


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"Entelechial?" It sounds like a cross between studying bugs and Catholic dogma. What does it mean?


If something is entelechial, that means it's fully actualized, perfectly complete. I use the word to describe children's faces because their expressions really emote, you know? If they're scowling, they're showing the full strength of those scowl-inducing feelings, unchecked by any inner sense of decorum. See, for example, this entelechial pout:

Media Forum

I know this is a bit off topic, but I wanted to let you know about a forum coming up that might appeal to you. That is, if you see problems with the current media system in the U.S. It's the Media Concentration Forum at Hamline Univ, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 9. It's organized by Free Press (where I'm a volunteer) and includes two commissioners from the FCC. Each person who attends and wants to speak will have two minutes to share her concerns about media concentration and its effects. Just thought you might like to go! Jena.

This Is the Title of This Story

For what its worth, I like the Moser story a lot and I'm interested in how you would frame a discussion surrounding it, were you to assign it (assuming you haven't already). For example, to what would you advise your readers to pay the closest attention?

I'm riding a wave of being hooked on repetition and this story (as an excellent example of its stylistic use) just gives me goosebumps.

Hope you had a happy holiday down South.

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