Yeah, bullets. What of it?

  • One unfortunate and very minor side effect of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike: I have the cloyingly sentimental song "Two Sparrows in a Hurricane" in my mind and have for weeks. It's by Tanya Tucker; I had thought it was by Lorrie Morgan.
  • During the many hours I was half-asleep, half-awake last night, I thought about an assignment one could give in a Classical rhetoric course. In my class, we've been talking about the rhetorical excesses of some sophists, the ones criticized by Plato and Isocrates. I thought it might be fun to do a "sophists travel through time" kind of assignment. Here goes: "you're one of those shady sophists who make big promises for what you can teach students. You can make ANYONE a great speaker who can use the power of rhetoric to make an audience do whatever you say. Who cares if that's the right thing or not? Make a video commercial advertising your services." What I saw in my head was a cheesy commercial after the fashion of for-profit colleges, but with florid, Don King-like language and delivery and gushing testimonies from former students. I'm not going to give this assignment in my class, but it seems interesting enough to write down anyway. Maybe I'll do it myself and send it to Disputatio.
  • The theme of the NCTE convention is "Because Shift Happens: Teaching in the Twenty-First Century"? I'm sorry, but FAIL. The subtitle is a total throwaway, and the first part is just bad taste.
  • To teach is to learn twice, as they say. I'm learning a lot in my Classical rhetoric class, and I hope to get some sort of publication out of it. One idea I have is about Isocrates and assessment, though that's some low-hanging fruit that I'm sure has been done.


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shift happens

My thoughts exactly on the NCTE theme. We've had our share of stinkers at CCCC, but that's an EPIC FAIL.

shift happens: ditto

Totally agree with both of you about the theme. Talk about embarassing.

And I think you should totally do that for Disputatio, Clancy -- as you've seen, we're enthusiastically soliciting submissions.


However (re NCTE)

I should say that the people at NCTE are great, and I could see, even at the time I wrote the original post, a sort of waggish irreverence in the theme, and I'm sure that's what they were going for. I also like the social network site they've done for the conference.

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