99 English Essays to Grade, 99 English Essays to Grade….

Oh midterm grading time! School has wrapped up, yet the blog has not been updated much, and midterms are the reason why. Essay after essay after essay needs grading, and when you multiple ten minutes for the average essay, times three essays per midterm (not counting short answer questions), times an average amount of students, …

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Why Every Wedding Should Have a Christmas Tree

One final thing about the wedding Leah and I attended last week: they handed out books. It was a brilliant idea, and fitting with the season—put books specially picked out for individual wedding attendees underneath a Christmas tree. My prize was a rare collection of Edgar Allan Poe stories. I’ve written a bit about my …

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Explain the Porter Monologue in “Macbeth” or Just Skip Over It?

Some more notes on teaching “Macbeth”: First, don’t worry—my next post won’t be about this play. And second, though Shakespeare and his language are often seen as “high and mighty,” in so many ways “Macbeth” can shatter this illusion for inexperienced students. I’d say that’s for better, because I’m in favor of making all literature …

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Wild Wild Documentary: Growing Up in Eastern Oregon (p. 1)

“Wild Wild Country” is a pretty darn good documentary. It’s on Netflix, and you might have heard reviewers, bloggers, or fellow teachers at your school recommend it. Leah and I finished it recently, and it is very much worth the time—six, one-hour episodes, which honestly you’ll probably just binge in a day; it’s that engaging. …

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Addendum: Texts I Taught This Year and EDGAR ALLAN POE

Recently I wrote about both the well-received texts I taught this school year (Of Mice and Men, “The Cremation of Sam McGee”) and the “misses” (The Picture of Dorian Gray, Heart of Darkness). Not that anything here is to say that the “misses” weren’t texts students didn’t learn from. For example, though “Julius Caesar” can …

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The Great, the Good, and the OK: Texts I Taught This Year

With finals going currently, here are some thoughts on novels, stories, and plays I used in my classroom over the last school year. It’s always interesting to experience something as a student and then as a teacher. Take Heart of Darkness: the dialogue is richer than what I remember from high school, and the novel is …

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Publication: 100 Word “Detective” Piece in “Eunoia Review”

Today "Eunoia Review" published my very short story “The Detective." You can read it here. Like the last time I got something published, calling this a story is probably a stretch—it’s under 100 words. Which means you should check it out—short and sweet! And hopefully you’ll find it funny. This “story” was also inspired by …

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