Watch out, Harriet Tubman and Colin Powell

Behold the headwinds Florida teachers face in a state (with the prettiest name!) where the governor and legislature has made education illegal: An Escambia County public school teacher resigned this week over what he characterized as racist behavior by a school district employee. The teacher, Michael James, emailed a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis andContinue reading “Watch out, Harriet Tubman and Colin Powell”

Liberalism run amuck at American unversities!

The bellies of illiterate zealots in Texas are aflame as these men and women look to ban any book that questions the prerogatives of white minority rule. More energy exists to prohibit this literature than in teaching so-called critical race theory. These people don’t want the truth — they want useful lies replacing the truth.

‘Zoom turned out to be a safe space’

Sixteen weeks ago COVID-19 positivity rates in Florida approached 20%. We averaged about 20,000 new cases a day. Now we hover at 3 % and sport, according to stats I don’t quite believe, the country’s lowest caseload. I share this data not to praise a governor who has done all possible to let the virusContinue reading “‘Zoom turned out to be a safe space’”

The changing role of libraries

Libraries aren’t my second home — they’re home. Thanks to COVID, these public spaces have shifted by necessity from how Robert Frost defined home as “the place where, when you have to go there,/They have to take you in” (we often get the chilling if awkward response: “I should have called it/Something you somehow haven’tContinue reading “The changing role of libraries”

‘They should treat us like professionals’

I counted more bodies on campus in the last ten days than in all of Fall 2020: clumps of students basking in the crispness of a January morning, few of whom dicknosed their masks. Following a fall term held mostly online, the university, perhaps fearing a smack from Governor Ron DeSantis, increased the number ofContinue reading “‘They should treat us like professionals’”

The damage done by “good schools”

Well-intentioned but as unwilling to scrutinize their motives as they teach their children to be, many Miami parents put their children in what we are trained to call “good schools” for the sake of putting distance between their Latino non-black children and black children, who, it is understood but never said aloud, turn their schoolsContinue reading “The damage done by “good schools””

The Ten Commandments of Student Writing

Teaching full time since last August, I’ve got more students than ever, hence more exposure than ever to the infelicities of student writing. I wanted to share these pensées before my next face-to-face course in late June. Let me stress: student writing, not other writing, although why not. I’ll take suggestions.

Florida — the state with the prettiest name, part XVIII

While Governor Ron DeSantis helped break the impasse over medical marijuana and has made clear his opposition to Big Sugar, the Florida House remains a cloaca in which ideas like this fester: on Wednesday a panel approved a bill requiring Florida public universities to survey faculty members and students about their politics.