Rules Are Never Neutral — Even in Grammar

by on December 12, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


Black and Proud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In The Case for Black With a Capital B, Lori Thorps considers the evolution of the descriptor “Black.” In particular, she unfolds how political and cultural disenfranchisement — that is, racism — has been reflected in rules of capitalization in the US.

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The Importance of Straight Talk

by on November 20, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


anne williamsIn this interview with the New York Times, Anne Williams-Isom, chief executive of the Harlem Children’s Zone, a nonprofit antipoverty organization, talks about the importance of her mentors.

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Junot Diaz Reflects on Being a Student

by on November 6, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


adult-hands

In his New Yorker essay “MFA vs. POC,” Junot Diaz explores the role of race in writing workshops and the POC voice in literature.

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The Scariest Book You Ever Read

by on October 23, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


mathisWhat scares us? In a blog post, two writers, Ayana Mathis (left) and Francine Prose, talk about their encounters with terrifying books. Interestingly, both refer to books they first read as young children.

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What If We Have to Fail to Succeed?

by on October 14, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


Curiosity Picture

Zest

What if success isn’t about “doing it right” and is instead about one’s ability to tolerate failure? As this New York Times article “What if the Secret to Success Is Failure?” by Paul Tough details, at the prestigious private school Riverdale Country School, the headmaster champions characteristics such as grit, curiosity, and zest over specific academic skills as the true route to achievement.

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Get Unstuck

by on October 7, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


blog photo

If you feel stuck about where to start with your writing or where to go next, you are not alone. Here is a list of tips from pros for how to get your juices flowing when it seems like the well of ideas has run dry.

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The Problem with the Ivy Leagues

by on September 30, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


studentsThe most-read article in the history of the magazine The New Republic is “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League.” Published in July as an excerpt from author William Deresiewicz’s book Excellent Sheep, it started a national conversation about higher education, and one of the most interesting responses, published in the same magazine, is titled “The Trouble With Harvard.” Both offer provocative thoughts on education, classes, standardized testing, and the point of college.

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The Grit of a Writer in Exile

by on August 15, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


Syrian Poet

 

In New York Times article, “Taking Fares, and Writing in Between,” Rohter (2014) shows how Syrian poet-in-exile Osama Alomar does just that from the driver’s seat of his cab in Chicago. A pile of dictionaries ride along with him in the front seat, and a notebook at the ready. Writer Lydia Davis calls his work “very imaginative and vivid and exhilarating,” and I find his grit and dedication also an exhilarating reminder of what little moments can add up to.

 

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Imagining Mark Twain Writing About Common Core Testing

by on July 21, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


twainIn this article — which may be of specific interest to students in MCNY’s M.S. Ed. program — David Perrin, a high school English teacher in Illinois, imagines what Mark Twain, one of our country’s most important satirists, would have thought about the U.S.’s trend of standardized testing. Referencing a range of people from Louie C.K. to Glenn Beck to Helen Keller, the article also links to two of Twain’s original texts: a parody of a Brooklyn teacher’s misinformed students and an essay skewering public schools for rote teaching methods.

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How Junot Diaz Writes

by on July 15, 2014 in Must Reads with No Comments »


In this thoughtful and funny interview, award-winning Dominican-American writer Junot Diaz discusses his own writing process, the importance of revising and rewriting, his whole-hearted support of young writers of color, and his predictions about the zombie apocalypse.

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