Category Archives: Education

Explaining the American Dream

Growing up in the new raw post-war suburbs of Pittsburgh was pretty much an all-white experience, even if the hero of all heroes in Pittsburgh will always be Roberto Clemente, a black man from Puerto Rico whose English was limited. … Continue reading

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Waiting for the Impossible

As September collapses into October it seems everyone is waiting for Superman – and they’re not waiting for the new ultimate Tea Party candidate who will whip out a revolver and shoot pesky reporters dead and then deport Obama to … Continue reading

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The Teacher’s Dilemma

Some things stay with you. It was June 1981 – so long ago it might have been the birth of today’s world, kind of like the Big Bang or something. That was the year IBM introduced the first IBM PC … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Obama as FDR, Obama as Lincoln, Obama Changing Little, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Knowing Lots about Lots of Things

It was the mid to late seventies, and the place was Rochester, New York – and the job was teaching English at an exclusive prep school, with the students being, for the most part, the children of old money, or … Continue reading

Posted in Anti-Intellectualism, Attack Politics, David Brooks, Education, High-Information Voters, Jack Cafferty, McCain, McCain versus Russia, McCain's Free Pass, McCain's New Crisis, Obama, Pew Survey on News Consumption, Political Pandering, Rick Shenkman - Just How Stupid Are We?, Style versus Substance, Threat Assessment, Welch - McCain: The Myth of a Maverick | Leave a comment

Community and the Individual, Again, and Again

The American right has been ragging on Europe for years now.  The French are cowards, the Brits have their crappy socialized medical system where no matter how much money you have you have to wait for treatment, the Italians are … Continue reading

Posted in Clinton, Consumerism and Values, Cultural Notes, Democracy, Economic Issues, Education, Obama, Political Theory, The French | 1 Comment

Can We Talk? What Embarrasses Us

Anne Fadiman, the author and editor, and the daughter of Clifton Fadiman, is at it again.  Her 1997 book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (website here) won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Ex Libris: Confessions … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Cultural Notes, Education, The Arts, The French, The Uses of History | Leave a comment

The Culture of Consequences

It was in the early seventies.  I was in my first year of teaching – teaching English to adolescents, the wealthy children of Rochester, New York, at one of the two expensive prep schools in town.  My department chairman, a … Continue reading

Posted in Bush, Class Warfare, Cultural Notes, Economic Issues, Education, Psychology, What Can Be Done | Leave a comment