Tag Archives: Teaching English

The Kind of Country We Want

Rude awakenings are useful. That is how we really learn. Nothing is what your thought it would be. Life slaps you in the face. What were you thinking? Snap out of it! You’re not going to be a famous jazz … Continue reading

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Structural Impediments

Live and learn. Teaching was fine, but the pay was awful and teaching wasn’t the half of it. There was careful preparation and planning, which for English teachers involves far more than daily lesson plans. Novels and poems and plays … Continue reading

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Quantifying the Absence of Hope

It was the late seventies, back when you didn’t teach-to-the-test and actually tried to get the kids to learn a few things, and if possible, even understand them – but even then teaching high-school English was a dismal business, even … Continue reading

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Managing the Unmanageable

The transition from teaching bored and distracted late adolescents to managing proudly eccentric and inappropriately inventive programmers and systems analysts, with no social skills whatsoever, was fairly easy, even if it took a few years. It was pretty much the … Continue reading

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Grading Papers

Teaching high school English back in the seventies wasn’t bad at all, especially at that prep school in upstate New York. That’s the thing about private schools – they’re exclusive. Those who won’t be able to keep up aren’t admitted, … Continue reading

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Something Else Entirely

Some things you remember even if they happened long ago. And long ago, teaching English to late adolescents at that fancy prep school in upstate New York – in those Dead Poets Society years – the seventies, actually – it … Continue reading

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The Allure of Imaginary Worlds

Yes, all the graduate work was in Early Eighteenth Century British Literature – in caps because that was a distinct field. And the idea was to become, one day, an authority in the field, with a long career of boring … Continue reading

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