Letter Grades

Apologies for the flood of blog posts. During the week, I don’t have time, so I end up with a variety of things to post about! One significant problem with educational systems is the emphasis on grades. Grades–with or without rubrics (which I basically detest beyond my general CASE-method general rubric)–are a subjective, arbitrary measurementContinue reading “Letter Grades”

Ahmed Mohamed, the United States’s Responses, and the Nature of Life Today

I wanted to share a few brief observations and comments about Ahmed Mohamed and the resulting attention. Last night I was thinking about it, and I figured that there was probably already a Wikipedia page about him. And there is. While the page is currently being considered for deletion, presumably under their “notability” policy, even ifContinue reading “Ahmed Mohamed, the United States’s Responses, and the Nature of Life Today”

9/11 Has Yet to End

As a historian, I am always interested in the ways in which people frame events. Frames used are socially constructed and involve memory and constructed narratives about History. The past is about processes, not events, in actuality, but people have intense desires to group things conceptually. 9/11 is a process, not an event, per se.Continue reading “9/11 Has Yet to End”

Laws as Self-Protection

I have long thought about laws in terms of laws being a response and there being a gap between the law and reality. In my Mexican American History I class–the class where I am having so many “ah-ha teaching moments”–I recently ventured into also thinking about laws as a form of self-protection–a more specific branch ofContinue reading “Laws as Self-Protection”

Backs Adorned with Flags

(Please be sure and also read Backs Adorned with Flags (Followup and Changing Ideas) as my ideas have greatly shifted from those in this post.) I’m not a fan of public (or private) displays of flags. Flags privilege modern national states (see, “6 Flags Over Texas”: History, Rhetoric, and Deleting the Past, for example), encourage ethnocentrism andContinue reading “Backs Adorned with Flags”

Laughing and Learning (and Teaching)

In my classes, we tend to laugh a lot. I especially enjoy nice, good laughs. Sometimes my students and I get to laughing so hard that I cannot talk or think for a minute. Laughing is one of countless human emotions, and it has countless powers–one being learning. Laughing makes learning safe(r). Laughing reduces stress.  LaughingContinue reading “Laughing and Learning (and Teaching)”

A Plea to Students: When to and not to email professors.

Following these guidelines will help me and your other professors. We often get hundreds of messages a day. We want to help you and learn from you, and we can better do so if we don’t receive certain kinds of email.  Please do email me if you come across an interesting article or video (etc) you think I mightContinue reading “A Plea to Students: When to and not to email professors.”