Showing posts from May, 2008

College Teaching

As part of my position as Coordinator of a Teaching and Learning Center, I am reading or have read several books about college teaching. Some I recommend are:
What the Best College Teachers Do, by Ken BainLearner-Centered Assessment, by Mary Huba and Jan FreedBecoming a Reflective Critically Reflective Teacher, by Stephen BrookfieldTeaching at Its Best, by Linda NilsonCreating Significant Learning Experiences, by Dee Fink.
I have been privileged to hear the last two authors speak, and I would recommend them as well. For more information on resources in college teaching, go to:

I would like to develop a "workshop" of my own; I have a lot of wisdom about teaching although my own performance sometimes doesn't show it. My most recent epiphanies follow.

1. The affective domain matters more than the cognitive. Ten years ago, I wouldn't have said that. The way this generation has been raised makes …

Turning Points (and no more talking points)

Last night marked an hour (or evening) of decision for me, related to TV. Like any baby boomer, TV is the warp and woof of my life. It just is; even when we decide to change our viewing habits, we know it's there, bigger and stronger than it ever was. We know our choice to boycott or turn it off really won't make any difference to anyone else, only to ourselves. But that is enough.

Specifically--it was the season finale of LOST, and anyone who reads this blog or knows me outside of my church self knows I'm a LOST nut. My husband makes fun of me, and the show. It is incredibly convoluted, and those of us who talk about it probably sound like cult members. But last night was the last night for me. No, I'll still watch next year's shows, but probably online. I'm not going to make time for it based on ABC's scheduling decisions.

That's not to say that I was disappointed. I felt like the plotlines I cared about were resolved. But the science fictio…


My last post, below, was rather "random" as the young people say today. That's one of those rare (but overused) slang words that really means something, that works. I am always frustrated by judicial activism. But in keeping with randomness, I will make some disparate observations.

1. We did not have cable TV until two years ago. We chose not to expose our son to it when he was growing up. It is not worth the money although I enjoy Turner Classic Movies.

2. Hannity and Colmes is getting old. Why in the world do they interview Dick Morris? Wasn't he disgraced.

3. Barack Obama scored a point with me by telling people to leave his wife alone. However, he's still behind by several hundred points in my book. I found this article in the Wall Street Journal enlightening and frightening.

4. If one seeks to live one's life in accordance to God's word and the calling one believes one has, people wi…


This post may get a reaction from people, but I can't let the California ruling on gay marriage go by without a comment, or two, or more.
1. Why should our fear of (and I mean fear of offending, or fear of litigation from) 2% of the population make us redefine the meaning of a tradition, a relationship, a word, a sacrament (for the Catholics), a covenant (for the Reformed), a legal contract, a reality that is thousands of years old?
2. What does a civil union or domestic partnership not do that marriage does for a gay couple?
3. Why do we think marriage is essentially about love? It was only about love in the last 300 years, by that I mean, who one married was about other considerations than just affection, and affection was often an afterthought. Marriage is an institution for the good of all, not just two people in the marriage. This argument flies in the face of, no, it's incomprehensible to us today. We marry because we love someone, right? Uh, not traditionally.
4. …

Evangelical Manifesto

Here is a link that looks interesting. I've not come to a conclusion on it, but it's the kind of thing that interests me. I invite comment.

On Teaching

I have taught professionally for thirty years. I started in January 1978. That hard to believe; I started at 22. I'm pretty good at it (but have lots of room for improvement), and I teach something difficult for people to like: public speaking.

Interestingly, for the last year I have been serving as the Coordinator for the college's Teaching and Learning Center and will be doing the same in the upcoming academic year. I know much more now about teaching and learning than I did a year ago, and part of that, of course, is learning how much I do not know. It would be best if I had a doctorate in the field; perhaps one day I will, but the motivation is not there, nor the money right now. Probably in twelve months someone else will take over the Center and it will be my legacy; I'll get my promotion and fade into the background.

Therefore, some of these posts will also be about teaching, which to be honest I see as a subset of public speaking anyway. (Maybe more like a V…

Free Speech

Probably because of the field I teach in, I am an advocate of free speech. And I'm pretty absolute about it. That's why I am puzzled by attempts to restrict it. However, I only fear attempts to restrict it that originate from the government, and while I am not a lawyer or expert on this, that doesn't seem to be the problem, although I realize an argument could perhaps be made that the Patriot Act is a form of censorship. The argument against the Patriot Act seems to be more in the realm of the fourth amendment. That's another one I'm absolute about even though I don't believe the right to privacy is necessarily in the constitution or the basis of a right to abortion, despite what the Supreme Court claimed. But back to the original thought, it really doesn't seem to me that the federal government is restricting anyone's talk nowadays. But someone is.

I am puzzled by the Far Left's denunciation of Obama for talking to a Fox News pundit. What i…