How do we imagine the American Dream?
Every semester I ask my students to define the American Dream. In classroom discussion I ask them to name multiple characteristics of the American Dream. Next I push them to come to a consensus about 3-4 core characteristics that define this concept. Some of the most common characteristics named are social mobility, financial security, . . .
Two Questions About Pride: The Difference Between “Good pride”/ “Bad Pride” and How to Avoid Becoming an Arrogant/Prideful Person
Defining and Preventing Pride
1. What is the difference between "good pride" and "bad pride?"
Every semester I put a list of the seven deadly sins on a PowerPoint slide before my freshman English class. I ask my class to write a 300 word response to this question: "of the seven deadly sins, which threatens America the most in 2016?" Students . . .
Four Tips to Help the Untrained Brain
As a college English teacher, I often hear students flippantly self-identify as being easily distracted. My students speak as if this is unusual and inevitable. It seems as if they’ve been taught that a distracted brain cannot be cured, outside of ADHD medication.
Being a 33-year-old American adult who is easily distracted, I consider some of . . .
On my 29th birthday, I wrote down in a notebook that I would learn to be a competent backpacker before my 30th birthday. For years I'd been gathering people to explore state parks on day hikes. Yet I was not confident enough to lead a pack of friends into the woods overnight. After about 2 12 years of talking to experienced backpackers, . . .
A Few Reasons Why We Hesitate to Explore and Participate in Nature
"Self-consciousness, however, does hinder the experience of the present. It is the one instrument that unplugs all the rest."- Annie Dillard
"Man, I lay in bed thinking about this place at night" Bobby said as we ride up to the Upper Nantahala River on a July weekday afternoon. We are both in town for a reunion, yet both . . .
What Growth Looks Like in Your Twenties
I graduated from college in May of 2006 from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. On that day back in 2006, with thousands of other college graduates, I was excited to enter the work world with intentions of shaping my own reality and entering the work world.
College fostered in me spiritual, professional, emotional and . . .
Highlights from Stunk and White’s “Elements of Style”
Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style” is perhaps the most commonly read handbook for anyone looking to improve as a writer. The first edition of “Elements of Style” was published in 1959 and the book has been read since then to help guide young writers and remind experienced writers of the basics. While the book does hit on some common . . .