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The 5 Year Process of Learning How to Wakeboard

Why Being Aware of How You Learn Makes Everything Easier to Learn

I tried wakeboarding in 2006 for the first time at High Rock Lake outside of Lexington, NC. At the age of 22, I believed I could do anything. In terms of social, physical and intellectual confidence, I was at a peak. Along with that, I knew how to snowboard. The transition seemed like a given. Snowboarding and wakeboarding begin the same way . . .

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August 06, 2015

Thoreau's 1854 View of America and America's 2015 Anxieties

On The First Two Chapters of Walden

The best thing about a carefully crafted mix CD is that it often contains your friend's favorite songs or a band's best songs. The mix CD cuts out the process of having to work hard to find the good songs and just allows you to hear what is worth your time. If I were to make a mix CD from Henry David Thoreau's "Walden," . . .

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July 28, 2015

Why We Never Stopped Watching TV

And One Method for Watching Less

Is cable television is hurtful or helpful for our society in 2015? This is not a new question. 2015 marks the 30 year anniversary of the 1985 publication of Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business." Postman's book lays out multiple arguments that show how cable television is . . .

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July 15, 2015

An American Life Free of War

Reflection on My Trip to Kaabong, Uganda

I wrote this earlier this year (January 2015) about a week after I had returned from Uganda. I'd visited my friend Bobby Lane who lives in Northern Uganda. After I wrote this, Bobby made some changes so this is now something we co-wrote. He posted this on his blog in late January. However I wanted to share this since it is Independence . . .

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July 03, 2015

Saving Your Superlatives: Two Tips on Staying Grounded in Communication

On the use of superlatives

As an English teacher, I obsessively think about ways I can get my students to be accurate in their language. You can only write "be more specific" so many times across the top of a student's paper. To be more specific about what I mean by "be more specific" is to limit your superlatives. By limiting how much you use . . .

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Posted in: writing tips

June 23, 2015

Accuracy in Language Motivates More Than Grammar

Does "Correct Grammar" Motivate Students in English Class?

Many students who come into my English 111 believe that the primary purpose of my class is for me to change them into "grammatically correct" writers and hammer into them the ability to "speak properly." In terms of motivation, an end goal of correct grammar is not enough to make students want to change their writing or . . .

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June 16, 2015

Why Personal Stories Help Develop Relationships

I consider myself a mediocre storyteller. I'm not the kind of person who regularly takes the stage at a family gathering or a party to unravel a story. Yet on a family vacation recently, I had the chance to tell the entire story of the one time in my life where I truly thought I was going to die. I sat in a beautiful mountain house in . . .

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June 10, 2015