Nathan Branson

How Facebook Makes Sense of Fragmented Communities for Transient People

Three years ago, I introduced two of my best friends who both work for the city of Charlotte. My friend from UNCW undergrad, Seth Ervin currently leads tech projects for the libraries in Charlotte. Phil Freeman, my room-mate from grad school, helps with city planning projects for the city. Last week Phil texted me to say the two of them got . . .

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August 31, 2019

What Sparks the Daydreams that Happen in Your Head?

Reflecting on My High School Self on the Appalachian Trail

Two weeks ago, my cousin Becca Jones and I hiked four days on the Appalachian Trail in Vermont. Becca planned our four days in the woods as hiking 9 miles, 9 miles, 8 miles and then 12.5 miles respectively for the four days. She was in charge of trail logistics in how long we would hike, where we would camp and the pace we were hiking at. . . .

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August 03, 2019

Why Keeping Your Audience in Mind Matters

On the Small Flaw that Can Bore, Confuse and Lose Your Reader (And How to Avoid It)

I am a part of a writing group that meets twice a month. When we meet, each member is asked to read 5 pages of something they’ve written. You’d be surprised at how effective reading 5 pages of a first draft out loud to other writers is for finding how weak your writing is. I typically end up slightly embarrassed about simple mistakes that I . . .

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July 01, 2019

Can a 50 Hour Work-Week and a Weekend Hiking Adventure Co-Exist?

Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods” Inspired a Weekend Trip to Linville Gorge

I like reading the stories of amatuers trying achieve their dreams. Bill Bryson, a writer from New England, decided one day that he wanted hike the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail. After a day hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire Bryson thought “Why not?” This was the beginning of what would become his best-selling book “A Walk in the . . .

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May 23, 2019

Two Reasons that Millennials Could Have Weaker Community Than Their Parents and Grandparents

The Presence of Screens is Becoming (and Has Been) All-Consuming

“I want that when I am 55 years old.”

That was my thought while sitting in a Barnes and Noble coffee shop in High Point, NC about 2 years ago while grading papers. I was watching a group of about 5 men in their 50’s and 60’s all sitting around drinking coffee and talking about the history of the Doors. I could hear them nerd-ing out . . .

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March 05, 2019

What I Learned Working at Branson’s Auto Service

Every Business has a Culture, I Hate to See This Culture Die

My parents decided to close their auto repair and tire business last week, December 21st 2018. My great grandfather JO Branson opened Branson’s Auto Service in 1959. He then handed it down to my grandfather Ed Branson, who then handed down to my father Elliott Branson. My parents have decided to close the business and then put it up for sale . . .

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December 31, 2018

How to Lead a College-Level Discussion

Seven Steps for Leading a Smoother Classroom Discussion

There is a real difference between leading a college-level classroom discussion and participating in a college classroom discussion.

As a literature major in undergrad, professors were constantly pushing me to form my own point of view about a book and be able to confidently articulate my thoughts in discussion. The typical . . .

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October 19, 2018