Nathan Branson

What I Want Every One of My Students To Know on their First Day of Class

Every April I spend about 50 hours per week grading essays. That doesn't include other duties at my job. During those hours, I begin to take note of the good and bad habits of my students. As I grade I sit and ponder the personalities of my students: students who made an A in my class, students who do the bare minimum to pass, students . . .

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May 17, 2018

On Revision: The Most Ignored Part of the Writing Process

Knocking Out Unfinished Writing Projects

Revision is the hardest part of writing. It comes after the free flowing first draft and before the sentence by sentence editing process. Revision is the process of looking at things on a macro scale so your ideas are logical to the reader. Yet most people think that overcoming “writer’s block” and “improving their grammar skills errors” are . . .

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January 15, 2018

What if Books Were Advertised on TV and Youtube?

"I didn't know there was a book about that."

Will the popularity of Kindle help or hurt whether young people read? Will the fact that people power-browse articles on their IPhones negatively effect their reading habits? Aren’t people too busy to read a 350 page novel in 2017? These are the kinds of questions I hear related as to why people might read less than they did in the past. I’m . . .

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December 26, 2017

Part 2: Seeing God in the Post-Prayer Present

The Hand from the Sky When the Urgency is Gone

“Belief in God has to be more than mental assent, more than a cliched exercise in cognition.” ---Ann Voskamp

Recently I came home from work, very hungry. I knew there was very little to eat, no crackers, no cheese, no yogurt, no left-over spaghetti or burrito ingredients. So I got the peanut butter and bread out of the cabinet, laid . . .

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September 21, 2017

Part 1: A Method for Developing Internal, Private Gratefulness to God

Does a person intentionally need to learn thankfulness?

"When one is thirsty one quenches one’s thirsty by drinking, not by reading books which treat this condition.” ----Pierre de Caussade

I’ve always thought of thankfulness as a perfunctory virtue for old people and holidays. It was something adult mothers started to develop once they had children. By the time they had . . .

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August 11, 2017

Write on the Whiteboard Every Class: My Advice to Teachers Straight out of Undergrad

An Old School Answer to an Common Problem

If I were speaking to 22-year-old, recently graduated, aspiring teachers I would give them one piece of advice:

Find a way to write on the white board every single class.

This is the one thing I've found that can wake up a sleepy class. I’ve taught freshman composition for 5 years now at the community college level. Like . . .

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July 14, 2017

5 Digital Lectures by Christian Thinkers

Background Noise for the Commute or House-Work

Wrestling with questions in my faith has consistently led to growth. I have lots of questions about Christianity and how it works. Typically these questions float around subconsciously in my mind and I may randomly stumble across an answer in a book, sermon or lecture. Sometimes I write the question down and seek it out intentionally. However . . .

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June 30, 2017