Freshman Composition As a Space for Self-Reflection
“Hey Mr. Branson. Is it OK if I write my essay about the effects of divorce on children? My parents are divorced, and I want to write about the impact that divorce has on a child."
For my freshman composition class, I let students write about whatever they want to write about as long as they provide me with a realistic outline. . . .
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 . . .
On Executing "Big Ideas" and Leadership
When it comes to leadership, I find that execution of a “big idea” is as important as the creation of the idea in the first place.
My senior year of college at UNCW, I came up with an idea, in which my literature professor helped me to turn into an on-campus panel discussion.
One Saturday afternoon in the spring of 2006, I . . .
And Less About Knowing How to Write Something That Rhymes
I started regularly writing poems in 2009 after two friends asked me to help them write song lyrics. My friends Zack, Marcus and I were sitting around a campfire late one night in the mountains. Zach was holding a guitar and Marcus was playing a banjo. Zack said “Nate, you were an English major. Do you think you teach us how to write song . . .
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 . . .
Finding a Place to Think, "Word Vomit" and Collaborative Brainstorming
If you are attempting to write something meaningful and cohesive you must have some method for accomplishing your writing goal. When we decide to write, we must have methods for A) getting an idea to write about or B) developing the idea we've chosen so that it is clear.
How do you write well in a loud, noisy, distracted world? . . .
We should not underestimate the mentoring that churches provide to the stressed out college student.
As a community college English instructor, I often hear conversations about what we can do to help students graduate. We want students to complete their degrees as efficiently as possible so they can move on to a four-year university or immediately into their career path. Educators today are skilled at helping students gain work ethic, . . .