Reflections on Contract Grading

Yesterday marked the end of my last semester of teaching, but this was also the first semester when I taught the way I wanted to. It sounds strange to say, given that the semester was unexpectedly cut in half by a global pandemic, but the resilience of my course design felt like a total victoryContinue reading “Reflections on Contract Grading”

Cartas de América #5: one hundred years of my problematic fave

“You’ve done in about forty-five minutes what it took literary critics years of arguing to solve,” I told them. “Magical realism” is a marketing term more than anything, but my students got what García Márquez was getting at in the course of a paragraph. Take something wild and tell it truthfully, as if it wereContinue reading “Cartas de América #5: one hundred years of my problematic fave”

Cartas de América #4: teaching culture with the Nacirema

I like this lesson not just because it brings out the creativity in my students, or because it gives us all a laugh, but because it makes us ask a really important question about “cultural learning.” What’s it for? I used the Nacirema article to criticize the Maya one, urging students to de-exoticize their readingContinue reading “Cartas de América #4: teaching culture with the Nacirema”


we teach the future and the conditional together;this is a fatal mistake. they have shared irregular’s supposed to make it easier to learn(like it’s easier to memorize countries alphabetically,but this does not teach you geography). but of course, there is no way to make this easy:either you have a future or you know whatContinue reading “future-in-the-past”

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