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July 21, 2011

How To: Radicalize Graduate Students

AAUP: How To Radicalize Graduate Students
C. The HPT Meeting. Around the Pentagon, HPT stands for “high-payoff target,” and that’s exactly what you’re aiming for, so use this tactic sparingly. Here, HPT is a mnemonic you can use to plan meetings with overconfident graduate students. A few days after a friendly interaction (drinks at a reception, a chat in the hall about good news on the publishing front, or some similar light conversation), casually request a meeting with your student to check up on his progress. Be sure to say something personal in the e-mail to maximize the sense of informality (“I was glad to hear that your cat’s surgery was successful!”). Meeting set, the HPT agenda proceeds as follows: (1) Humiliate the student immediately by asking an exam-style question tangential to his area of knowledge. After he stumbles through an answer, inform him that he is devastatingly wrong (for proper affect management, imagine he’s just farted audibly while speaking). As he tilts toward the abyss of his self- doubt, (2) patronizingly offer an olive branch to help him out—a task useful to your own research that also happens to be the only thing capable of saving him from his overwhelming wrongness. You’ll either get a domesticated free research assistant or he’ll resist, declaring that that is not what his project is about at all. If the latter occurs, (3) bring out the threats: “It will be very hard for your thesis to gain my approval if this is not accounted for.” As fear enters your student’s eyes, open the door, extend your best wishes to the cat, and tell him you’ll look forward to seeing how his work progresses. If you’re not naturally coldhearted, the HPT meeting might shake you up a little, but keep in mind that as you’re sipping your evening pinot, your student might be getting in touch with his inner Wobbly at the bar down the street.

July 17, 2011

These are some amazingly good tips for writing a novel

TomCoxBlog: How To Write A Novel: A Few Pointers For Getting Started
* Try to set at least one pivotal scene of your novel against the backdrop of the Twin Towers. Even if it's not actually about the Twin Towers, or it's set in The Malvern Hills, try to mention them. Say something like "Looking at the rubble of the childhood den where she and Ambrose Stoneman first played army, Sheila couldn't help being reminded of that time she watched 9/11 on Carl's telly, and the world changed forever." This will give your novel socio-political weight and make critics use phrases such as "state of the nation" and "epic" when reviewing it. * Children's heads smell a lot in novels, often of butter or milk. Nobody knows why. It's just a fact. Maybe you've smelled some children's heads recently and not really got much of a scent? Remember: that's just reality. It's not important here. Ignore it. . . . * While writing your novel, pay close attention to the skies, their hues and patterns. What do they remind you of? Remember that by properly creating a picture of a good sky, you can really help a reader get inside a dramatic scene. Failing that, just keep describing them as "gunmetal grey". . . .

July 15, 2011

If you want to read John Carter, Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs . . .

Project Gutenberg has you covered on all possible formats. Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs - Project Gutenberg

July 12, 2011

Tea Pary official admits her group wants to end all public education

I guess only the wealthy or the religious should get an education? Because that totally is what America needs right now. Pro-Voucher Tea Party Group Admits It Wants To ‘Shut Down Public Schools And Have Private Schools Only’ | ThinkProgress
In a series of e-mails and interviews, Teri Adams, the president of the Idependence Hall Tea Party Association, explains that her organization is involved in its voucher advocacy because it believes “public schools should go away.” Adams said that their ultimate goal is to “shut down public schools and have private schools only“: “We think public schools should go away,’’ says Teri Adams, the head of the Independence Hall Tea Party and a leading advocate — both in New Jersey and Pennsylvania — of passage of school voucher bills. The tea party operates in those two states and Delaware. They should “go away,” she says, because “they are hurting our children.’’ [...] Adams says the current voucher program “discriminates” against wealthier students by providing public subsidies only to inner-city children in allegedly failing schools. Her group’s e-mails pushing vouchers caught the attention of James Kovalcin of South Brunswick, a retired public school teacher who asked Adams for clarification. She responded via email: “Our ultimate goal is to shut down public schools and have private schools only, eventually returning responsibility for payment to parents and private charities. It’s going to happen piecemeal and not overnight. It took us years to get into this mess and it’s going to take years to get out of it.” “It’s refreshing to see a vouchers promoter who is honest about her real intent — to destroy public education,” responded Julia Rubin, a spokeswoman for Save Our Schools, a New Jersey organization that is opposing the voucher push in the state. “Fortunately, most New Jersey residents understand how devastating vouchers would be for our excellent public schools.”