Posts Tagged With: Brain Child

Cowboys and Elephants

Today marks the publication of the sixth and final post on Literary Cowboys for Ploughshares . I talk Star Wars, Firefly, Cowboy Bebop, and much more.

“The Myth of the Literary Cowboy, Part 6: Save a Horse, Write a (Space) Cowboy”

In the coming months I’ll continue to write for Ploughshares on all things lovely and literary.

 

sidebar-summer2013

Also out this week is the summer 2013 issue of Brain, Child featuring my essay, “The Elephant Maker.” It’s available on some news stands and online here.

 

XO

A

Categories: Get Smart, Objects de Art, The Little People and Furry Friends, Write On | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Things that Rocked May 19-25

  1. I’ve been looking a great deal at blog design for inspiration and come across a number of fab destinations. My current obsession is with A Beautiful MessSo many fantastic ideas.
  2. Lucky me was published twice on Cinefilles this week. Check out my review of Star Trek Into Darkness and my retrospective on Cleopatra.
  3. Next week, aside from basking the glory of Margaret Atwood, I’m getting my second tattoo. While looking for the perfect font, I found this fantastic piece about why a mother got a tattoo with her daughter.
  4. It was also my week on The Baraza where I share my favorite graduation themed pop culture moments.
  5. On The Review Review, this article on Twitter Fiction had me thinking and working on my brevity.

XO

A

Categories: Feed the Belly, Get Smart, Let Me Entertain You, Life and Other Nonsense, Objects de Art, Write On | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

F is for Five Things That Rocked March 31 – April 6

So perhaps this is a bit of a cheat with my A to Z challenge, but it just happens that F falls on my normal Five Things day–it’s meant to be!

  1. The A to Z challenge. Not only have I had the chance to think outside my normal posting ideas, I’ve gotten to read some really cool blogs. I’m excited for the rest of the month to unfold.
  2. This tribute on Cinefilles to late film critic Roger Ebert. I actually started crying when I heard the news. He was a great writer, lover of film, and an inspiration.
  3. The news that I have been invited to be part of The Best Women’s Travel Writing 2013 anthology. Last year it was an honor; this year it is mind blowing to be included again. Look for more on that as the publication date nears. Also cool? Two days after that contract came through, I had an article accepted for the summer print issue of Brain, Child, my favorite parenting magazine.
  4. Ploughshares has been pretty fab this week with selections from Ian Stansel, Ali Shapiro, my girl A.J. Kandathil (Seriously, why aren’t you following her blog yet?), and little me with more cowboys and a threatened ass-kicking.
  5. Texas VegFest with my favorite trouble-making buddy, Mitzi. Okay, we haven’t gone yet, but how is it not going to rock?
Categories: Feed the Belly, Get Smart, Let Me Entertain You, Life and Other Nonsense, Objects de Art, Write On | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Heavy Leisure: The Homework Problem

Yesterday as I was paging through my new issue of Brain, Child magazine (which, if you aren’t reading, you should–it’s the best parenting magazine on the market), I came across a section where parents where asked the craziest thing they had done to help their kids with homework.

Expecting things like late night runs to Wal Mart or helping hands on craft projects (which were present), I was shocked to find parents who admitted to–nay almost bragged about–doing their kids homework for them, refusing to make the children do homework, or telling the teacher that her definition of homework didn’t work for them and she should accept what they termed as homework.

Really?

Our country continues to fall behind in academics, students go to college and the workforce unprepared with poor work ethic, and we wonder why. It’s not the action that bothers me (okay, so it bothers me a little), it’s the attitude. That students deserve plenty of leisure time and education is infringing on that. With younger kids, I get not loading them down, but I also think that having something for them to do each night that relates to school is important.

As they get older, many students and parents seem to think leisure time and after school activities should take precedence over homework. My colleagues and I constantly receive emails from our dual credit students telling us they cannot do their college work because of their extracurricular activities. Apparently they don’t understand the extra part of extracurricular. More than that, a number of my students of all types are just lazy. They are annoyed that I ask them to do things outside of class.

I suppose I do have some nerve, asking them to read and write essays for a college writing class. Or asking them to turn things in on time even thought they have basketball practice and have known about the essay for three weeks.

Last week I was watching PBS in my hotel room at an assessment training conference. Charlie Rose was interviewing former DC superintendent Michelle Rhee (I first became aware of her in the documentary Waiting for Superman). Rhee made the point that education is not, as we treat it, a social issue. It is an economic issue. I’d never heard it articulated like that before, but she’s dead on. Education is not for socialization (that’s a side-effect); it’s to create a strong workforce. So when parents don’t make their students complete homework, they are modeling a poor work ethic whether they realize it or not.

Yes, I agree that there is a difference between homework and busy work. Yes, I agree students should have some down time. But many students seem to think they are only accountable during class hours (never mind those that bring their leisure time into my class as well–phones are the bane of my existence). Homework is the chance for them to work on bettering themselves, establish what they do and don’t know, and attempt to demonstrate the skills without someone looking over their shoulders.

So if your student comes home with work, teach them time management, answer their questions, guide them, but for their sake, make them do it.

XO

A

Categories: Get Smart, Life and Other Nonsense, The Little People and Furry Friends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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