Sharing Ideas and Failing Up

If I had to identify one thing I do well in the classroom, it’s this: I create an environment where it’s the norm to take risks, fail, and explore half-baked ideas. My guess is that I model all three of these things. I fail up pretty much all the time, and I’m in the habit […]

Reading

James Baldwin is a wonderful writer. I’m working my way slowly through The Fire Next Time, and the following passage just punched me in the chest: Here was the South Side – a million in captivity – stretching from this doorstep as far as the eye could see. Ands they didn’t even read; depressed populations […]

On Critical Thinking Skills

I saw a Tweet the other day that said something along the lines of “If only people had critical thinking skills, we wouldn’t be in this situation.” I disagree. Critical thinking skills interact with other things like world views, personal philosophies, religious beliefs, etc., and all of these things influence how critical thinking skills are […]

Extracurricular Reading

I have a great extracurricular reading list for the summer. It’s not one that I established at the end of the semester or anything. It’s something that will evolve as my outside interests shift in response to whatever it is they respond to. Right now I’m reading the following: I’m just about done with the top two […]

Designerly Ways of Listening

I’ve been thinking for the last few months about listening. How can I be a better listener? What does it mean to be a good listener? How would I describe the feeling of being listened to? These are questions whose answers are important for the sake of personal improvement. If I believe that being a better listener […]

Writing | Quality as a Function of Utility

Everybody writes. Emails, blogs, papers, journal articles, book chapters, theses, dissertations, books… So at the draft stage of writing, how do you know enough is enough? This question popped into my head today as I was sending a draft of a section of a paper to my co-author. I wrote to him via email something […]

Quantification and Goal Setting

Preface: I wrote this in an email exchange in early January, and the idea is still bouncing around my noggin. I’d love to get a dialogue going with anyone interested in any aspect of this content… Before reading further, you can watch this video: TEDx talk on Keeping Your Goals. If you don’t watch it, […]

On Writing Papers

In the interest of writing more posts, I’m going to try constraining myself to just a few hundred words or less for each entry. We’re talking 250-ish words. I need to get better at jamming lots of meaning into a few words instead of saying a lot without actually saying much. This came into sharp […]

Feeling a Good Presentation

I can feel a good presentation, and I can feel a crumby one. I’ve been ginning up a presentation of a segment of a paper co-authored with my advisor, and there are some choice sections (of the presentation) where I’ve been able to pull in a few personal anecdotes to illustrate the points made in […]