Teaching Discourse in the Year of the Donald

Teaching Discourse in the Year of the Donald

It’s the time of the summer that I have started to slowly turn my attention back to my classroom, making plans for the coming year and reviewing my curriculum.  As a social studies teacher, many of my objectives align with…

Teaching Civics in the Year of The Donald

Teaching Civics in the Year of The Donald

Earlier this year, I asked my 8th grade social studies class to raise their hand if they would be turning fourteen before November.  Most of them raised their hands.  “That means,” I told them, “that you will be able to…

Speech Acts in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth

Speech Acts in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth

The importance of words and storytelling is immediately apparent in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth (Spanish: El laberinto del fauno, Spain/Mexico, 2006).  The film opens with the voiceover of a narrator, who describes a fantastical subterranean world where a young princess…

The Great Plainfield Quakes of ’15

The Great Plainfield Quakes of ’15

One of the easy things about living in New England is that we get a little bit of everything when it comes to the natural phenomena that afflict parts of the United States, without anything being particularly extreme.  We get…

The Heritage of Depression in Lars von Trier’s MELANCHOLIA

The Heritage of Depression in Lars von Trier’s MELANCHOLIA

The first time I saw Lars von Trier’s Melancholia (Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany, 2011), I didn’t fully appreciate its complex representation of depression.  Despite the lush imagery, Shakespearean references, and the threat of the end of the world, something about the portrayal of…

Teaching Columbus to Kids

Teaching Columbus to Kids

Every person who’s worked in a place with a copy room knows that it can, at times, turn into a wasteland of forgotten originals left behind on the glass.  Any curious person who’s worked in a place with a copy…

The Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge

As you are certainly well aware, the hot new craze to sweep the nation this summer was to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  As I write this in early September, I am also certain that you are possibly…