24 results for 'darinlhammond'
Heather sits in the front of a stadium style college classroom in Idaho. In 10 minutes, her first course in higher education will begin, and she feels nervous excitement. Heather has been sitting in the center of the front row for 20 minutes now, anticipation making her antsy, her brand new $90 text book stacked on her desk, with notebooks, pen, and paper Her cellphone is off. She is thinking of how little she knows about what college learning will be like.I enter the classroom, my 29th year in formal education, 11 as a university English teacher. I know all about what the next semester holds,... (more)
Complexity in LanguageLanguage represents a mystery of the mind that has been explored for ages, with an exponentially increasing complexity. Think of all that must take place for you to read and understand this sentence alone. And in most cases, the communication is almost instantaneous, an astounding feet of computing power.First rumblings of a revolutionI suspect that most, like me, have been unaware of the cognitive revolution, beginning in the study of linguistics.Noam Chomsky declared war on the old linguistic regime in 1957, with his dismantling of the popular view of language orchestrated... (more)
I am moved by this simple line drawing. Although hard to see, it is a map locating some organisms on this planet, calling attention to the fact that we are all close relatives on earth, emerging from a common origin. We are connected in what many call the circle of life, an image that appeals to me, showing continuity, with no living organism on top. Viewing life in this way clarifies our relationship with and responsibility for other species.The circle is large and interconnected as the Hillis Plot image demonstrates. Even though the diagram only represents a small portion of life on the planet,... (more)
At times in my marriage, I have dreamed of high tech helmets that my wife and I could wear to communicate, connecting brains, so I could truly understand what my wife thinks, reading her like in science fiction books and movies. These helmets would have been useful, for example, the time my wife became furious after finding I had eaten her donut, the last one. She was pregnant with our first child. Perhaps more than a mind reading device would be required to understand such complexity.But, who hasn't longed to see into the mind of another person? The idea of getting into someone else's brain... (more)
Self expression usually motivates our writing, even the title. However, expression provides only one motivation. We also pay special attention to our titles because of readers, Bing, and Google. One of our goals is to gain traffic, and both readers and bots first scan the title to determine whether to read on. The title represents the potential to grab or lose our audience.Titles are important to me. As an English professor for the past 12 years, I have encountered 10,000 plus college level essays. Consider the number of pages that represents, most coming from reluctant writers. I nearly vomit... (more)
As a teacher of college English at Idaho State University, my students moan and groan when I mention the topics of grammar and usage. The reflexes of fear, dread, and disgust are guttural and instinctual. The students instantly hate me.
I feel the intense collective downer that I release upon the classroom environment, and I always regret having mentioned the words at all in the classroom. The collective classroom mind slams shut.But, I understand the repulsion they feel. Grammar and usage are matters that we are always told we screw up. Teachers often broach the topic as they would... (more)
Madison County, Idaho is a frozen wilderness, pounded already this year by an 8" snow storm before Halloween. Madison also ranks among the most conservative, and Mormon, counties in the United States. Google no longer catalogues the 2008 story of a disturbing bus ride in Madison School District, but I am alive to attest the truth of it. After Obama won the first election, children on an elementary school bus chanted the words that surely came from the mouths of their parents: "Assassinate Obama." The story was a brief national scandal. Madison County, a cold place indeed.
The recent death of Ray Bradbury (June 5, 2012) at 91 induced in me a fit of science fiction (SF) nostalgia, my trek toward literacy. I had been so occupied with everyday concerns, every day, for so long that I neglected my reading roots. My senior year at Middleton High School, Idaho, I fell into literature and reading through the open door of SF stories. Orwell's 1984 was my first love. Bradbury soon followed, reminding me in Dandelion Wine of the joy of new sneakers--what it means to test-pilot white Adidas (with three red, vertical stripes) in a full sprint across the front lawn at the... (more)
Writing blog articles, e-books, white papers, and even emails take a considerable amount of time and effort. Working through this blog entry, I am employing various tools that make my life easier, and I find that each app I have discovered empowers me as a writer, making the time I spend efficient and my stress managed.Many inexpensive and free computer apps are designed with writers in mind, but putting together the ultimate collection might feel daunting. Although I use a MacBook Pro, many apps have PC versions as well. Below, I share the tools, links, and descriptions, and if you feel technology-savy... (more)
I understand that crossing certain boundaries opens our human experience to new possibilities. However, boundary crossings have both costs and rewards. I see the value in, perhaps, rescuing an astronaut from space, but I question the underlying assumption that this should be a priority in the face of other important agenda items. Even if you value space flight, what is gained with this stunt if we don't even have a shuttle program to actively get people up there? At any rate, I question the likelihood that such a rescue would be a priority.I also question the motive behind the Red Bull movie.... (more)