1. In Celebration of Shakespeare

    Shakespeare's Desk by Ted and Anthony John Peters

    William Shakespeare was born 450 years ago this month.  He was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden in Stratford-upon-Avon in England.  The Bard’s contributions to literature are substantial. The Complete Works of Shakespeare is second only to King James Bible regarding its influence upon culture.

    Speaking of culture, some students initially cringe when teachers cover Shakespeare’s plays.…

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    1 week ago

  2. What Is At Stake With Online Skimming

    In the morning the alarm sounds and the ritual begins.  People turn on their technology as they get ready for work.  As rush hour begins, more of us are engaging in a digital symphony of sifting through content.

    With the click of a mouse, individuals can obtain access to the information they want.  This is the power of high-end computing which includes computers, laptops, smart phones and tablets.  However, scientists are warning us of the consequences of constant web surfing.

    According a recent piece in  The Washington Post,scientists conclude that human beings are developing digital brains.  The digital mind focuses on skimmingthrough information.

    We need individuals asking probative questions and a providing context to thrive in the workplace.  Unfortunately, our culture is now dominated by nonstop cable TV news that gives sound bites and snapshots.  Also, we are also spending an average of five hours per day online according to eMarketer.

    The good news is the brain is adapting to the  barrage of social media, e-mails and text messages.  The bad news is that comprehension and reading are adversely affected by all of this.  Our minds are developing short cuts to process all of this information.

    There is nothing wrong with finding an efficient way to manage your information.  Sometimes a quick scan regarding “latest and greatest” on Facebook is the only sensible way.  Television alone has reduced our collective attention spans.  Some teachers are complaining that students are struggling through the classics.  How can civilization survive when we cannot grasp Shakespeare’s verses and Austen’s sentences?

    There is a difference between online and print reading.  Based on some initial studies, researchers conclude that comprehension seems better with paper.  Specialists have expressed concerns regarding learning when the love for technology can hamper their reading.  At this point, experts recommend more research regarding the differences between text and screen reading.

    We cannot turn back the clock.  We all love the convenience of technology and how it makes life easier.   Yet, we have to take a break for the sake our of brain cells. Life demands constant adaptation and learning.  This happens when our minds can deal with the details.

    2 weeks ago

  3. Random Thoughts and Observations

    (c) The University of Aberdeen; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

    Is there a fine line between normality and the straight jacket?  The line is blurring. If life is about survival of the fittest, I am toast.  At this point, I am unsure if I can last seven seconds in the Serengeti.

    We are all just finding our way in the food chain.  Lately, I feel more combustible with each commute.  After work, my brains cells are turning into peanut butter.  My knees are…

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    1 month ago

  4. Hope and Change: The Case for School Choice in North Carolina

    18c-classroom

    As a single mother living in Greensboro North Carolina, Laura Hundley enjoyed sending her son Cannon to private school. Due to the financial costs of the school and separating from her husband, she had to withdraw Cannon from the school he loved.

    According to Laura, her son Cannon blossomed in Wesleyan Christian Academy. From Laura’s perspective, private school teachers demand respect from their…

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    1 month ago

  5. In the society of men he was bored and not himself, with them he was cold and uncommunicative; but when he was in the company of women he felt free, and knew what to say to them and how to behave; and he was at ease with them even when he was silent.  In his appearance, in his character, in his whole nature, there was something attractive and elusive which allured women and disposed them in his favor; he knew that, and some force seemed to draw him to them.  Anton Chekhov.

    2 months ago

  6. How Americans Are ReadingThere are more individuals reading a print book in the past year, even as e-reading continues its…View Post

    How Americans Are Reading

    There are more individuals reading a print book in the past year, even as e-reading continues its…

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    2 months ago

  7. In Defense of Self-ExpressionThe day of an essayist simply expounding on something close to his heart or mind is pretty much…View Post

    In Defense of Self-Expression

    The day of an essayist simply expounding on something close to his heart or mind is pretty much…

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    3 months ago

  8. Once upon a time in Westphalia, in the castle of Monsieur the Baron von Thunder-ten-tronckh, there lived a young boy on whom nature had bestowed the gentlest of dispositions. His countenance express his soul. He combined solid judgement with complete openness of mind; which is the reason, I believe, that he was called Candide.

    Voltaire, Candide, or, Optimism


    Monday First Sentences | Every Monday, we offer the opening sentences of a Penguin Classic to start the week

    (via classicpenguin)

    3 months ago  /  Source: classicpenguin

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    4 months ago  /  Source: fastcocreate.com

  10. Confessions of a Fragmented Mind

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    While I am writing, I am having garlic bread and bacon for breakfast.  I just have  some random thoughts and observations across the scene. This is just a personal invitation into my insanity.

    There is no such thing as a”thought leader.” Despite the cogent advice from a friend,   I still do not understand this phase.  Aren’t there more suitable words?  The world has enough experts, scribes, scholars,  and commentators.  Besides, thought leader sounds like an individual in charge of a cult.

    I really love quiet time and spaces.  There is enough noise pollution to go around for everyone.

    Do you believe the children our are future? If the children are our future, we are in so much trouble. The shrinking attention spans and ever-expanding waistlines are not reassuring.  What is going on with this knockout game?  Are kids becoming so desensitized that they think random acts of violence are fun?

    The most important three word phrase  is I don’t care . What about  I Love You?  Sorry, no one cares about you outside of your family and friends.   The world subjects people to so much crap. Some members of humanity are unworthy of your time and attention.

    Speaking of my fellow members of humanity, my first impression of Washingtonians was hardly positive.   Beltways maniacs seem rude and inconsiderate.  When did  ”excuse me” become so inconvenient when you bump into someone?

    There is something I realized after the occasional person to person collusion.   Commuters are checking their phones, reviewing the paper or reading a book. Sometimes, I get the loud conversations and singers practicing for their American Idol auditions.   Despite this, most people are leaving me alone and minding their own business during my daily commute. What a wonderful world.

    Can you smell the  psychological scarring? The scent resembles  bad coffee and  toast. The daily grind just keeps getting better.

    5 months ago