Newark Principal

This description of a principal of a school in Newark is spot-on for leadership in troubled public schools:

“He’s not the Joe Clark kind of tough… He doesn’t strong-arm kids. He knows that you have to show them that you care about them and won’t give up on them, and every kid, no matter how big, wants to feel safe. Then you just have to be consistent.”

That’s it.

Dashes

Man, writing is hard.

Self: en dash is the short dash. It’s used for closed range things and for linking things together.

An em dash is the long dash. Quoting from the wiki:

The em dash indicates a sudden break in thought—a parenthetical statement like this one—or an open range (such as “John Doe, 1987—”). The em dash is used in much the way a colon or set of parentheses is used: it can show an abrupt change in thought or be used where a period is too strong and a comma too weak. Em dashes are sometimes used in lists or definitions, but this is not considered correct usage[citation needed]: a colon should be used instead.

What would happen if…

a teacher came in and said, “I’m not here to teach you ______.  I’m here to teach you how to score well on ___ exam.”
In other words:

“I’m not here to teach you history. I’m here to teach how to score well on the AP US History exam.”

Would anyone honestly admit that the two can be incompatible?

Quote from DuBois

The winter edition of Souls opens with this quote from W.E.B. Du Bois:

We are prisoners of propaganda. The people of the United States have become completely sold to that method of conducting industry which has been so powerful and triumphant in the world for two centuries that Americans regard it as the only normal way of life. We regard the making of things and their purchase and sale for private profit as the chief end of living. We look on painting and poetry as harmless play. We regard literature as valuable only as handmaiden to industry. We teach business as a science when it is only an art of legal theft. We regard advertising as a profession when it teaches the best way to lie. We consider the unselfish sacrifice of one to the progress of all as wasted effort. Wealth is the height of human ambition even when we have no idea how to spend it, except to make more wealth or to waste it in harmful or useless ostentation. We want high profits and high wages even if most of the world starves.

Putting aside questions of right, and suspecting all our neighbors as being as selfish as we ourselves are, we have adopted a creed of wholesale selfishness. We believe that, if all people work for thier own selfigh advantage, the whole world will be the best of possible worlds. This is the rat race upon which we are set, and we are suspicious and afraid of folk who oppose this program, and plead for the old kindliness, the new use of power and machine for the good of the unfortunate and the welfare of all the world of every race and color.

Essay entitled “The Negro and Socialism” 1958.

Quote from NYRB

Russell Baker surveys Stephen Miller’s new book, Conversation: A History of a Declining Art, in a recent issue of the New York Review of Books, .

What I liked was his description of what makes a good conversation:

Both participants listen attentively to each other; neither tries to promote himself by pleasing the other; both are obviously enjoying an intellectual workout; neither spoils the evening’s peaceable air by making a speech or letting disagreement flare into anger; they do not make tedious attempts to be witty. They observe classic conversational etiquette with a self-discipline that would have pleased Michel de Montaigne, Samuel Johnson, or any of a dozen other old masters of good talk whom Miller cites as authorities.

This etiquette, Miller says, is essential if conversation is to rise to the level of—well, “good conversation.” The etiquette is hard on hotheads, egomaniacs, windbags, clowns, politicians, and zealots. The good conversationalist must never go purple with rage, like people on talk radio; never tell a long-winded story, like Joseph Conrad; and never boast that his views enjoy divine approval, like a former neighbor of mine whose car bumper declared, “God Said It, I Believe It, And That Settles It.”

I’d like to snip this and put it in the opening portion of my next few syllabi…