The Old National Road in Togo, West Africa

One thing I’ve always adored are fading traces of the past. Togo, when it was Togoland, was a German colony (that changed in World War I, when it was split into now what… Continue reading

We Have Been Too Quiet

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
What’s the point of having academic credentials if you can’t use them? Sure, we make them into bludgeons inside the ivory tower, but that’s really just child’s play:…

Penne for My Thoughts: A Short Fiction

The other day, as I waited next to the maître d’ station in Maria’s Restaurant on Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay for the penne puttanesca my wife hankered for but didn’t feel up… Continue reading

Unfolding: An Academic Memoir

My students don’t see much mystery in me, a fat white man the age of their grandparents hiding behind a beard and a jacket and a tie. I try to see the mystery… Continue reading

Just Who’s the Troll?

When I’ve tried to deal directly with internet trolls, I’ve had little luck. What I mean is, their minds were made up about me before they trolled whatever I might have written. No… Continue reading

The Disease of the Lie and the Slur

The current revulsion toward the disease of Donald Trump, perhaps best characterized (by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship) as “a virus infecting our politics and right now… flourishing with a scarlet heat,” has… Continue reading

“’David, the question is what are you doing out there?’”

The salient phrase in today’s David Brooks column in The New York Times is, “If we talked as if people had souls.” The central word is “talked.” Almost as important is “we.” It’s… Continue reading

The Draft Dodger Legacy

  In an article published last July in the New York Daily News, Wayne Barrett, a biographer of Donald Trump, is quoted as saying that Trump’s evasion of the draft “fit a pattern… Continue reading

“Automation, Automation, Automation”

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
In the 30+ years since I first looked into using digital technology in the classroom, my enthusiasm for it has waned. Today, I guess I have to classify myself…

Remembering Elsie Janis

Originally posted on ACADEME BLOG:
At the end of The Big Show: My Six Months with the American Expeditionary Forces (1919), Elsie Janis wrote: Now I must call a halt. I love talking, and as…