Greg Bales

Blow the Whistle and the Lake Disappears

  • On being a sperm donor; or, #occupyspermbanks.
  • On being a sperm donor in a different way.
  • Ian Frazier’s entrée into this 1997 essay about his typewriter repairman is approximately how I feel about smartphones.
  • Claire Needel Hollander, a New York City public school teacher, puts forward the humanist case for studying Literature (as opposed to rhetoric, or tests). I don’t dispute her point really, but I do wonder why it seems so difficult for her say “In my class we study how language is used to affect the world,” thus accepting the burden that poetry and drama and fiction and nonfiction and speech and everything in between all make up the umbrella they sit under? Why bemoan the absence of “Literature” in the materials you use? (You’re right, Ms. Hollander, I haven’t addressed your objection that what you teach doesn’t test. It’s true there are real limitations in the tests we have—some cultural (as has been shown time and again), some practical. But may it not be a problem too because it reveals that what you teach is limited in ways it needn’t be?)
  • That said, classrooms like Hollander’s aren’t the classrooms to worry about. These are. (You know your report about cheating is damning when you end it with a parent worrying, “I expect teachers to be ethical.”)
  • On a lighter note, Mike Konczal analyzed the data presented by the We Are the 99% Tumblr and came away with some interesting results. #occupystatistics

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