Keep Calm and COVID On

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True confessions: I haven’t completed my book order yet for fall 2020. Yes, I’m one of those faculty members. I just found out that I have to comply this week so I will. Reluctantly.

But here’s what I’m not doing right now. I’m not prepping my classes, adjusting my syllabi, and definitely not thinking about all the things that may or may not happen in this dumpster fire of a year.

Yep, you heard me right. I think one of the worst things we can do right now is try to outwork or outsmart contingency. That is just worrying on paper, and worry never helps. Now again, if you love prepping and perfecting your classes amid pandemic uncertainty, then go for it! But if turning toward this work right now kills your soul a little, then don’t do it now. It will be right there for you at the end of July or the beginning of the month that shall not be named. This is not procrastination. It’s soul care.

Spring Retreat and Master Class is Up and Ready!

It’s finally here! After spending most of the break updating and providing new content for you all, I’m happy to announce that the Spring Retreat and Master Class is ready for enrollment. There are a couple of completely new sections, including Getting Things Done for Academics and How to Re-think your assignments. Enroll for 25%

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The Importance of Real Rest

It’s December, so I know that we are all grading, grading, grading right now. Because I am. But while COVID presents challenges it also presents opportunities: at this moment I’m delivering my final exam to my students across the country, while I’m in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, where I’m on my annual writing group retreat.

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Are you living in an echo chamber?

Sometimes you just have to teach off script. Here’s why. I’ve been teaching American literature for over 25 years, and it enables me to raise all kinds of issue of central importance today, including our persistent failure to move beyond the racist attitudes present at the founding of the United States. But sometimes we need

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