Human Connection in George Orwell’s 1984

I read George Orwell’s 1984 (1949), number 8 on the BBC book list, last summer for the first time.  This surprised a student of mine, one of the only students I have encountered over the years who was actually majoring in English.  I teach English 1010, Introduction to College Writing, and my students usually consist... Continue Reading →

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Nobody Likes a Know-It-All

The Today Show recently fired Ann Curry from the top female anchor position.  Ever since she got the coveted job, she had been affected and stiff.  Her wardrobe had gone from normal to strange, but that is not a reason to fire somebody, and I contend that she is not the problem with the Today... Continue Reading →

There Is a Bicycle Named Hepzibah

I had to finish reading The House of The Seven Gables (1851) by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) so I could tell you about my neighbor who named his bicycle Hepzibah.  He’s an older gentleman, a little stout, and extremely smart.  (His wife once told me that he had been a national merit scholar at... Continue Reading →

Grumpy Secretaries

Why are secretaries so grumpy? As a former secretary, I know the job isn’t glamorous or ultra rewarding, but part of the job is to be welcoming and perky, so why are so many secretaries failing at this?  I know why my previous secretary job inspired grumpiness (his name was BOSS), but I didn’t let... Continue Reading →

The Little Woman Who Wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin

I have been in group settings in which people will say, “I don’t really care about [insert societal problem] because it doesn’t affect me.”  Or, “I don’t want to talk about that because it upsets me.”  Notice that both of these statements end with the pronoun “me,” and consequently these statements are essentially selfish.  Now,... Continue Reading →

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