Showing posts from January, 2012

Oklahoma Educators Have a Lot to Learn

Oklahoma Educators Have a Lot to LearnIn 5,000 years, we have not changed how we teach school. We still have one teacher standing in front of a classroom, lecturing.

Think about that. In 5,000 years, empires and civilizations have risen and fallen. We have created the chariot, the automobile, the airplane, and shuttles that can take people into space. We have invented the printing press, movable type, typewriters, and computers. We invented alphabets, invented books, newspapers, and the Internet. We invented radio, television, and telephones. And now we can communicate by video on a telephone the size of a deck of cards.

But in 5,000 years, we have not found a newer, better way to teach. We still have one person lecturing to a group of 10, 30, 500 people, forcing everyone to learn the exact same material at the exact same pace.

Even though research has proven again and again that people have different learning styles, we have educated billions and billions of people for more than 50 cen…

A Day in the Life of a Writer

A Day in the Life of a WriterBy the time you read this, I will have returned from a writer's retreat to a small condo in a small Ohio town. I take these a couple times a year to focus on a particular writing project. No cable, no working TV, no wife or kids. Not even an Internet connection. The town is so small, there are only two coffee shops, and I don't know anyone there. In short, no distractions.

These writing weekends are where I get huge chunks of work done in a short amount of time. This time, I thought I would keep track to see how efficient I was with my time.

2:00 pm - Arrive at the condo. Set up the computer. No time like the present to start writing.

2:05 - I really hate to leave my bag packed up. Sure, no one will see me, so my clothes can stay wrinkly, but I've never liked it. I'd better unpack.

2:20 - I'll want a nap pretty soon, so I'd better make the bed.

2:22 - I wonder who created hospital corners. They're so efficient, and keep the bed so ne…

The 2012 Amazingly Ginormous List of Banned Words

The 2012 Amazingly Ginormous List of Banned WordsAt the start of every new year, Lake Superior State University (LSSU) releases its list of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Useleness. And I pounce on that list for my first column of the year, like a divorce lawyer on a Kardashian marriage.

This is the list of words LSSU would like to see removed from everyday usage this year. This is their 37th annual list, and it is filled with all kinds of amazing nominations that will have amazingly amazing repercussions on our amazing langauge. It's just amazing.

First on LSSU's list?


Apparently, a lot of people hate this word, because it got the most nominations of any word on the list. There's even a Facebook page called "Overuse of the Word Amazing."

One "amazing" nominator, Gregory of California, said, "although I am extremely happy to no longer hear the word 'awesome' used incorrectly and w…