April 09

Reader Empathy

We’re reading The Reluctant Fundamentalist in my World Literature class right now. Included in the brief Q&A at the back of our book is a comment from author Mohsin Hamid about why he writes: “I believe that the core skill of a novelist is empathy: the ability to imagine what someone else might feel.” After […]

March 24

Spring Break Reading

I’ve noted before how excited I get when I have a break from teaching and can tackle the stack of “fun” and/or “mindless” books underneath my coffee table. Spring Break is no exception; I love this week of relief between meetings and grading and comforting stressed-out seniors, and my rest and recovery usually includes some […]

March 16

Continuing Ed

When I graduated with my PhD, I vowed never again to take any more classes in my life, except in yoga or perhaps felting. Soon enough, however, I found myself hearing about friends’ syllabi and thinking, “That sounds like an amazing class!” and feeling a twinge of nostalgia for my student days. And now I’ve […]

March 14

Black History Month and Everything After

I have a two year old, and he has a ridiculous library of picture books. Even so, we go each week to the public library.  In February, the children’s section featured a display of books for Black History Month. There were picture books that discussed important events in African American history, including the horrifying history […]

March 03

What Stacy’s Reading Now: My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel

A footnote found early in My Age of Anxiety, Scott Stossel’s recent memoir/social history, notes something that I’ve always suspected: “…there are plausible evolutionary explanations for why both intelligence and imagination ten to be allied with anxiety” (18).  I have always hypothesized that anxiety is a “smart person” problem, and now I have evidence to […]

February 19

Endings

I realized last week something that I probably always knew – my favorite part of a book (or poem or story or movie) is the ending.  In two different courses with two wildly different texts in front of me (a collection of contemporary Chinese short stories and a poem from 1633), I gushed in front […]

February 14

Love & Poetry

In honor of today, my favorite love poem:  number six from Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore Alone upon the threshold of my door Of individual life, I shall command The uses of my soul, nor lift my […]