Wednesday, October 16, 2013

You can see many examples of these rules in practice in Orwell's work, but they're broken down very neatly for us here:

Happy writing!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A prank on Best Buy compels us to take a moment to reflect on the role of gadgets in our lives. We want, we need, and especially with technology, the newest gear holds promise, even if it's something we've never required before.

California-based street artist Plastic Jesus stocked local Best Buy stores with this compelling fake, "Useless Plasticbox 1.2." The box does exactly what it claims to: absolutely nothing.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New scholarship at the intersection of gender studies and the history of fashion! In "Pink Wasn't Always Girly," Jo Paoletti (University of Maryland) and Valerie Steele (Fashion Institute of Technology) examine the history of coding pink as a feminine color.
Photo credit: elisecathlene/flickr

Friday, August 9, 2013

I typically reserve this blog for academic matters, but I recently watched an important short film by Werner Herzog, From One Second to the Next. The film documents the experiences of victims and perpetrators of texting-while-driving, and their stories serve as a brutal and heartbreaking reminder that, no matter how important that text message may seem, it can wait.

    Werner Herzog

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What college-bound high school seniors should be doing RIGHT NOW!

The college application season is in full swing, and deadlines are fast approaching. This month, high school seniors should be working toward the following goals:

  • To meet Early Decision and Early Action deadlines if you have a first-choice school. Note that the majority of these deadlines are in November and December.
  • To continue drafting college essays.
  • To follow up with your recommenders to ensure that your letters will be submitted on time.
  • To research financial aid deadlines for the schools to which you are applying, as this paperwork is sometimes due before the regular application deadline.

Good luck with your applications!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Write a Great Personal Statement!

Many college applications require students to submit essays or personal statements. The college application essay is its own literary genre, its own category of composition with distinctive form, style, and content. To write a strong essay, you must familiarize yourself with the genre as you would any genre.

The best essays mix the intellectual with the personal. Your writing should convey intellect, thoughtfulness, insight, but also express who you are as an individual. In other words, approach a personal topic from an intellectual angle.

A few general tips:
  • Follow the instructions.
  • Make it memorable (e.g., by telling an interesting story).
  • Make it personal—something only you could write.
  • Be sure to actually answer the question.
  • Start drafting early.
For more assistance and suggestions regarding this critical step in the college admissions process, please visit my website, and contact me today!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Narrowing Your List of Colleges

One of the challenges many seniors will face this month is finalizing a list of schools to which to apply. With so many great options, narrowing down the list to a manageable size can seem like a daunting task. Here are a few suggestions for deciding which colleges will receive your application package:

  • Think of your college list as a stock portfolio. Diversify your holdings by applying to programs that vary in their selectivity. Be sure your list includes some long shots, some targets, and some “safety” schools.
  • Apply only to schools where you can imagine yourself being happy and getting a good education. Even your “safety” schools should be ones you would be excited to attend. They should be “safeties” only in the sense that they admit a large percentage of applicants and/or your basic stats are above average for their student body.
  • If you are unsure about whether a school is right for you, try to visit in person or at least correspond with some students and faculty online.
  • Be a critical consumer of college media! Remember that promotional media are designed to entice and recruit you. Look beyond the advertising, and investigate what is actually available to you at each school in terms of majors, courses, faculty advising, teams, organizations, labs, studios, internships, etc.

For more assistance and suggestions regarding this critical step in the college admissions process, please visit, and feel free to contact me.