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Showing posts from October, 2016

The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 31, 2016 at 08:49PM

He has a lot to say about the subject. #DailyStickMan #SilenceIsGolden

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 30, 2016 at 08:41PM

Well, that's a statement... #DailyStickMan #BackwardsForwards

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The PhD Chronicles: The Existential Crisis of the Week

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Well, many readers are familiar with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the running criticism of the first season or two that wherein they encountered the "monster of the week."  Each week, the episode started with the appearance of a monster and somehow, Buffy and friends were dragged into the mix and were able to resolve the issue all within forty-two minutes of jokes, mayhem, and gumption.  Formulaic and to some degree boring.  Smallville and Supernatural also suffered from this in their early seasons before an ongoing and engaging plot could be developed that more strongly connected each episode into a larger arc.  


I think this makes an apt metaphor for my experience with my PhD program right now and I would imagine the same for others in the program.  As we reach the mid-point in the first semester wherein we meet weekly, I'm flummoxed with how often I raise the question of why.  Why am I in this program?  Why do I think I can have a positive impact on this structure?  Wh…

The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 29, 2016 at 05:28PM

Has enough time passed? #DailyStickMan #TooSoon #Spoilers #Alf #GordonShumway

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 29, 2016 at 08:48AM

He might need some help... #DailyStickMan #RoadRage #RoadRabbies

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 28, 2016 at 10:13AM

What happens in #Salem.... #DailyStickMan #Halloween

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 27, 2016 at 05:12PM

Who asked ya? #DailyStickMan #jelly #marshmellow

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Review: Gulliver's Travels

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Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Many people recognize the name Jonathan Swift and some of us probably suffered through his “A Modest Proposal” at one point in our education. I say “suffer” mostly in jest because I know that’s what I did when I first came across him; mostly because he was mandatory reading and my engagement with reading was quite different then. I go back now and can certainly appreciate “A Modest Proposal” (and one can even find an a free reading at Librivox). So when Gulliver’s Travels came into my hands, I decided I should read it and found it rewarding. Here’s a book written just under 300 years ago and I was impressed how accessible it truly is. It’s not a fantastic story by any means; after all, there’s very little dialogue and some chapters can be rather drab, but on the whole, I could appreciate Swift’s criticism of humanity and society.

Gulliver’s Travel is the account of a ship doctor and his four escapades into uncharted lands, …

Review: Singers and Tales: Oral Tradition and the Roots of Literature

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Singers and Tales: Oral Tradition and the Roots of Literature by Michael D.C. Drout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm a huge fan of Drout's work. This is his 8th or so Modern Scholar production and he's just a joy to listen to. He's always excited and engaged with the course he is presenting and he has many different asides that make it feel like each lecture is a conversation. This lecture series brings a lot of insight into oral tradition, what we assume about it, what it really is, and how it is different from and informs the written tradition. What's great about Drout is that he covers a good range of literature and does his best to go beyond his own comfort zone of training to explore non-Western traditions of oral tradition.

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By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 22, 2016 at 03:47PM

I think he's onto something...maybe on something #DailyStickMan #IllHaveWhatHesHaving #ItTakesAllKinds

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 21, 2016 at 05:00PM

Well, we all have our own styles... #DailyStickMan #Plasticware #TheFinerThings

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 20, 2016 at 05:22PM

There's no accounting for taste. #DailyStickMan #Tunafish #MapleSyrup #ew

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Review: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1: Out of the Deep Woods

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Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1: Out of the Deep Woods by Jeff Lemire
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The story focuses on a boy named Gus who has lived in a forest with his parents for his entire life, believing that to go out of the woods would be dangerous (and I did enjoy this irony that the woods is the place of safety and to leave is to invoke horrible events). Gus is one of the few children who have been born since some apocalyptic event and has been imbued with antlers and other animal hybrid features. After his father’s death, he finds himself being hunted but quickly rescued by an old gruff man who promises to take him to a place of protection for children like himself. Scared and uncertain, Gus follows and steps into the rest of the world.

It’s pretty standard post-apocalyptic fair thus far with at least one good (albeit somewhat predictable twist), but as I’ve said before, Lemire still has the power to tell a good comic story through drawing. He does extremely well with subtle panels that often …

The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 19, 2016 at 08:02PM

I mean, we all need goals, right? #DailyStickMan #CreamCheese #Goals

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Review: Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice

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Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice by Adam Benforado
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Benforado explores the criminal justice system from the vantage point of what modern science has shown us about the human nature and contrasts that sharply with a criminal justice system that was formed out at a time when there was very little scientific evidence for its assumptions (the 18th and 19th century). His ongoing commentary is that 1000 years from now, people will our sense of justice as archaic as we now judge how justice was dealt with 1000 years ago. Though we have our beliefs that are grounded in "common sense", they are rarely grounded in what scientific evidence has showed us. Therefore, Benforado moves through each aspect of the criminal justice system from identifying (or mis-identifying) perpetrators to arrest investigations to the courtroom and to the prison system, showing the systematic failures of the who process. It's an essential reading for anyone looking to le…

The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 18, 2016 at 05:23PM

He clearly had to get that off his chest. #DailyStickMan #Blarp #ramblings

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 16, 2016 at 08:17PM

I can't even fathom what I'm looking at... #DailyStickMan #Zesty #SayWhat

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 15, 2016 at 05:02PM

Wait...what? I can't even... #DailyStickMan #HeSaidWhat #Issues

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 14, 2016 at 05:47PM

Well...that's about 26 years too late #DailyStickMan #MCHammer #CantTouchThis 
#ButReally #WhoWantsTo?

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September's Gratitude

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The daily practice of starting my day with what I am grateful for is powerful.  It gives me a chance to think about the big and the small things that are true joys and the things that I sometimes never realized I should be thankful for or acknowledge.  And it has lead me into thinking about ways of being grateful that I had never thought of before.  

It seems that each month as I progress with this project, I find another way of expressing or thinking about being grateful.  This month, after reading Kate Harding's Asking For It, I was so moved by the book that I felt compelled to find her online and thank her for her willingness and ability to write such a book.  That of course triggered another thought of how rarely I do this and yet how many authors have enriched my life with their words.  With that in mind, I think I will likely make an effort to reach out and thank authors as I complete their works and to let them know that their words have impacted my life.  

I remember the fir…

The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 13, 2016 at 08:43PM

Does that include the name Robert? #DailyStickMan #Allergies #WhatAboutBob

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Review: I Thought You Were Dead

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I Thought You Were Dead by Pete Nelson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Pete Nelson’s I Thought You Were Dead feels a bit flat. It mixes a bit of Seinfeld with a bit of self-help and a dash of every none-alpha male sweet-loving, smart, insecure guy cliché. Paul is wishy-washy, whiny, and rather drab all around. He’s divorced; he engages in deep philosophical debates with his dog; and he enjoys drinking with his friends. Of course, his life becomes troubling when his father suffers a debilitating stroke and an onslaught of family stresses begin to fracture; including his relationship with his most recent girlfriend. The issues feel genuine enough, but the final “breakthrough” events just feel flat.

And yet, there were things I dug about Paul and kept me reading. I understood (and related) to many of his concerns about his life and the doubt, double-questioning, and resistance he met with certain personal obstacles whether it be family, love relations, or self-image. Nelson did well with teasing ou…

The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 12, 2016 at 05:25PM

Get this guy a mic... #DailyStickMan #ThrowDownABeat #Hobbies

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Review: Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us

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Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us by Claude M. Steele
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you want to understand the profound effects of stereotype threat, then Steele's book is a great resource. If you want to understand how pernicious stereotypes are and remain to be, then this would be the book to read. Steele shows through a variety of work that he and others have down, how when stereotypes are evoked in a person, it can threaten his or her ability to succeed. That is, it's not just about how others perceive someone, but it is how that someone thinks of himself/herself in relation to a group identity that has a negative stereotype. A person is likely to perform worse when he/she belongs to a group identity that is stigmatized when that person's group identity have been emphasized. This has stark implications for education, work, and the culture at large. Steele provides a variety of different examples of how this happens but also shines a light on wa…

The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 11, 2016 at 07:50PM

Oh man he's really trying to keep it going... #DailyStickMan #Disco #StayinAlive

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 10, 2016 at 05:00PM

This guy is going places...like hospitals... #DailyStickMan #Science #Haters

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 09, 2016 at 07:41PM

But ya know, I'll still want plenty of #popcorn for tonight's #debates #DailyStickMan #CracksMeUp

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 08, 2016 at 05:45PM

Of all the things to all for... #DailyStickMan #Apocalypse #Unicorns

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The Daily StickMan Adventures - October 07, 2016 at 09:04PM

It's all about the shoes...? #DailyStickMan #PennyLoafers #Shoes #RememberMe

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My Most Recent Reads - September 2016

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There is lots to talk about this month.  If August had me reporting little in terms of books to talk about, September had them in abundance.  Even though I only read thirteen books this month, many of them hit high marks for consideration.  I'll limit myself to three but know that I'm happy to chat about any of them!
The Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire For those not in the realms of education or social justice, you may not have stumbled upon this book.  But for those interested in such subjects (as well as politics, cultural studies, criminal justice, etc), then this is one of those essential classics.  Freire's theoretical and complex book may come in well under 200 pages, but it's still an intellectual journey.  Reading and processing it reminds me of reading Foucault's History of Sexuality Volume 1; I might have had better luck learning the native language it was published in and then trying to read the book.  It's dense but particularly chapter'…