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Showing posts from May, 2018

Review: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

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Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If there is one book I could recommend as a starting place for re-imagining and redirecting one's life--it would be this one. In reading Dweck's research and findings, much of what she says makes sense to me in terms of where I have found successes and where I have found setbacks. The premise of the book and the research she has done is that (and remember, this is boiled down), that a fixed view of things--particularly ourselves and others--limits people's potential. It often keeps the person from feeling fulfilled and attaining success in the ways that they seek (or ultimately, don't seek). An growth-oriented mindset gears people towards learning, experimenting and willing to fail in order to understand, appreciate and live richer lives. I see this so much in my students, in my friends and colleagues, and most definitely in myself. If you want a new paradigm for shifting your life, this boo…

April's Bookshelf

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So the end of April and beginning of May were REALLY busy (to no one's surprise--end of semester at all three schools I'm connected to).  But things have slowed down and I figured I'd update everyone with the latest reads.  Unfortunately, many of the reads were part of my reviewing gigs so I only have 2 to talk about this month.  But don't worry, next month will be a doozy of reviews!


The Anthology at the End of the Universe: Leading Science Fiction Authors on Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Glenn Yeffeth
I've had this book on my "to read" shelf probably since it came out or shortly thereafter.  I'm a dedicated Douglas Adams fan and therefore, this collection was a must-have.  And I finally go around to reading it and while I can't say it's a "must read"--it certainly is enjoyable enough that it lead me to re-listen to all of the Hitchhiker's Guide books recently to celebrate and remind myself of the …

Books for White Folks Part 7: The Histories

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Many people do not like history because their experience with it has been boring, dull, or absence any authentic representations of themselves in it.  Many of us are familiar with the dry and unexciting regurgitation of historical facts year after year in K-12.  In my US public education experience, we revisited US history most years in K-8 and then at least one more in grades 9-12 (we also have world history and “current affairs”).  

But historically, the kind of history taught in K-12 grades has been superficial and limited, often glossing over controversies, complexities, and significant historical questions.  This gloss-over comes in part because to unpact the complexities would mean to disrupt and really undermine the typical patriotic (if not at times, jingoistic) history.  It’s also taught in a fashion of “everything’s getting better” view that detracts from asking more critical and genuine questions of US history.  

The argument for this approach stems from the belief that child…

Getting to Deliver A Talk: The Liberal Arts Lecture

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So last month, I got to deliver a lecture at North Shore Community College as part of their Liberal Arts Lecture series. It was really a great time in preparing, practicing and executing it.   Besides professional presentations at conferences where I'm more presenting for a short period of time 15-20 minutes or focused on a particular tool/practice, this was something entirely different; a means of discussing the intersection of several different interests of mine to an audience who were hearing them for the first time.  

And it went reasonably well.  I've watched snippets of the talk and I have been doing these things long enough to be able to critique myself but also appreciate the things I did right or reasonably well.  

Obviously, you may have already watched/read the truncated version that I did as part of The Weekly Pop series but I would encourage you to take a watch (if not all, then at least a few minutes) to see what is like to deliver it in front of a live audience.  …

Review: Comic Book History of Comics

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Comic Book History of Comics by Fred Van Lente
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok, this is the book seems the logical next step from Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. A meaty volume on the history of comics in comics form. Lente and Dunlavey put together a great history that doesn't necessarily cover everything but covers a heck of a lot of stuff since the dawn of comics. They focus mainly on the US comic history but bringing Europe and Japan at relevant times to talk about how they influence the form. They also do a bit of discussion around personalities within comic history. Overall, well done and if I had one criticism it is that they never really touch upon the idea of comics scholarship and it's role in the last thirty years within and around comics.

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Did you enjoy this read? Let me know your thoughts down below or feel free to browse around and check out some of my other posts!. You might also want to keep up to date with my blog by signing up for t…

The Weekly Pop: Episode #8: The Liberal Arts Lecture Part 3 (of 3)

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We're into Episode #8 and part 3 of the Liberal Arts lecture.  If you haven't, be sure to check out part 1as well aspart 2 since this final piece, draws it all together.      

You can watch here, on YouTube or just read all about it in the post below.  Enjoy and let me know what you think!  Also, don't forget to check out
Episode 1Episode 2Episode 3Episode 4Episode 5Episode 6Episode 7You can watch this episode on YouTube and all the other episodes as well.  (Also, feel free to subscribe to my channel on YouTube as well).





As always, you can find the full script below, but also, you can get the slide deck itself and the original script, which is covered by a Creative Commons license...of course.




Here we go: C+C+C=C Welcome back!  In part 2 of this 3-part series adapted from my public lecture, we’ll talked about the role of censorship, its impact on storytelling in the 19th century, and how that has produced the sexy vampire.  

Ok, let’s check in again.

We recognize the importance o…

Review: Think Like a Freak

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Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The "Steves" are getting freaky once again. However, this book more explores the how of what they do. Like Macaulay's book above, their work helps the reader get outside himself/herself and their own biases (in so much as we can) and how to flex the mind around problems people encounter in their lives. It's a great toolbox book that can help some think differently and if not solve a problem, then at least find different ways of thinking about and dealing with it.

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Did you enjoy this read? Let me know your thoughts down below or feel free to browse around and check out some of my other posts!. You might also want to keep up to date with my blog by signing up for them via email.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Deadline Approaching: CFP for Teaching and Popular Culture

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Deadline is June 1st!
It's that time of year where the Northeast Popular Culture Association (NEPCA for short) is putting out its annual call for proposals for the regional conference at Worcester State University Worcester, Massachusetts, the weekend of October 19-20, 2018.  

As some of you know, I am the Area Chair for Teach and Popular Culture.  Here is a working definition of what that area entails:

This area focuses how to teach popular culture, which may include sharing unique approaches to:
Teaching courses focused specifically on “popular culture”Teaching courses on an area within popular culture (e.g. courses that focus on the content and cultural aspects–not necessarily the “how-to” aspects of comics, video games, horror, Harry Potter, baseball, The Beatles, etc).Teaching mainstream courses using popular culture (e.g. baseball statistics for explaining, statistics, Buffy the Vampire Slayer for explaining political theory, Star Trek for exploring biology).
This particular area…