My most recent geologic enthusiasm is learning about mining. I bought this book after touring an excellent historical museum in Silverton, Colorado. T...moreMy most recent geologic enthusiasm is learning about mining. I bought this book after touring an excellent historical museum in Silverton, Colorado. They did a super job explaining the many facets of mining and I left wanting to learn more. The starts with the California Gold Rush and covers many of the precious metals mining (lots of boomtowns) in the western United States, particularly California and Nevada. By the end of the book I was already planning my next summer trek to western Nevada.(less)
A few weeks ago Entertainment Weekly published an issue listing what their writers considered the best movies, plays, TV shows, books, etc. Within the...moreA few weeks ago Entertainment Weekly published an issue listing what their writers considered the best movies, plays, TV shows, books, etc. Within their book section they listed their picks for the ten best graphic novels. So I went online to Abebooks and bought several and listed a few more on my Amazon wishlist. Chicken with Plums was the first to arrive in the mail.
First of all I am a sucker for woodcuts which many of the drawings appear to be. However, what makes this graphic novel great is the storytelling. The author masterfully weaves a wonderful story. The twists and turns are perfect. I loved it.(less)
I am quickly becoming a fan of graphic novels and this is a good one. The authors are twin brothers from Brazil who have been writing and illustrating...moreI am quickly becoming a fan of graphic novels and this is a good one. The authors are twin brothers from Brazil who have been writing and illustrating graphic novels for 15 years. The book follows Bras, the scion of a famous Brazilian author, who is trying to figure out what to do with his life. He turns out not to have fallen too far from the tree. His father gives him some advice about the important things in life. We meet his best friend Jorge, his hot ex-girlfriend, his sweet mom, adorable future wife and eventually his own son.
The story is somewhat non-linear. The authors keep reminding us that life is an accumulation of moments and the end often comes unexpectedly. The book is a memento mori. The illustrations are rich and incredibly detailed. I felt like I was following Bras through the real streets, cafes, offices and homes of Rio. Good book. (less)
Unprepared students are college students who are taking developmental (remedial) courses and are generally at a high-risk for dropping out. A former u...moreUnprepared students are college students who are taking developmental (remedial) courses and are generally at a high-risk for dropping out. A former unprepared student herself, the author has spent her career seeing students through the obstacles of college. She has a few useful gems to share.
One gem I appreciated was her description of the "illusion of competence." Students may often be convinced that they understand the material after listening to a lecture, especially a good one. They then may be convinced that there is no need to review the material or self-assess. Apparently underprepared students are especially vulnerable to this delusion.
One gem I liked her approach to individual study of vocabulary. She suggests a twist to the standard flash card technique with the term on one side and the definition on the other. She has her students make a simple drawing of the definition on the term side. The drawing must be their own and represent a personal take on the definition. For someone who teaches in a vocab-heavy discipline, I love this idea. I think it gives a student another nail onto which to hang a memory.
My favorite gem from her book is a tidbit added to the course syllabus. She suggests the instructor quantify the effect of individual study activities on the final grade. For example:
Reading assigned sections of the textbook: 20% Reviewing notes daily 20% Reviewing past quizzes 5%
and so on and so forth. It gives students, especially ones with few study skills, a guide on how to study and succeed in a course. This would those students who ask me "how do I study for your class?"(less)
In the past I have perused the graphic novel isle at Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million only to be overwhelmed by superheroes. I knew there were alt...moreIn the past I have perused the graphic novel isle at Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million only to be overwhelmed by superheroes. I knew there were alternatives but locating them seemed beyond me. The few graphic novels I had sort of brushed against were movies like Ghost World and Harvey Pekar's American Splendor. After seeing Harvey on Letterman off and on for years so one day I read one of his "slice of life" graphic novels. It was okay but he was so angry and seemed to dislike women so much it wasn't my cup of tea.
A few months ago I googled for a list of recommended graphic novels. I started with Alan's War: The Memories of G.I. Alan Cope which I absolutely loved. The second one I got off the list was Asterior Polyp. Fantastic! The story was great. The characters were wonderful. One thing that got me was the art. There are panels were I just swam in they were so well done. Since graphic novels are visual, just like movies and TV, they have montages. Hard to write a montage.
As soon I finished AP, I jumped onto Amazon and bought another one on the list. I am hooked!