Category Archives: Learning Differences

Take Them at Their Word

“The play begins at two o’clock,” I told my literature class. “This information is so important that I have included it on this quiz that I am about to hand out.” Thirty students nodded their heads appreciatively. “The first question on the quiz is, ‘What time does the play start?’ The answer is ‘two o’clock.'”…Read the full article

Good Students

Good students are such a joy. I still remember my good students from the Carter Administration. Seriously. (Seriously I remember my good students. I’m not certain they were involved in policy making decisions in the late 70s.) Bright, eager, articulate, pleasant. They did homework, scored well on evaluations, contributed to class discussions. I never had…Read the full article

The Scarlett Ibis School of Parenting

Tami still hadn’t taken a step at 24 months. Because her mother carried her everywhere? Because her mother “enabled” Tami in her “addiction” to being enveloped in her mother’s arms? “How will she learn to walk if you just carry her everywhere?” helpful strangers suggested. “Put the baby down and she’ll walk” No, she won’t….Read the full article

“P” is for Parsimonious Perspicacious Panda-monium

Consider Tony looking at the “p” that his kindergarten teacher has gracefully written on the whiteboard. “Panda,” she says; “Papa.” As the other children look and listen appreciatively, Tony sees the “P” shift and transform. The “p” becomes a “b.” Wait a minute: Is that a “p” or a “b”? That “b” can’t be for…Read the full article

The Power of Forgetting and an Introduction to Procrastinators Anonymous

Nobody ever, having just given birth, started talking about subsequent labor to produce siblings for the newborn. “I’ll never do this again” or the less articulate “You’ll never touch me again” are more often heard in labor and delivery. A big head relative to birth canal size may be an adaptive advantage, but the mother…Read the full article

Helga and the Missing Umlaut

One of my favorite students came to me late in her senior year for some guidance about her admissions essays for college. We had a productive chat. We talked about “show don’t tell” and about “hidden agenda.” I advised her to make her personal statement, well, personal, and to avoid using “plethora,” “esoteric,” and other…Read the full article