Category Archives: Teaching

After Sandy Hook:II

From Sandy Hook to Taft Union,teachers–those ant-like creatures who choose unimaginably low pay over fat checks and big bonuses, who work in wretched classrooms rather than spacious corporate offices, who spend many nights correcting papers rather than dining at swanky … Continue reading

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Tips on Happiness 3: Uncharted seas*

~~On a wet, raw evening, the mind and heart can become pensive, wander off course.  It is such an evening in Boston–the summer surely in retreat, the winter not quite here yet. In-between, indeterminate, and exciting. Well-meaning writing teachers will … Continue reading

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Cupped hands

Every place here—from the checkpoints, to the classrooms, to the streets—is a mixture of two contradictory impulses.  On the one hand, everything matters here, and matters deeply for the entire population is in a state of double occupation.  Every action … Continue reading

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From my files: Hagop Oshagan: December 9, 1883-February 17, 1948

The Armenian novelist, literary critic, dramatist, and historian of literature Hagop Oshagan (1883-1948) stands at the juncture where Western Armenian culture ends and that of the Armenian diaspora begins. His life and literary output straddle the rural world of his … Continue reading

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French I: The tumble and music of verbs

Many years ago, when I was teaching a “business writing” course in Yerevan, at the American University of Armenia, one of my more ambitious students was an unfolding bundle of irritation.  Tall and sinewy, he was nervous in the way … Continue reading

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French 1: The Joys of Rote

My friend C.M. is a poet, a translator, and a teacher.  He is also a very good cook whose offerings are as delectable as they are visually pleasurable.  He spends a lot of time preparing his dinners.  From the shopping … Continue reading

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Evergreen on Commonwealth Avenue

I teach undergraduate writing at Boston University. I also do something else, something less visible, less instructive.  Throughout the year and for four to eight weeks each semester and during the summer, I “teach” a course in the short story. … Continue reading

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French 1: Verbs to Burn

To Have and to Be:  The bedrock verbs of  French.  That’s what A.B., who pumps gas to make a living, said a while back in May when I was merely entertaining the idea of achieving fluency in French, (See the … Continue reading

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