Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Lit 113008

Big Think: Middle Eastern identity and writing

Author Porochista Khakpour talks about her work and offers advice to young writers. Join the conversation at Big Think.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday Arts 112908


Lang Lang: His Life So Far By ANTHONY TOMMASINI, NYTimes
The story of a gifted boy, his father and his love of the piano. Video

Friday, November 28, 2008

Science Friday 112808

Appropriate technology is technology that is appropriate to the environmental, cultural and economic situation it is intended for. It usually describes technologies which are suitable for use in the majority world (or "developing nations"). For more info, check out Appropedia.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

History Thursday 112708

Boston 1775
History, analysis, and unabashed gossip about the start of the American Revolution in Massachusetts.

I LOVE Boston 1775 ! Check out their Thanksgiving post: A Massachusetts Thanksgiving in Newport .

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This I Believe: Sharing Food with Family

This I Believe is an international project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives. Here are the Thanksgiving stories for 2008.

Special Feature: Sharing Food with Family
Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, with the attendant gatherings of family over food and drink. Regardless of the context, sitting down to share a meal can affirm our connections, our roots and our traditions. Click the links below to partake of these beliefs about food and family.

Rice for Thanksgiving (great essay!)
Doing Things the Slow Way
Remembering the Past at Waffle House
A Home-Cooked Tradition
Finding Acceptance in Macaroni and Cheese

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This I Believe: Thanksgiving

This I Believe is a national media project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values and beliefs that guide their daily lives. NPR airs these three-minute essays on All Things Considered, Tell Me More and Weekend Edition Sunday.

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, with gatherings of families and friends, and the sharing of food and drink. During the festivities of the coming weeks, we hope you take time to reflect on the beliefs that guide your life, just like these essayists have done.

Family Blessings, by Meghan Guinnee
Joy Beyond Measure, by Linda Balestracci
Hope Dished Out in Plenty, by David Cowen
You Can Go Home Again, by Victoria Higle
Baking by Senses and Memories, by Emily Smith
Click here to read previous Special Features

Monday, November 24, 2008

Boys in the Scrum

Boys in the Scrum NYTimes
The Hyde Leadership Public Charter School in Washington has the country's first all African-American high school rugby team. (video)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Lit 112308

ALPHABET JUICE: The Energies, Gists, and Spirits of Letters, Words, and Combinations Thereof; Their Roots, Bones, Innards, Piths, Pips, and Secret Parts, Tinctures, Tonics, and Essences; With Examples of Their Usage Foul and Savory. By Roy Blount Jr 364 pp. Sarah Crichton Books/ Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $25. Reviewed By JACK SHAFER, NYTimes

Roy Blount Jr. has returned from the fields where the American lingo grows wild to write “Alphabet Juice,” his personal lexicon, usage manual, writers’ guidebook, etymological investigation and literary junk drawer. This alphabetically arranged book reads like a big bag of salty snacks: nibble five or six of its 500-plus entries and you’ll have to wolf the whole thing.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Study Abroad Flourishes, With China a Hot Spot

Study Abroad Flourishes, With China a Hot Spot By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes
Record numbers of American students are studying abroad, with especially strong growth in educational exchanges with China, the annual report by the Institute on International Education found. Graphic: Looking Beyond Europe

Friday, November 21, 2008

Science Friday 112108

Interactive Map: Mapping the World's Fastest Supercomputers
While the U.S. has the world's fastest supercomputers, it faces increased pressure from countries like India and China.

Video: America's Disappearing Forests
The mountain pine beetle, an insect pest, is destroying massive swaths of American lodgepole pine.

Invasive Plants in Galápagos May Really Be Native By HENRY FOUNTAIN
Some plants that were thought to be invasive species in the Galapagos Islands predate humans by thousands of years.

In Bias Test, Shades of Gray By JOHN TIERNEY
Are there problems with the way researchers have been using split-second reactions on a computer test to diagnose an epidemic of racial bias?

Debating the Vices and Virtues of Google
A public debate on whether Google violates its motto "Don't be evil" moves quickly to considering whether the search company is guilty of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

History Thursday 112008

The Smithsonian National Museum

of American History Reopens Nov. 21!

Come Celebrate with Us! Reopening Festival Nov. 21-23 The Museum will officially reopen to the public after a two-year renovation with a ribbon-cutting ceremony (Friday, Nov. 21, 8:30-10 a.m.).

Add your photos to our Flickr group and see some of our favorite images
Follow us on Twitter for live coverage of the reopening events
Become a fan on Facebook and tell us how we're doing
Watch our YouTube channel for sneek peeks of new exhibitions and more

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

'Adina's Deck': A series of lessons that click

'Adina's Deck': A series of lessons that click
Cyber-bullying, chat room predators and the lure of engaging in online plagiarism are all potential hazards facing young people today. A new educational DVD to help kids cope with these issues is being shown at schools and youth organizations across the country, and parents can check it out for free this weekend.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Finding Similarities Among the Differences

Finding Similarities Among the Differences By JOHN HANC, NYTimes
A program brings together high school students of different faiths and encourages cooperation on community service projects.

Monday, November 17, 2008

All 23 CSU campuses may turn away students

All 23 CSU campuses may turn away students
The state's worsening budget crisis is forcing the California State University system to consider turning away some eligible students from all 23 campuses for the first time in its history.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Paying for College Student Resource Guide

Paying for College Student Resource Guide
(Includes scholarships, internships, fellowships, books, and websites)
Courtesy of U.S. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard
Congressional District 34-California

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Arts 111508

Maya Lin's 'Wave Field'
The artist discusses her new projects, including her new installation at the Storm King Art Center. Especially check out her map "10 Degrees North" (3:30-4:00) Video

Friday, November 14, 2008

Science Friday 111408

Now: The Rest of the Genome By CARL ZIMMER, NYTimes
Only 1 percent of the genome is made up of classic genes. Scientists are exploring the other 99 percent and uncovering new secrets and new questions.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

College Application: Whoops! Return to Sender

Whoops! Return to Sender , By SAMANTHA STAINBURN, NYTimes
Address your college application carefully; Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, is not Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

With Free Bikes, Challenging Car Culture on Campus

With Free Bikes, Challenging Car Culture on Campus, By KATIE ZEZIMA, NYtimes
Free bikes or bike-sharing programs have cropped up on campuses nationwide, aimed at reducing traffic and parking shortages on campus and improving community building.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Combat to College

Combat to College by Lizette Alvarez, NYTimes
A new G.I. bill is expected to swell the number of veterans in the nation’s colleges. Are campuses ready for them?
Video: Soldier, Student
The New G.I. Bill: A Primer Resources Beyond the Bill

Monday, November 10, 2008

Turning Life Experience Into College Credit

Turning Life Experience Into College Credit, By RACHEL AVIV, NYTimes
Adult Education: How to get credit for travel, work or your personal passion.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Three Education Articles from the NYTimes

Tough Times Strain Colleges Rich and Poor By TAMAR LEWIN
Universities are freezing hiring and postponing construction projects as endowments shrink and states cut their financing.

Racial Imbalance Persists at Elite Public Schools By JAVIER C. HERNANDEZ
Asian and white eighth graders in the city are outpacing their black and Hispanic peers on an admissions test.

U.S. Buying More Loans to Students By JONATHAN D. GLATER and ERIC DASH
The government will expand purchases of the student loans it backs to head off a potential shortfall going into the next school year.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Arts 110808

As you browse through these thousand reviews, then, all of them originally published in The Times in the years since the start of the sound era, you may discern two related themes: the fallibility of even the most perspicacious critics . . . and the durability of what appeared at the time of their release to be some of the cheapest, the silliest, the out-and-out strangest movies.

Trendspotting Handmade
Student photographers rove their campuses for The New York Times. This issue, arts and crafts at the University of Kentucky, Oregon College of Art and Craft, and Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Slide Show

Portfolio Prep, By DANIEL GRANT, NYTimes
Getting a portfolio ready for admittance to a visual arts program.

Friday, November 7, 2008

SAT: Hold That Score, and That One, and That One . . .

Hold That Score, and That One, and That One . . . By SAMANTHA STAINBURN, NYTimes
Starting this spring, students will be able to pick which College Board scores are sent to admissions offices. Cause for celebration?
Graphic: Stress Factors

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Medical Student Burnout and the Challenge to Patient Care

Medical Student Burnout and the Challenge to Patient Care By PAULINE W. CHEN, M.D., NYTimes
Students, just like doctors, need to take care of themselves in order to take care of patients.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lessons on an Election

Lessons on an Election By CLYDE HABERMAN, NYTimes
A course at Baruch College taught by Mario M. Cuomo, the former New York governor, is one of many around the nation incorporating the presidential election into curriculums.

GRAPHIC: Party Lines of the Under-30 Set
The number of young people identifying themselves as Democrats is near a high not seen since Jimmy Carter was president.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Three incumbents face challengers in Santa Clara County Board of Education election Nov. 4

Three incumbents face challengers in Santa Clara County Board of Education election Nov. 4 By Dana Hull Mercury News 09/14/08
Eight candidates have filed for four seats on the Santa Clara County Board of Education, which includes seven trustee areas.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Lit 110208

Handle This Book! By ROGER MUMMERT, NYTimes
Rare books and manuscripts, once restricted to scholars in white gloves, are being incorporated into undergraduate courses. Slide Show: The Past Between Two Covers

Just Leave Them Behind, By CHARLES McGRATH, NYTimes
One author argues that some of us are just not college material. Another, that colleges should just stick to the basics.

The Visitor, By J. D. NORDELL, NYTimes
A visiting writer teaches an unexpected lesson: what it was like to be a woman in the Bad Old Days.

Saturday, November 1, 2008



Before the test:

  • Sleep
  • Eat breakfast
  • Bring Student ID
  • Arrive early--use the spare time to encourage yourself and your friends to do your best.


  • Read the Prompt
  • Read the Quote
  • Read the Prompt again.
  • Think for 1 minute (don't write).
  • Brainstorm. Focus, focus, focus your examples. Organize. (2 minutes)
  • Write (20 min)
  • Intro Paragraph:
  • Thesis plus preview of your examples
  • 3 body paragraphs. Topic sentence plus 3-4 sentences of concrete detail.
  • Transition between paragraphs.
  • Conclusion.
  • Fix errors and upgrade vocabulary (2 min).

Writing Section

  • The Fist of No Error (see sidebar)

Critical Reading

  • POE (process of elimination)
  • Avoid answers that are too extreme (narrow, general, always/never, etc)

Long Passage

  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when?)
  • Skim & underline for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)
  • Mark-up the passage as per the Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)
  • Read the passage critically (why? how?)
  • Answer the questions via POE