Monthly Archives: April 2018

Oscar Wilde on Skepticism

“To believe is very dull. To doubt intensely engrossing. To be on the alert is to live, to be lulled into security is to die.”

Oscar Wilde

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Portable Curmudgeon. New York: Plume, 1992.

Word Root Worksheet: Nephr/o

Today is April 19. On this day in 1775, the Battles of Lexington and Concord occurred, which effectively began the American Revolution. Also on this day, in 1943, against odds by any definition impossible, the the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began.

Here is a word root worksheet on the Greek root nephr/o. It means kidney. Hence, the medical specialist who deals with kidneys is a nephrologist.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

On Identifying Talent and Teaching to It

“Aptitudes are assumed, they should become accomplishments. That is the purpose of all education.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Elective Affinities (1809)

Excerpted from: Howe, Randy, ed. The Quotable Teacher. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2003.

Squander (vt/vi)

Today is April 18. On this day in history in 1906, a massive earthquake hit San Francisco. It’s also the birthday of legendary American attorney Clarence Darrow.

Here is a context clues worksheet on the verb squander; it’s used both transitively and intransitively.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Shtick (n.)

A worked-up, contrived form of talent of self-presentation to entertain or win attention; an idiosyncratic routine or particular forte; mannerism.”

“Rebuttal is appropriate. For what we have here is no argument but a shtick, as we used to say in Vaudeville, an antic, a bit, a thing.”

Donald Kaplan, in Language in America

Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

Parsing Sentences: Conjunctions

Today is April 17. On this day in history, the United States launched the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, which, depending on whose version of history you subscribe to, was a turning point in our country’s history. Also on this day, in another failure of American foreign policy, Cambodia fell to the Khmer Rouge, a radical Marxist group who initiated an auto-genocide in that nation. Finally, today is Syrian Independence Day, another nation whose fate has tended to be the plaything–or object of abuse, depending again on your view of such things–of Western nations.

Here is a parsing sentences worksheet for conjunctions that is the kind of thing I use to get students settled after a class change.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Ptolemy’s 1,022 Stars

“The great quest of medieval science was for a perfect copy of Ptolemy’s Almagest, written in Egypt in 147 AD. It was known to have thirteen sections, with the most accurate analysis of star and planetary paths ever achieved, alongside a catalogue of 1,022 starts listed on a scale of magnitude from 1 to 6. It was a key that threatened to unlock the secrets of the heavens.”            

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.