Weekly Review: December 4th to December 10th

by Matthew Koslowski on December 11, 2009
in Weekly Reviews

This has been the first week that I’ve managed to keep to a form my dedication, made some weeks back, and worked on my Weekly Review several nights rather than just one. I am still overwhelmed by the streams of information that I am trying to swim in. I am learning to manage, though, and I think the quality of the Weekly Reviews is only going to increase in 2010.

These Things Caught My Eye

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Weekly Review: October 30th to November 5th

by Matthew Koslowski on November 6, 2009
in Weekly Reviews

The Weekly Reviews are a lot of fun to write. I enjoy scouring the web for interesting articles and blog posts. But, all the same, the project had begun to become a unmanageable. There are so many websites and blogs to check out everyday. I had been afraid that I was going to miss something.

What I repeatedly missed was my own deadline. You may have noticed that the past two weeks I had postponed my Weekly Review until Saturday.

I have been working hard but I haven’t been working very smart. Then I remembered a quote from one of my favorite writers:

Novels are written in the same way that farms are made productive, or houses are kept clean, or baseball penant races are won: with steady work each day.
–Andre Dubus

Substitute “Weekly Reviews” for “Novels” and you get the same concept. Rather than gathering up work throughout the week and then trying to throw something together slapdash on Thursday night, starting this week I will be working on the Weekly Review throughout the week.

Thursday afternoon I spent some time setting up a feed reader through Google. Though I’m not quite sure how I feel about it yet — unlike Gmail, the posts disappear after you’ve read them unless you ask them to stay — but I am glad to consolidate many of my different websites into one place.

In addition to that, I’ve also setup Literature&Literacy on Feedburner.com. You can now subscribe to Literature&Literacy through an RSS Reader or through email.

These Things Caught My Eye

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Weekly Review: October 9th to October 15th

by Matthew Koslowski on October 16, 2009
in Weekly Reviews

Running a blog is a job in and of itself. Since starting this blog, my respect for journalists has grown because I have learned how much time it takes to craft a single post.

My essays are pure opinion pieces. I read a book, a poem, an essay, or a news article. Then I think about what I’ve read and then look at my world and see if its relevant, judge if I think others might enjoy reading about my interaction with that work.

And it takes me between two and four hours to write these essays.

Yet I’m hooked. I love writing here because I feel more alive because I am again engaging the world in ways that I haven’t since college. Each essays calls upon me to look at my world and analyze it and reflect upon it.

This is another great gift of literature.

And, yes, I call even bad newspaper essays literature.

These Things Caught My Eye

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Imagined Conversations: A Review of Why School?

In This Essay

Why School? : Reclaiming Education for All of Us by Mike Rose
Letters to a Young Teacher by Jonathan Kozol
 

I first learned about Why School? : Reclaiming Education for All of Us while listening to Marketplace on NPR back in August. I ordered it from Amazon.

I tore into it immediately. I have been thinking about it since then. I had been a bit afraid to review it too quickly.

Mike Rose covers a lot of topics in his slim 169 pages. But his essays are broad, each like an introduction to the topic rather than like tightly argued persuasion piece. And therein lies the value of these essays.

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On President Obama’s Address to Students

by Matthew Koslowski on September 9, 2009
in Essays

With all the controversy swirling around President Obama’s Address to Students, I was curious to see what he would say yesterday.

I wanted to form my own opinion of the address. I had avoided reading all of the advance press that I could. I knew there was talk of school boards voting to prevent its presentation in school; I knew conservative talking heads and shouting mouths had condemned the very idea without any advanced copy, had dismissed a political tradition; I knew there were parents who were thinking of keeping their children home as a boycott.

As much as I had anticipated the speech, I was disappointed by his speech. More than disappointed, in fact: the President’s speech made me angry.

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