So yesterday at around 4:00 pm I received an e-mail from Time.com asking me if I could produce 800 words on a news story about a survey that incoming students at Harvard took, on which they reported their cheating behaviors in high school. They wanted it turned around that same evening. I can produce prose pretty quickly, especially on the subjects that I know something about, but this was the fastest deadline I have ever encountered. Ultimately, I got it done, and they put a catchy headline on it and linked it to a bunch of other stories on learning, so I was happy with the final result.
In the meantime, a long interview I had done with insidehighered.com appeared this morning as well. They asked great questions, and the interviewer wrote a smart and generous introduction to the piece, which they published in full QA format. If you are looking for a fuller understanding of the book's argument, that's the place to go.
This Thursday afternoon at 3:00 pm will mark my third appearance on an NPR affiliate, this one in San Antonio, Texas. But if you are not going to be in Texas on Thursday, you can listen to my appearance on Boston's NPR affiliate right here.
And of course all of this publicity is designed to get you interested in the book, which is now available from Amazon.
In the meantime, eldest daughter has settled into her first semester of college at the University of Notre Dame, and seems to be doing wonderfully. Notre Dame has an extensive intramural sports system, which includes every sport under the sun. So naturally she decided to join a dodge ball team. I encouraged her to watch the movie Dodge Ball in preparation. "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball."
We are in the second week of the semester, and between that and the publicity work for the new book I am keeping pretty busy. But when I have some open space in my schedule I spend it reading George Orwell, who is helping inspire my next project: a writing text that tries to enact some of the basic ideas I have been arguing for recently about how we can best motivate our students to learn--and, in this case, motivate them to write. This text will seek to develop a framework for the teaching of writing that taps into the problems and questions that matter to students, and that helps them understand how they can use writing to, as Orwell once put it, "push the world in a certain direction."
Finally, don't forget @LangOnCourse as a place to join an ongoing conversation about teaching and learning in higher education on Twitter. See you next month.