critical thinking

Will reading the book Wired for Story really make you a better storyteller?

In my 36th year as a would-be and penniless writer, I found myself exiled to a dark rough and tumble city in the Far West, guns blazing as a steely-eyed wordslinger for hire.  But then one day I stumbled upon Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story. The book’s first pages caught my attention.  But alas, the(…)

Back to the Future: My First Lesson in Cognitive Dissonance

North central Pennsylvania is beautiful and temperate this time of year.  The day reveals a land of maze-like mountain ranges, each ridge roughly the same elevation.  Geologists describe this kind of rugged terrain as a desiccated plateau.  Here there are ridges beyond ridges lush with forest, waterways, bogs, valleys with farms, corn fields and cattle(…)

Understanding Thoreau

In this literature class I help Chinese university students decipher passages in Thoreau’s essay, “Reading,” pointing out that it may take multiple visits to his works — a journey over a span of years — to gain more understanding. I also answer a student’s question into why Thoreau thought reading the classics, preferably in the(…)