Writing

On Good Writing: Mahood

Make time to go read these two articles when you get the chance. The Hunt for the Death Valley Germans The Hunt for 928 Tom Mahood is the author, and he has had an interesting life. He gets into a subject, and then boy, does he. But he also writes very, very well. These long stories are amazing tales, in and of themselves, but they are worth reading in large part because of his storytelling, too. Good writing is important.

Education / Teaching / Writing

Writing college essays

I teach college. My classes involve a lot of writing; there’s no getting around there. I read and grade a lot of writing. Midterms and finals are often essays, and they’re often in the 4 to 12 page range. And I often hear from my students, after the fact, comments like this. “I didn’t get the grade I was expecting.” “I usually do much better than this.” “This grade was disappointing.” “For the amount of effort I put into this, I was expecting a higher grade.” Let’s talk about this. I’ll use my recent round of midterms as a

Education / Iraq / Research

Google Searches and Alerts

I just created another Google Search today. I thought I would share with you what I used and how. As background, I have an ongoing interest in the Shia (and Sunni) militias in Iraq. The Shia ones have a long history of being supported by Iran, directly and indirectly. In 2014, the Iraqi government rolled many of the Shia ones into an umbrella organization, in response to the fall of Mosul and the need to officially bring these groups – armed – into the fight. Think of that action as mobilizing a well armed militia, in accordance with the US’s

Army / Blogging / Culture / etc.

As we use to say, History is Written By the Winners

I still love that quote, from George Orwell. It was the title of a column he wrote in 1944, you can read it here. I bring it up because China – the People’s Republic of China, or as it’s also called, Communist China – just celebrated the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II. The Atlantic, and one of my favorite features they do, In Focus, has great photos up that relate to both this topic, and this great quote from Orwell.