A 12-year- old once told me, “I love big words. They taste delicious.” I couldn’t agree more, but I am not as discerning. I love all words. I love the power of words and the difference just the right one can make in a story. So, let me help you with any writing or editing projects you have. I’ll help you find the most delicious words.
When I walk into Billie Jean Theide’s metalsmithing class, I seem to have time-warped to the 1950s.
High, wooden desks reminiscent of architects’ drafting tables fill the second-floor classroom. Gooseneck lamps provide an ambient glow. Radiators clank and hiss. We are warm within the walls of an old brick building, tucked amid greenhouses in a quiet corner of campus.
Want to be serenaded with “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” at 2 a.m.? No problem. “Come All Ye Faithful” … in Latin? Coming right up. It’s all in a day and night’s work for Snyder Hall’s Dial-A-Carol volunteers, who satisfy callers’ desires for Christmas carols, common and obscure, for one week every year.
The bioengineer wants to develop a cure for blistering skin disease, and the neuroscience student believes her understanding of how zebra finches learn songs could help combat degenerative neurological ailments. The biochemist dreams of applying her knowledge of the molecular foundation of the immune system to help fight infectious disease. The philosopher hopes to play an important role in teaching medical ethics and even guiding policy.
Muse: the magazine of life, the universe, and pie throwing June 2010
You may not have heard of Carl Woese, but his discovery shook the very roots of biology. At a time when scientists believed all life on Earth could be divided into two categories, Woese (rhymes with “rose”) discovered a third. He persevered in the face of strong opposition, and ultimately triumphed. In the process, he opened our eyes to the vastness and diversity of the world of microbes.
The words “librarian” and “celebrity” are not often used in the same sentence, but in the case of Nancy Pearl, it happens often. Not only has Pearl, a librarian by training, written three books, she is a regular guest on National Public Radio and hosts a Seattle television show. To top it all off, she was the inspiration for a librarian action figure and is quoted on one of the Starbucks coffee cups.*
Teachers don’t typically enter their profession for political reasons — such as education their political representatives on literacy issues or influencing national policy. Nevertheless, numerous teachers accomplish these very aims every April as part of NCTE’s Literacy Education Advocacy Day (www.ncte.org/action/advocacyday).
Janice Harrington’s recent success as a poet, author and college professor is deeply rooted in her more than two decades as children’s librarian and storyteller, where her work fostered a powerful ear for vivid rhythm and imagery.
If Michael B. Johnson ‘88 ENG were a Pixar movie character he would be Sully, the large, furry, green-with-blue-spots star of Monsters, Inc. Like Sully (voiced by actor John Goodman), Johnson’s voice is deep and resonant; he is a hail-fellow-well-met; modest in an “aw-shucks-just-doing-my-job” way; and he is all about giving credit to others.