Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully

Rethinking an Axiom

Arts & Sciences newsletter of Washington University in St. Louis December 2007

Physics professor Carl Bender embodies that good old Missouri saying, “show me.” His knack for questioning things often taken for granted has led to exciting results.

Quantum physics is formulated in terms of a set of axioms that are physical and have an experimental basis. All axioms, it turns out, except one.

Jonathan Kozol: Bearing Witness

NCTE Council Chronicle November 2007

As a young teacher in the 1960s, all Jonathan Kozol wanted to do was to share his passion for great literature with his students. So he read them poems. He read poems by William Butler Yeats, and he read poems by Robert Frost. The principal applauded him. But then Kozol read Langston Hughes poems to his students and he was fired.

Chris Crutcher’s Stories Resonate with Young Readers

NCTE Council Chronicle September 2007

Nothing much surprises Chris Crutcher, author of numerous young adult novels, including Ironman, Whale Talk, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, and Stotan!. Having worked extensively as a therapist for those experiencing child abuse and neglect, Crutcher has seen the dark underbelly of life.

The Tao of Fu

Illinois Alumni magazine July 2007

In the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism, followers strive to bring harmony to the universe through the balance of opposites.

So too has Ping Fu, MS ‘90 ENG, carefully negotiated a balancing act in the course of her life. Moving from the violence of China’s Cultural Revolution to the positivity of America’s entrepreneurial climate, Fu has counteracted despair with hope, chaos with order, and survival mode with serenity.

Raising a Joyful Voice

Illinois Alumni magazine June 2007

The day I meet her, Ollie Watts Davis MMUS ‘82 FAA, AMUSD’88 FAA, wears an ivory pants suit, rings on four of her fingers, piles of bracelets on each wrist, red nail polish and matching lipstick. There is just no other way to say this: she is gorgeous. She exudes a stunning positive energy as well, accompanied with a smile so bright that, as Frank Sinatra crooned, “she walks by and dims the sunlight’s gleam.”

Brainpower

Perspectives June 2007

A mere generation or two ago, a strong back, stamina and loyalty were a guarantee of regular employment. But with the rise of the high-technology sector and the gradual shifting of the economy away from agriculture and manufacturing, brainpower is the name of the game these days.

Elie Wiesel: Indifference is Not an Option

NCTE Council Chronicle June 2007

For more than half a century, Nobel Prize-winner and concentration camp survivor Elie Wiesel (pronounced EH-lee vee-ZEL), has used his voice and his influence to make sure the world never forgets the atrocities committed by the Nazis during World War II.

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest,” he said in his 1986 Nobel Prize acceptance speech.

Acts Of Faith

Illinois Alumni Magazine June 2007

Eboo Patel ‘96 LAS has the radical idea that people from other religions shouldn’t kill each other.

“Why are religious extremists getting to young people before we do?” he asked. “Why don’t we build a different pattern, a pattern of religious pluralism?”

Faculty Feature: Martha Gillette

University of Illinois Molecular and Cellular Biology magazine April 2007

Martha Gillette’s grin can easily light up a room, but behind that thousand-watt grin is a determination that could stop a freight train.

Although Gillette knew from a young age that she would be a scientist, she faced more than her share of obstacles in the course of her career.

Formative Assessment: Helping Students Grow

NCTE Council Chronicle March 2007

What do class discussions, quick writes, reader response journals, quizzes, and writing conferences all have in common? They are all examples of the wide range of classroom-based activities that teachers use to measure how well their students are learning.

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