Nepal: Tragedy in the Himalayas

Gentleman in Durbar Square, Nepal

Gentleman in Durbar Square, Nepal

My…heart…is…broken.  The devastation to the Himalayan nation of Nepal due to the 7.8 earthquake is just gut-wrenching.  As you know, my husband and I traveled there in the early 1990s.

This is one of the poorest countries in the world…but they live in one of the richest environments of any people on earth.

Kathmandu (aka Kasthamandap Mahanagar), the capital city, is an ancient metropolis.  Established nearly 2000 years ago, it is nestled in a valley in the Himalayas.  It stands at approximately 4,600 feet.  It also lies in the shadow of the world’s best known mountain, Mount Everest.

At this point, we do not know the exact number of dead and injured.  It is estimated to be in the thousands.  Continue reading

Tau is for Truth

onight I want to talk to you about the Tau in Sigma Tau Delta, the letter that stands for Truth in this English honors society. I think the topic worth our consideration, especially since, from the earliest days, poets have been accused of being liars. Many of you are English or Writing majors, and your decision to study literature has probably been challenged at one time or another by concerned parents and other well-meaning detractors: “What do you want to do with English? Why study a bunch of made-up stories?”

Poets are Liars. Stories are Dumb.

Well, I’m sure you all can give your own responses to these allegations, and probably have already done so. I’m sure you’re capable of giving your own version of this speech, but with your permission I’d like to say a few words about my own understanding of poetry and truth, of stories that speak.  Continue reading

In “Debate Mode”

NDT 2015

Announcement of 7th Round Pairings at the 2015 National Debate Tournament

OK. I am officially in “debate mode”.

I last wrote about being a member of the A. Craig Baird Debate Forum at the University of Iowa and getting ready to travel to the 69th Annual National Debate Tournament (NDT) that was being held there for the first time.

I have also just finished judging at the National Christian Forensics and Communication Association (NCFCA) regional qualifier here in Texas. Additionally, my students are getting ready to start their own Lincoln Douglas debates in the final weeks of my “Argumentation and Advocacy” class.

Whew!

Yes, it is that time of year…when the debate community really gets into high gear. Continue reading

Twelve Facebook Posts You Don’t Want to Make, But Have Already

Facebook-Thumbs-DownWhile Facebook posts number in the millions daily, they really boil down to only 12 different posts repeated over and over again. You’ve probably seen these posts before, or maybe been guilty of them yourself.  Here they are again, so you can recognize them when you see them!

The False Pride Post – The Facebook tendency to seek praise for yourself for the accomplishments of somebody else. “I’m so proud of my spouse for finishing that doctorate in molecular biology. She worked so hard.  I can’t believe we finished. Thank you all for your support.”  What exactly did you do?

The Humble Bragging Post – The effort to make a seemingly mundane comment that weakly camouflages the not so subtle statement that you really want to convey. “Just finished the most interesting book on the French Revolution. Fascinating period of history. Can’t wait to take in the sights after we leave this café.” Real meaning – “I’m in Paris, France.” Continue reading

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