Showing posts from September, 2017

Was Walter Scott Bowdlerized?

Sir Walter Scott - painted by Sir William Allan On March 24, 1826, Sir Walter Scott wrote in his Journal : ‘ JB clamorous for a motto. Go to. D—n the mot-toe. It is foolish to encourage people to expect mottoes and such-like Decoraments. You have no credit for success in finding them, and there is a disgrace in wanting them’ This is the text that appears in The Journal of Sir Walter Scott. From the Original Manuscript of Abbotsford , ed. W. E. K. Anderson (Oxford, 1972), 119, and in the Canongate 1999 edition, which has a footnote but does not comment on the textual variants. However, the words: 'Go to. D—n the mot-toe.' did not appear in John Gibson Lockhart 's Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott , Volume 4, , p. 36, 1838; nor in 1845: 618;  or 1852: 618 . [Possibly in 1851: 618 , but I've not been able to check that one] Is it to be surmised that D--n was deleted by Lockhart's wife, Sophia, Scott's daughter? Are there any other s

How to ensure that First Year @ University is a success

Logic of Failure - Metaphysics of Success Many universities are concerned about failure rates. It is not uncommon for 25% of students to fail to complete their first year successfully.  Academics are mildy irritated that they are constantly under pressure from the management to improve success rates. Rather cruel responses might run like this: " I'm sorry, it is really beyond my control if you break up with your girlfriend in week 3 and stop attending classes." [But depression is a REAL problem for some students. Check out this article: Yes, you can crawl out of your first-year depression at university  | Nell Frizzell ] "Am I responsible if you lose the power of motion because you've been living on nothing but porridge oats for the last term before the exams, having spent your parents' money on beer." "I can recommend counselling services. Remember ... you are now deemed to be an adult; you will be expected to take responsibi

The Case for India

Although Will Durant's The Case for India was composed in 1930 it is still a highly readable and provocative account. Ultimately, its reading of history is political and partisan and polemical. As a result, this classic book will stimulate debate in your classroom seminar. William James Durant (5 November 1885 – 7 November 1981) was an American historian, philosopher and writer, most famous for his works The Story of Philosophy (1926), and The Story of Civilization (1935-1975). Crucially, Durant argued for a recognition of the India's contribution to world civilization: "It is true that even across the Himalayan barrier India has sent to the west, such gifts as grammar and logic, philosophy and fables, hypnotism and chess, and above all numerals and the decimal system." An Indian edition from 2006 is also available online. A quotation   from the first page indicates the historical point of view in glaring colours: "But I saw such things

Creative design and creative play as an aid to revision

LEARNING KEY TERMS:  Students often experience difficulty understanding, learning, and applying the key terms that are essential for the study of English Language and Literature. Even some undergraduates have poor mastery of the most basic terms. Across a range of subjects the need to acquire the technical vocabulary presents a major challenge. Many disciplines are turning to creative play exercises in order to improve motivation, engagement, and ultimately to improve exam results (See Further Reading , below). Most teachers understand that it is worth testing students’ knowledge base by asking them to compile their own glossary (A-Z), with key words, definitions and examples. This is a practical research exercise. It is ideal for small group work, or as a whole-class exercise. In a multi-media environment students might also select their own images to illustrate the key terms. As teachers we spend far too much time creating resources for students, rather than asking le