French booksellers pose naked to support children's book on nudity After a French children's book which set out to remove stigma around nudity by featuring drawings of everyday people getting undressed drew the ire of France's UMP party, a group of publishers and booksellers decided to register their displeasure – by posing naked. Jean-François Copé appeared on television earlier this month to denounce Tous à Poil, a children's picture book in which characters including a policeman and a school teacher are shown getting undressed, and naked, before plunging into the sea. The authors, Claire Franek and Marc Daniau, wrote it to take the shame out of being naked. "If you think about it, whether you're a baby, a doctor or a baker … we all have buttocks, a tummy button, genitals and even moles," they have said. But Copé, president of France's centre-right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire party, said that when he saw the book, he was outraged.
William Zinsser, Author of ‘On Writing Well,’ at His Work In newsrooms, publishing houses and wherever the labor centers on honing sentences and paragraphs, you are almost certain to find among the reference works a classic guide to nonfiction writing called “On Writing Well,” by Mr. Zinsser. Sometimes all you have to say is: Hand me the Zinsser. “Clutter is the disease of American writing,” he declared in one passage that tends to haunt anyone daring to write about Mr. Zinsser. The book, first published in 1976, grew out of a writing course that Mr. So he listens. “People read with their ears, whether they know it or not,” Mr. Sitting at his table is Gretchen Dykstra, a woman of vast experience as a teacher and public servant. Not long ago North Dakota Quarterly published an essay by Ms. “It reads like a textbook,” he tells Ms. He suggests that Ms. Mr. Lunchtime arrives. “I’ve got ham and cheese, turkey and cranberry, and roast beef,” Ms. Ham and cheese it is. This may be because Mr. “I’m eager to hear from you. Mr. This is what Ms. Mr.
Why Ivy League Schools Are So Bad at Economic Diversity - Robin J. Hayes Elite universities should not be asking, “Why do we have so few low-income students?” but “How do we have so many wealthy ones?” Paramount Pictures Yale Alumni Magazine’s cover announced this month that the university “seeks smart students from poor families.” As the illustration of a white man in a business suit reaching past low-hanging fruit demonstrates, Yale believes “they’re out there—but hard to find.” I guess my alma mater feels fortunate to have found me–a native of East Flatbush, Brooklyn and the descendant of a housekeeper, doorman, drug addict, and prisoner. The article the cover refers to, “Wanted: Smart Students from Poor Families,” argues that decision-makers at this school and others (including Amherst and Vassar) are sincere in their efforts to both recruit more low-income students and make them “feel more at home” once admitted. The Fantasy of Achievement No other kid from my block in East Flatbush was so lucky. The Rarefication of the 'Low-Income' Family
Study: U.S. students struggle with vocabulary Findings from a new federal study suggest that U.S. schoolchildren may not improve their reading skills until they have a better grasp of basic vocabulary. The study, out Thursday from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, looks at the vocabulary skills of students nationwide and finds that they closely track students' reading comprehension levels. For fourth-graders, for instance, the top 25% of readers turned in an average 255-point vocabulary score on a 500-point scale; meanwhile, the weakest 25% of readers scored only 177 points. The findings represent the first time that the federal government has analyzed vocabulary in isolation, and the results show that students have a long way to go: The average fourth-grader scored 218 points in 2011, essentially unchanged from 2009. The average eighth-grader scored 265, also unchanged from 2009. Asked to pick from four possible definitions, only 51% correctly chose "confused that there were no ducks."
Bringing Men Back Into Families - Lois M. Collins & Marjorie Cortez A third of American children are growing up in homes without their biological fathers. svenwerk/Flickr MIDVALE, Utah — Jordan Ott was the third of his mother’s six children, born over the course of four marriages. By age 8, he’d had two step-dads; his brothers and sisters had more or fewer based on birth order. Each child also had different numbers of siblings, depending on whether their own dads fathered other children. Ott has one full sister, four half-siblings and at one point had three step-siblings “that I know of,” he said. His story is not uncommon today. These statistics play out most often in the form of absent fathers—or the arrival and departure of serial father figures involved in romantic relationships with a child’s mother. Like Ott, now 25, children may grow up with lots of father figures, but no real dad. Ott said he learned not to pay attention to stepfathers, even one he had for years. But dad’s place is not always secure. University of California-Berkeley’s Philip A.
Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More The Art of the College Recommendation Letter - Andrew Simmons How teachers can move beyond statements like, “She is a consistently respectful student.” See-ming Lee/flickr In late September, seniors case my classroom in the early morning and charge in before I’ve turned on my laptop. I usually end up writing 12 to 15 recommendations per “season.” A lot of teachers introduce themselves, announce the subject’s suitability for college, summarize his or her academic performance, and then fill in personal details by following the brag sheet—an unfortunately named document that endeavors to outline a student’s achievements: sports played, volunteer work completed, awards won, and so forth. “He was defensive player of the year for the football team.” “She ran student government and earned a 4.0.” “His exam scores were the best in his class for the second half of the year.” Even when these teachers editorialize further, they may traffic in the sorts of dull generalities that student writers are taught to avoid. “She is a consistently respectful student.”
Errors: Why They Happen, How to Better Avoid Them Several people have pointed out to me, with the best of intentions, that there are a few copyediting/consistency errors in Insurgent. I'm not going to tell you what they are, because some people won't catch them and I don't want to spoil the read for them. Just know that if you read something and get confused and think you might be misreading or misinterpreting, it might not be your mistake, but rather mine. I just wanted to talk about why these errors happen. What happened with book two was that I wrote a few drafts back to back, and then did several rounds of editing back to back. The thing about writing is that most people need space and time away from their work to see it clearly again. This has been a huge learning experience for me as an author, because I didn't realize until it was too late that these mistakes were there, and I never thought to do a read-through strictly for draft inconsistencies or book 1-to-book 2 inconsistencies. 1. 2. 3. Read on, smartypants!
Why Middle-School Girls Sometimes Talk Like Babies - Jessica Lahey mikebaird/Flickr Teachers are technically hired to teach content—math, science, English, history. But over the course of a normal school day, we teach so much more. For years, I ignored the habit of baby voice and upspeak because while it is irksome, I was grateful my students were speaking up in class at all. I tried to look past the habit, hoping it, like most trends, would pass into history. If women want to pass themselves off as pubescent in order to attract sexual attention, fine, that’s their adult business. Some, including Jessica Grose at Slate, felt that Lake Bell was unfairly “dissing women’s voices,” that “women who are smaller may have narrower vocal folds, which will lead to a higher pitch.” With that in mind, I started approaching baby voice as yet another practice to be overcome, much like habitual disorganization or shouting in the halls. If, as Lake Bell asserts, baby voice is learned, it can be unlearned through practice, positive reinforcement, and more practice.
English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet - Megan Garber Let's start with the dull stuff, because pragmatism. The word "because," in standard English usage, is a subordinating conjunction, which means that it connects two parts of a sentence in which one (the subordinate) explains the other. In that capacity, "because" has two distinct forms. It can be followed either by a finite clause (I'm reading this because [I saw it on the web]) or by a prepositional phrase (I'm reading this because [of the web]). I mention all that ... because language. You probably know it better, however, as explanation by way of Internet—explanation that maximizes efficiency and irony in equal measure. Indeed. Well here is a nice young man, Fred E. And like this, from the Daily Kos: If due north was good enough for that chicken's parents and grandparents and great-great-great-great-grandparents, it's good enough for that chicken too, damn it. And like this, from Lindy West and Jezebel: Did you hear the big news? But the formulation isn't simply limited to nouns.
Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework - Dana Goldstein And other insights from a ground- breaking study of how parents impact children’s academic achievement One of the central tenets of raising kids in America is that parents should be actively involved in their children’s education: meeting with teachers, volunteering at school, helping with homework, and doing a hundred other things that few working parents have time for. These obligations are so baked into American values that few parents stop to ask whether they’re worth the effort. Until this January, few researchers did, either. In the largest-ever study of how parental involvement affects academic achievement, Keith Robinson, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Angel L. What they found surprised them. Do you review your daughter’s homework every night? Similarly, students whose parents frequently meet with teachers and principals don’t seem to improve faster than academically comparable peers whose parents are less present at school.
4 Weird Side Effects of Learning How to Write A few months ago, several years after beginning this column, I finally learned how to write, the last piece of the puzzle being someone showing me how semicolons work. They make sentences; look smarter. It turns out that writing is one of those skills that really changes the way you think. One obvious way is that in the years since I started writing for Cracked, I've noticed all sorts of changes in the way I perceive the world. Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images"Who's the cutest little listicle? But it goes beyond turning everything into surprising lists of badass mind blowers. #4. Conversations in movies and books are filled with snappy banter, people constantly telling razor-sharp jokes or perfectly capturing their character in a few words. Digital Vision/Getty Images"Forsooth, this is a pretty unlikely way to begin a sentence." Conversations in the real world are nothing like this, filled with awkward pauses and words like "um" and "uh" and "derrr." #3.
Para estudiar, primero hay que aprender cómo hacerlo Madrid. (Efe/María Salas).- El profesor y asesor en rendimiento escolar Fernando Alberca asegura que cuando un niño no estudia es porque "no sabe hacerlo", no porque sea "vago" o incapaz, y necesita aprender a estudiar "con autonomía, ilusión y entusiasmo". Alberca desarrolla la fórmula para obtener mejores resultados académicos y la motivación de los estudiantes en su último libro, Tu hijo a Harvard y tú en la hamaca (Espasa), que "no se trata de un manual de técnicas de estudio, sino que busca de una forma moderna que el niño cambie la manera de ver las cosas". En una entrevista con Efe, expone que cada niño tiene "todos los ingredientes" para sacar un rendimiento "fantástico" y conseguir hacer lo que quiera, y advierte de que la falta de lectura está muchas veces detrás de la falta de estudio. Recomienda afrontar el estudio con una actitud adecuada, que pasa por comprender los textos, para lo que es necesario aprender a "sintetizar y expandir".
College Applicants Sweat The SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't Standardized tests are an important consideration for admissions at many colleges and universities. But one new study shows that high school performance, not standardized test scores, is a better predictor of how students do in college. Amriphoto/iStockphoto hide caption itoggle caption Amriphoto/iStockphoto Standardized tests are an important consideration for admissions at many colleges and universities. Amriphoto/iStockphoto With spring fast approaching, many American high school seniors are now waiting anxiously to hear whether they got into the college or university of their choice. That's because those standardized tests remain a central part in determining which students get accepted at many schools. On a drizzly Saturday in Belmont, Calif., high school students are walking out of the Belmont Library looking a little frazzled. Mara Meijer, a junior who wants to be a veterinarian, is among them. "Upping my score" is a mantra for teens across the country. itoggle caption Peter G.