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Britton Gildersleeve Archives

Sawatdee pi Maï! Happy New Year! Well, almost — it’s Thursday, April 12th this year. In Thailand, this greeting is accompanied by joyful gouts of water — splashed on you, at you, over you. And while the New Year’s festival […]

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I’m taking early retirement this year. And it’s changed the way I view almost everything. For one thing, apparently it’s not retirement if you’re not old enough. It’s ‘separation.’ So perhaps what I’m having is separation anxiety… Our culture defines […]

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I love this cartoon — I’m sorry I have no better attribution, as it has to have been done by someone intimately acquainted w/ teaching and/or teachers. Because this is the secret about teaching: you can’t prepare for most of […]

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A former student, sharing sad news with me, paid me a lovely compliment this past week. First he told me of his mother’s impending death from cancer. Then he said: I knew you’d want to know. And – I thought […]

I love the ambiguity of the word love — but I also envy all those other languages their precision: aimer, affectionner, encantar… eros, agape… There are almost as many words for strong affection as there are things to love. But […]

There are a lot of things you expect to learn if you get a doctorate. Primarily, of course, your subject. But there are also things you don’t expect to learn. Like… well, what I realised yesterday in the shower (is […]

I often tackle a new discipline — or learning more about something I know only superficially — by offering to teach it. Don’t cringe: you’re not in any of my classes :). And it makes me, I’d argue, a far […]

I’m not so good at taking my own advice, she said, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s right. Guilt. That’s what 5 minutes of reflection costs. Well, maybe that’s the price of temper… And the reflection is just… […]

My students share their lives — with me, with each other. We have a class listserv, which they’re required to post to several times weekly. It builds community — there’s lots of research on classroom community and its benefits — […]

The other day, sitting in the breakfast room & looking out the window to the small-seed bird feeder, I watched as a cloud of birds lifted into the air. Spiraling to a seat on the pecan tree just off the […]