Commentaries - April 2008

doing not enough every day (PoemTalk #5)

A list of Bohemian pleasures. Ted Berrigan's "3 Pages" is a list poem, surely. He mentions ten things he does every day (including "read lunch poems," surely a reference to Frank O'Hara's book of that title) but the PoemTalkers - Randall Couch, Linh Dinh and special guest erica kaufman - had trouble counting them. We got to nine, and pondered.

Teaching artificial simplicity

I've been reading the blog of a former student and now someone prominent in marketing (his field is "persuasion").

Form(ulas) can be democratic

Gerald Graff is now arguing for a pedagogical formalism. What is apparently a counter-intuitive argument is — to my mind anyway — consistent with his advocacy of meta-pedagogy, a teaching of subject matter that is always in some sense about the teaching (the form of the teaching), such that "content" matters less than one might think under the liberal rubric of "teach the conflicts." In a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article, Graff and a colleague argue in favor of "formulaic" teaching. Here's a paragraph: