Vicente Rafael

When I teach the modern Latin Amercan survey again, I will include even more than usual on nations, nationalism, and revolutions — including politics in Spain and the Philippines. Axé.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar

For many Americans, education is about feeding students certain factual information, then testing them to make sure they retain it. The higher they climb on the educational ladder, the more specialized that information becomes as we train them for their eventual professions. That makes sense. When you’ve got surgeons hovering over you, ready to mess … More Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Grace Jones

“I was female, and they decided that I was rock ’n’ roll insane. Had I been a man, they would have considered that I was merely retaining control, or professionally fretting about the details. Once they start treating you as though you are losing your grip, it becomes kind of true – in reacting to … More Grace Jones

Dear colleague

You cannot say we have a language program because we have a common textbook and departmental tests, and then say that you will teach how and what you teach in a multi-section course regardless of book, and at the same time refuse to articulating departmental goals and benchmarks for student progress except to say the … More Dear colleague


Do you think blogs are over? Some of the ones that existed when I started in 2006, are still going, but many of those I used to read are gone — and so many have become so quasi-professional, so official. I have thought of stopping sometimes, but really what I would like is to get … More Apuntes

On my glorious past

I was asked to name my most inspiring professors ever, and here is the list that came to me offhand. It does not even include many very good ones, or really famous ones who were differently inspiring, like Julio Cortázar and José Emilio Pacheco (people I would include on a list if I thought about … More On my glorious past

El humo se disipa

Tu aliento es como la mejor mañana fresca de olor de aves y de mar un velamen cruza veloz la foresta interdicta de tu aliento donde los pájaros se columpian picoteando estrellas mientras un galope tendido de gacelas transtorna las flores y las convierte en piedras de luna y el silencio recorre la escala de … More El humo se disipa


I have been working on strategic plan for recruiting students and majors for one of my departments, in a very complex situation. My information on what is happening is incomplete and inconsistent, and I really wish I had the answer to certain questions. a/ What were the four reports the chair filed in defence of … More Lettre