According to Produce Pete, “Eating a variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables can do wonders for your health, but choosing super-nutritious kale on a regular basis may provide significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowered cholesterol.”

The Power of Music and the Power of Records


Radiolab a radio show on NPR did an hour segment on the Power of Music. In this show they had a variety of stories told by guests, and most if not all of these stories linked music to a power like saving lives, remembrance, and the power to provoke a generation. After listening to the show I took…

This thoughtful post reacted to the Radiolab show “The Power of Music.”  I really love how this student went beyond describing the show, and even beyond making a connection to his blog topic on LPs (vinyl recordings).  He saw a special significance in the Radiolab broadcast that the show’s hosts didn’t overtly make—that vinyl recordings were in many ways a revolutionary technology, having the power, even, to bring back music from death.  Cool stuff.

Best Fantasy Game Of All Time



The Bioshock series is the best fantasy series of all time. This is true for a couple of reasons. The first being that it has a great story line. The first two games take place in the underwater city of Rapture, a city that has fallen under the pressures of dictatorship of Andrew Ryan,…

This post is a very good example of the Blog #4 assignment to create an argument using the word “best” and then to standardize it.  This assignment tripped up many students, but this author was able to do a solid job of arguing her point, and then including a clear standardization below.  Her standardization clearly labels her premises p1, p2, p3…and her thesis (which she calls a conclusion, and this is fine by me).  Also, her premises are stated in simple, full sentences, so we understand how each refers to the thesis.  I also appreciate the fact that the student included pictures and details that explained the game for those who aren’t familiar with it!

My Steelers Training Camp Experience


In late July of 2006, the Pittsburgh Steelers were heading into their training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The previous season they beat the NFC champion, Seattle Seahawks, to claim their 5th Super Bowl, so the training camp was buzzing. I was a 10 year old kid, very…

This is a student’s story of visiting a Steelers training camp when he was a young boy.  I am not a sports fan myself, but because this writer told the story from a child’s perspective, capturing the wonder and excitement around him, I was able to get caught up in his excitement as well.  I really enjoyed the sensory imagery used in this post, describing the experience of “squeezing” past crowds of people, and hearing the “buzzing” of the crowds.

The author also built momentum in this story by giving it form and structure—he had a clear beginning, middle, and end to the story and he kept giving the reader cues like, “little did I know that this was not going to be the best part of the day.”  This is what made the post a story rather than just a description or collection of facts, and it was a very good one at that!  Kudos!



Ross Douthat wrote the opinion based article “Why monogamy matters” (2011) stating that the more monogamous a woman in particular is, the happier she is likely to be. Statistics show that women with less sexual partners tend to be less depressed, also there are more and more people waiting until…

This blog post written in reaction to an Op-Ed article very much impressed me through its sharp critique.  This student author took the New York Times author to task by pointing out how he is inconsistent in his audience and lacks support for his central premises. I really appreciated the careful word choice in this post, which serves to convey her message concisely. This post demonstrates that excellent blog posts don’t have to be very long to be thoughtful and interesting.

A Winter Wonderland at Lincoln Financial Field


In the online news article “Lions vs. Eagles 2013 final score: Philadelphia dominates Snow Bowl, 34-20” (2013), James Dator evaluates that the Philadelphia Eagles prospered victoriously in the harshest of conditions while competing against the Detroit Lions. Dator describes the abilities of both…

This blog post on particularly harrowing weather conditions during a football game was so excellent that I have to share it.  The author began with an insightful rhetorical precis because this was what the assignment called for, but what I love most about it is that the author also brought up her own experiences and reactions to the game.  She recalled seeing the game, and wondering if players should even have to play in these conditions.  Besides being well written, the post was fun to read because it went beyond simple “I agree” or “I disagree” statements.  She made connections to her blog topic (Philly Sports), her own experience in watching this game, and ideas about game play in these conditions both for players and fans.  I also really like how the author included both a picture and a link to see the game she spoke about in her article.  Great work!

Spurious Correlations

Something fun to distract you from finals, and, also, the reason I discouraged cause/effect papers.  It’s too easy to do something like this:

Childhood Throwbacks: My Own Album


In order to prove my point that albums are a more complete method of releasing songs than singles, I decided to make an album of my own. Unfortunately, I did not have the musical talent or the equipment to perform this task, so I made a compilation album. In some ways though, it is even better…

One of my students created what I think is a surprisingly clever expression of his final argument in multimedia. By creating an album of his own, he provided primary and creative evidence that an album makes a further range of tools possible for the musical artist to build an emotional experience for the listener.  I particularly appreciated how creatively thought-out this project was—the student didn’t merely restate or record his argument, he demonstrated it.  Very cool.

The Grim Reaper




At first I thought that the Radiolab “Dead Reckoning” would be somewhat of a stretch in relation to my topic, aside from the striking similarity of the topic of dying - discussed in the Radiolab, viewed in many medical dramas. However,…

Wow—a really thoughtful connection from a Radiolab episode to this student’s blog.  I particularly like how the student didn’t just limit her critical engagement to agreement or disagreement, liking or not liking, or what was good/bad about the show, but explored very specific connections to the show and questions she had been engaging in her blog.  She reflected that, at least for one example in the show, reality was more far-fetched than TV!

When Worlds Collide



E. H. Smith argues that a person’s race/nationality decides if they are treated like an expatriate or an immigrant. There is definitely a nicer connotation with the term expatriate than there is with the word immigrant. Smith supports his claim by saying that he himself, a Caucasian…

This is an excellent post for a few reasons.  First, it bravely tackles an uncomfortable and tricky subject: race and immigration.  This student’s blog is on European trends, but she had the guts to go outside of her comfort zone and see this really unfortunate but complex stereotype as another “trend” she could expose.  Second, this post deals with this difficult situation in a complex and sensitive way.  It would have been easy to take one side or the other, or even not to deal with the issue at all and say “that’s too bad” but she shows understanding for all sides of this complex issue, while not shying away from asserting her own voice and interpretation.  THIS is scholarly work.