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An alibi of 6 states, 6 schools, 7 days

Behold the order of the Frisbee

If I’m suspected of committing any crimes in Muncie, Indiana, over the past week, I have a string of good alibis.  I haven’t been home.

I talked at Ashland University in Ohio on September 22nd and 23rd. From the student newspaper: “The man waving a pair of boxers above his head on the stage in Hugo Young Theatre Sept. 22 has possibly investigated more pairs of underwear than most of us own.

I got home Friday evening and left early, early Sunday morning for Arkansas. (Okay, so maybe there were a few hours for me to commit some crime against society, but I was tired.)

I spoke…

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Why do we hate teachers?

Okay, maybe the title of the post is a bit inflammatory, but consider this excerpt from a recent column in the NYTimes by Charles Hill:

McGraw-Hill Research Foundation and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that one of the differences between the United States and countries with high-performing school systems was: “The teaching profession in the U.S. does not have the same high status as it once did, nor does it compare with the status teachers enjoy in the world’s best-performing economies.”

The report highlights two examples of this diminished status:

• “According to a 2005 National Education Association report, nearly 50 percent of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years teaching; they cite poor working conditions and low pay as the chief reason.”
• “High school…

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Asking the wrong questions about TOMS Shoes

Blake-Mycoskie-TOMS-Shoes-Focus on the family

I’m quoted in a LA Weekly story on TOMS shoes.

Since I’ve started to think about and research TOMS my stance has been best summed up as such: the problem isn’t shoelessness; it’s poverty.

At the best TOMS is addressing a symptom of poverty, not poverty itself. At the worst, TOMS is exploiting those living in poverty to sell shoes and hindering the local shoe business of their giving locations by giving away free shoes.

The author of the piece, Patrick McDonald, even gave me the last word on TOMS in the piece:

“You see the impact of how a job can change lives,” says Timmerman, “of how it can give a person dignity.”

He adds,…

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A brush with the paparazzi

kelsey-BSU-Photo

On Monday I had my photo taken at least a thousand times by no less than 20 different photographers. It was one of those psuedo-famous moments where I felt like I was someone else, maybe even Lady Gaga. (Note: My butt cheeks weren’t hanging out.)

I was addressing high school students participating in Ball State’s summer journalism workshop. Photogs circled around the stage, in front and in back. At the top of the auditorium they stood on seats and tried to get an angle that no one else had imagined. I was less of a pseudo-celebrity and more of a bowl of fruit.

The title of my talk was “Confessions of an Untraditional Journalist.” You can…

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WTAMU using WAIW as their first year reader!

I’m not sure if I’ve shared this yet, but four schools in the great state of Texas are using “Where Am I Wearing?” as a common reader this fall.  This means that every single freshmen will get a copy of the book and be expected to read it.  How awesome is that?!?

West Texas A&M University located just south of Amarillo is one of those schools.  Here’s what they had to say in a recent press release about selecting WAIW in:

“We always try to select books with global issues for the Readership WT program and to have students consider what kind of impact they can have on our local and global communities,” Kendra Campbell, director of First Year Experience, said. “With…

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