Friday, October 22, 2010

Review of Bob Dylan Documentary on DVD

Bob Zimmerman fans and folk-music aficionados,

Review of the DVD . . .

Bob Dylan – 1941-1966 Tales From A Golden Age

. . . by yours truly.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Writing Success

As a writing instructor, I am dedicated to helping students produce the best communication and writing they are capable of creating. This involves in-depth discussion and practice of the stages of the writing process. As more of my own writing gets published in print and online, I am encouraged to share my knowledge and successes with others.

In my classroom experience, I am receiving positive feedback from students on the student-centered, collaborative, and creative environment that I foster. My philosophy is to offer multiple demonstrations and examples of writing techniques and situations to appeal to diverse learning styles. Educators that have greatly influenced my teaching-writing style are Cheryl Brown, Peter Elbow, Clarinda Harriss, bell hooks [sic], and Nancy Sommers.

Some of my recent successes as of this summer:

- Won a National Endowment for the Humanities, NEH, grant to attend a week long academic workshop on Concord, Massachusetts: Center of Transcendentalism and Social Action in the 19th Century, July 2010.

- Poem, “Seven Seas Speak,” published in Yes, Poetry, an online journal, and acknowledged in Stevenson University’s A Library for a New University, a bibliography of faculty publications, 2010.

- Contributed cultural reviews to Glide Magazine and, both respected in the music and media industry.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Critical Thinking Key to Business and Social Innovation

Reading and thinking critically are paramount skills for Americans to have if we are to take (keep) the initiative in business and technology innovation. If we are merely training ourselves, and others, to follow instructions without questioning the status quo or without bringing new ideas to the table, what sort of business culture are we creating?

Of course, numerous jobs require basic training, technical skill, and concentration. But there is also the need for highly evolved communication and collaboration skills to develop dynamic business and social solutions. Being aware of and open to diverse perspectives, in addition to our own informed opinions, will create the flexibility necessary to succeed in public and business discourse.

This article, by Brent Staples, from the July 13, 2010, issue of The New York Times illustrates the challenge educators experience when teaching critical thinking -- some students choose to take short cuts, which means, if not corrected or used as "teachable moments," that they will likely take short cuts on their jobs and in life. Students who are able to investigate a topic or issue, read source material, develop their own questions and opinions, and present them in an effective report or essay will succeed on many levels. Teaching students the ethical use of source material, its effective integration, and giving them the tools for critical thinking, these skills are the basis of a diverse, open-minded, innovative workforce that is engaged in free, ethical, and progressive enterprise. More than ever, our campuses are fully engaged in preparing students to be active, skilled contributors to their fields. In that light, educators – full-time and adjunct – should be fully supported in all aspects of the term supported. Our – and the students’ – future depends on their success in acquiring these crucial analytical skills.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Yes, Poetry Publishes My "Seven Seas Speak"

OK, Yes, more shameless self-promotion (being a writer is humbling and egotistical at the same time!).

Please experience my poem "Seven Seas Speak" at the emerging, New York-based Yes, Poetry, which is listed in and on

Please post any comments or reactions here, to this post, if you'll be so kind. Best wishes for a great summer.

- TN

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Writing & English Tutoring, Editing

Hello. Communication is a key to success. For business, academic, and personal communication, writing clearly and effectively can mean the difference between mediocre and brilliant.

In the Baltimore area, I can meet with you one-on-one in a public place (coffee shop, library, etc.) to evaluate your writing skill and offer straightforward suggestions on improving it. Online, there are no limits to our collaboration. Assessment and tutoring includes:
  • evaluation of writing sample
  • specific suggestions and comments to help you correct common mistakes
  • tools and exercises to quickly improve grammar, syntax, and style issues
My rates are reasonable, and I have related references. As stated in my profile, I am a college writing instructor, and I have been working in education since 2001.

For serious inquiries please e-mail me here:

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Chuck Klosterman and the Writing Life

If you are a fan of fiction, specifically the novel, you may have read Chuck Klosterman's Downtown Owl -- maybe not (I haven't yet). In his latest book, he returns to the form that made him popular: the essay. According to the interview referenced here, some of the essays in this collection were written right before he submitted the manuscript to the publisher in May 2009. Eating the Dinosaur is this collection. Check it out. Currently, I am halfway through Irving's Last Night in Twisted River, and reading some poems by John Ashberry, while wearing slippers and smoking my pipe, of course. [No, not really -- smoking is really bad for you, as you know.]

Personally, as a busy parent & husband dude, I find it challenging, as other writers do, to find time to write these days. Years ago, I was able to type a few drafts of a screenplay while I was between jobs. When I got into education, I wrote on breaks and holidays, and I was able to complete another screenplay this way, along with some other writing. This is the glamorous life of a writer, at least in these united states, writing whenever you can until you can afford to write when you want. I wouldn't have it any other way, despite what my relatives might tell you. Oh, I grumble -- all writers do -- but (here comes the cliché ) living one's life and having real experiences are what living is all about. Sure, fiction writers can invent events and characters, but creating these from the inspiration of hard-edged life makes it realistic, creates the verisimilitude needed.

Support writers and local bookshops and keep reading. Thanks for reading this.

- Tim