I recently starred in this little advert for my college’s May term program:
Everyone left because they hate answering questions.
I also published a post over here:
3 Unavoidable Problems When Answering Questions In Class
You might assume college exists to help students learn things. Learning, college, the two words are kind of connected. Yet somehow, inevitably, certain problems crop up within the classroom environment that keep everyone from learning more.
Most of the students don’t care about learning as much as they possibly can. You probably don’t either, some of the time. But that attitude leads to a poor learning environment that you’ll probably regret once we all get drop-kicked into the competitive world of wage-earning and panel interviews. And the attitude isn’t just in huge core classes, but shows up in smaller courses where your professor expects people to interact by responding to questions.
The bad news is that you can never avoid these problems behind trying to answer your professor’s questions. But if you’re aware of them, you might be able to fight them. (More)
And I published the short story A Singular Duel over at the newly established Omnibrow website. It’s about a 2000-word period farce in the manner of P.G. Wodehouse. It features a young man who accidentally becomes the back-up to both men who plan to duel to the death, and is forced to fight himself. Here’s an excerpt:
“Fiancés are odd little things,” Lemuel Sieve pondered. “Not that I have anything against them, of course. I’ve got one myself.” He picked up his tumbler, then looked at his arm as if surprised not to find a fiancé clinging to it. “She’s around here somewhere, at any rate,” he continued.
“I know just what you mean,” assured Reggie Hoop-Grenfeld. “I’ve got one myself, you know.”
“You too? They pop up like Brussels sprouts. There’s mine, over by the dining table.”
Lemuel’s true love was inspecting the raw oyster forks. Her eyebrows were engaged in battle, dipping and swooping at every oyster fork that dared to stray from the side of its plate. She looked ready to have a talk with the hostess over the impropriety of it all. Lemuel’s valet, Worthing, stood beside her. He had been tasked with serving her, an imposition Lemuel felt slightly guilty about.
“She seems…vigorous,” was the best compliment Reggie could muster. Lemuel nodded, following this acknowledgment with a stiff drink. “It’s funny,” he added, staring at the dredges of his gin and tonic, “But as a matter of fact, that’s why we’re engaged. She decided one day that we should get married, and I didn’t have the heart to explain otherwise.”
“Really?” Reggie said, “I don’t know, old chap; that doesn’t seem healthy to me.”
“Balderdash,” Lemuel scoffed. “You were just explaining how topnotch your own fiancé is. Besides, everyone’s got ‘em. Why, Nicolas Juffington picked one up just the other day.”
Reggie made a funny noise behind his wineglass, like a trout learning a show tune. “Juffington?” he said. He slapped his wineglass on the nearest table, sending a spout of wine into the cucumber sandwiches. “Juffington?”
“Yes,” Lemuel said. “Have you met?”