Education

Stories related to teaching on all levels, from pre-K through college.

Choosing the right words can be the difference between life and death, says Sir Harold Evans.

Evans, a legendary editor knighted by the Queen of England for his service to journalism, spent a lifetime pouring over documents. He’s corrected files from reporters on the battlefield, memos by past U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and now, Evans is out with a new book that celebrates the importance of clear writing. It’s called, “Do I Make Myself Clear: Why Writing Well Matters.”

An American Abroad Searches For Self In 'Florence In Ecstasy'

May 18, 2017

There's no shortage of stories in the genre of Westerners experiencing a personal disaster and then globetrotting in search of answers about themselves. There's always potential for these narratives to go awry in subtle and damning ways — to seem unthinkingly privileged and navel-gazing and selfish — and so the endeavor of writing one is both a sure thing in terms of finding an audience, and risky as a self-aware artistic endeavor.

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Let's get this out of the way: The best part of The Golden Cockerel and Other Writings is not the title piece. In his introduction, translator Douglas J. Weatherford makes a big deal out of El gallo de oro, Mexican master Juan Rulfo's long-ignored second novel, but it's nothing compared to the sketches and fragments that come after.

Podcasts — everyone seems to have one. And more and more people are listening to them. At the same time, sales for audiobooks are growing faster than any other segment of the publishing industry.That got me wondering: Are podcasts helping to drive listeners to audiobooks? The answer, as it turns out, is more circular than that.

The day Ayden came home from school with bruises, his mother started looking for a new school.

Ayden's a bright 9-year-old with a blond crew cut, glasses and an eager smile showing new teeth coming in. He also has autism, ADHD and a seizure disorder. (We're not using his last name to protect his privacy.) He loves karate, chapter books and very soft blankets: "I love the fuzziness, I just cocoon myself into my own burrito."

"He's so smart but lacks so much socially," says his mother, Lynn.

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on his 50-year relationship with his coach John Wooden, how he shaped his life and career. A conversation about friendship and personal tragedy, the importance of mentoring young athletes, and confronting racism in sports.

Guests

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Basketball Hall of Famer; author, “Coach Wooden And Me”

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Some schoolkids might be happy if their school were knocked down.

Not in Nairobi.

On May 15, a group of primary school students sat at desks in the center of a main road to block traffic. Along with their parents, they were protesting the demolition of their school, the Kenyatta Golf Course Academy, over the weekend.

Susan Burton knows just how hard it is to get back on track after being released from prison. It's an experience she lived through six times, once for each of the prison terms she served.

"One of the things about incarceration is that you're deprived. You lose all of your identity and then its given back one day and you're ill-equipped to actually embrace it and work it," Burton says. "Each time I left prison I left with the resolve to get my life together, to get a job, to get back on track. And each time the task became more and more and more daunting."

This spring brings a bumper crop of short story collections, some introducing distinctive new writers, others strategically timed to tide us over the wait between an established author's novels. I've been enjoying a stack of these books, most notably by Haruki Murakami, Joshua Ferris, Penelope Lively, and Tessa Hadley. They're all worthwhile, but if pressed to recommend just one, it would be Hadley's Bad Dreams. Her meticulously observed, extraordinarily perceptive stories are as satisfying as Alice Munro's. Yes, Hadley is that good.

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