Unexpected Advice


Lincoln the Orator

I’ve mentioned the Gettysburg Address more than once on this site, but I was reminded late in the day that Lincoln’s inaugurations both came on March 4. Too late for a visit to the Lincoln Memorial, but the conclusion of the Second Inaugural speech, inscribed on the walls of the memorial, rings in my memory—

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

You can read the entire address at Bartleby.

Singular “They”

Ooh, does that title rattle your cage? Here’s a thoughtful piece from Stepanie Golden at Big Think that argues

The rule against using singular they is enforced neither because it preserves some consistent, objective grammatical standard, nor because it serves our communication needs. It is enforced because enforcing language norms is a way of enforcing power structures.

Interesting Factoids

In case you’re interested, this year’s TED conference is April 10—14. There are some pretty interesting speakers on the agenda,

Challenges for Speakers

The first message show why I keep edging towards buying an Echo or a similar device. The convenience* of sitting at home and speaking a command like “play my favorite Spotify playlist” or “show me my vacation photos” is utterly seductive. But this suggestion to “tell me a story” seems dangerous. If audiences don’t have to leave home for  storytelling (or for any speaking experience), will there be fewer personal interactions and fewer opportunities to speak? At the very least, we’ll all need to become more technically literate and learn to communicate in new ways to earn a place on the stage.

The second message is a bit over the top, but it shows the length companies go to in order to attract and hold the attention of an audience. We’ve all got to ask ourselves how we’re preparing ourselves for the presentations that will be we will need to make over the next few years.

*For more about The Tyranny of Convenience, see Tim Wu in The New York Times.

Providing Feedback

We discussed using Pathways to provide evaluations today instead of that multipart form we’ve been using. I can’t find a way to embed the tutorial from Pathways on our blog, but you can see the tutorial if you

  • start Pathways
  • select Tutorials and Resources fron the menu
  • select Tutorials from the menu that appears on the left
  • search for the tutorial titled Providing Feedback and Awarding Badges

After you view the short video, you’ll also be able to find a Tutorial Quick Reference Guide for feedback.

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