The Effect of Failure on Followers

From First Thoughts

One of my rock-ribbed beliefs is that we are to learn from academic pursuits, not merely about them.  Since I teach literature, I tell my students that we are to learn from our stories and apply those lessons to their lives.  Because college-educated persons have the responsibility and the . . . . Continue Reading »

Nobody Knows . . .

From First Thoughts

One of my guilty pleasures is The Big Bang Theory, a sitcom about a group of socially inept science geniuses.  Having walked the halls of academe for over two decades, I can associate friends with the primary characters.  One scene caught my eye recently, where a main character plays a . . . . Continue Reading »

“What is Truth?”

From First Thoughts

As a literature professor, one of the challenges I face is helping students to see that “fiction” and “falsehood” are not interchangeable terms.  Just because something is fictional does not mean that it is, per se, untrue; fiction is imaginative prose that may or may . . . . Continue Reading »

Faith and Rationality

From First Thoughts

When I was in doctoral work, I enjoyed taking courses from professors who smoked because they took longer breaks (our seminars met once per week, with a break about halfway through the session).  This was the time when we got to know our classmates, which greatly enhanced class discussions.One . . . . Continue Reading »

Rest in Coincidence

From First Thoughts

I’m a bit out of my depth when it comes to international affairs, but the convergence of two deaths over the weekend bears commentary.  North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il and former Czech president Vaclav Havel both passed the bar into eternity and their leadership could not have been more . . . . Continue Reading »