two relevant gems from today’s NYT

In all your abundant free time, check out the fabulous cartoon about stagnant wages by Brian McFadden and the interesting article about the relationship between art and money by film critic A. O. Scott.


Saunders story for Tuesday

Super-short story for George Saunders’s wonderful collection 12TH OF DECEMBER from last year.  We’ll read it together in class on Tuesday, but here it is if you’re curious.  Also come prepared to suggest texts relevant to future instances of the course.



course evaluations

It’s that time, believe it or not.  I’ll give you a bit of time to evaluate the course at the end of class tomorrow, either with your own device or elsewhere in the building.  Here’s the 411 on how:

  1. Visit OR (for smartphones)
  2. Sign in with your net ID and net ID password (forgot your password? Click here:
  3. Complete the evaluation for your instructor(s)
  • Your responses are completely anonymous, and I can only see results after grades are released.
  • They matter: I study the numbers and (especially) the written comments and often learn things that help me improve my teaching from them.
  • They help you: teacher evaluation results are readily accessible to you at

Dos Passos, from THE BIG MONEY

Here’s a little excerpt from Dos Passos’s USA trilogy.  Note that the headlines are nearly identical in form, but that the bios are (arguably) a little weirder and more ironic.  Note, too, that JDP includes another genre of writing, the stream-of-consciousness “Camera Eye” sections, that are like nothing in the Packer book.  They follow the inner musings and impressions of a figure very much like Dos Passos himself and lend a complex, self-reflexive dimension to the trilogy: