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Peter W. Wood

Entries by Peter W. Wood

The Hungry Ocean: Sustainability and the Curriculum

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 5:01 PM


A political conservative I know is an avid sailor. When the topic of sustainability comes up, he refers to his decades of sailing the New England littoral and reports the evidence he has seen with his own eyes of island coves eroded by...

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Brevity and Eloquence -- Lessons From Calvin

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 3:45 PM


On May 1, the U.S. Mint released the latest of its presidential commemorative dollar coins, this one celebrating our famously taciturn 30th president, Calvin Coolidge. Actually, Silent Cal wasn't all that silent. He minted his public speaking skills in college debates...

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Forget Google, Memorize Poems

(5) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 4:47 PM


We live in the I-can-always-look-it-up era. One consequence: not much need to memorize.

Actually, forgetting to memorize was in vogue long before Google, Wikipedia, and the galaxy of search tools and near-universal online libraries we all enjoy gave us an easy way...

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Godzilla vs. Godot

(3) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 3:37 PM

Godzilla is about to re-emerge from the oceanic depths, this time to wreck 3D havoc on San Francisco.

Monsters as we all know are merely metaphors. As Freud taught us, they are the Id let loose upon the world. Or as Jung taught us, they are archetypes reemerging from...

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Bowdoin's Double Bogey

(3) Comments | Posted April 19, 2014 | 2:33 PM

A year ago I published What Does Bowdoin Teach? Or, more precisely, my co-author Michael Toscano and I posted a 376-page obsessively-detailed campus tour, subtitled How A Contemporary Liberal Arts College Shapes Students. Those reading at the leisurely pace of a page a day should be finished by...

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Enrique Goes to College

(14) Comments | Posted June 6, 2010 | 11:03 PM

A growing number of American colleges, including elite institutions such as Dartmouth and Smith, give their new students a summer reading assignment. This year, the most popular assigned book is This I Believe, an anthology of personal manifestos drawn from the National Public Radio series. Eleven colleges assigned This I...

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