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tuannyriver

website & blog of Tuan Hoang, Pepperdine University

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Teaching

Parodies of The Brothers Karamazov

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The teaching life & student evaluations

Having entered academia in my thirties, I sometimes wondered what it were like had I begun graduate school not long after college. It was, after all, the pattern for the majority of my academic friends, peers, and colleagues. I couldn’t help wondering where I’d be on the academic ladder as people of my age now.  Yet each time that I’ve thought about it, I always concluded that, most likely, it’d have been a disaster.

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My students on Anne Elliot in Persuasion

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Amanda Root as Anne Elliot in the 1995 film adaptation. Austen’s placement of Anne’s age at 27, and the fact that many students today are somewhat familiar with Austen’s earlier stuff before going to college, are two good reasons for the millennial generation to read and discuss this novel in college.  ~ pc yooniqimages

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Memories of Milton’s Paradise Lost

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Milton’s Satan and Eve are, in the words of Eva Brann, “the original moderns.” ~ pc pinterest

I know what you watched last summer

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pc bcomber.org

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A prayer for graduates with a nod to stepparents

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A parent browses the program as the divisional dean highlights the achievements of the standing student.

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ACTC 2016 in Atlanta

For several reasons, I prefer small academic conferences over large ones.  Still, it is good to go to a major annual conference once in a while, which was the case this past weekend at the Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC).  “Major,” however, may be inaccurate.   At about 300 attendants each year, the ACTC pales in comparison to the thousands who trek annually to the MLA (language & literature), AHA (history), AAR (religion), AAA (anthropology), ASA (American studies), AAS (Asian studies), AAAS (Asian American studies), ICMS (Medieval studies), AWP (writers and writing programs), and other alphabet-soup biggies in the humanities and social sciences.  The AWP, for instance, typically has 2000 presenters and 12,000 attendees.  (It is not a typo: twelve and three zeros.)  The ACTC is decidedly small potatoes in number and scale.  On the other hand, the relative smallness – let’s call it “medium-sized”- probably contributed nicely to my enjoyment of the event in Atlanta.

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“He kicked ass”: a personal statement of teaching philosophy

I lived in Seattle for a little over ten years and became familiar enough with the city.  Among the major neighborhoods, I frequented the U District the most after Capitol Hill, where I lived.  In contrast, I visited Ballard and Fremont the least, mainly because it took longer to get there on bus. (I owned a car for less than a year.)  I might have gone to Ballard no more than twice, and learned most about it from a fellow who supervised one of my L’Arche disabled housemates at their work.  This fellow was inducted into the Sons of Norway, the ethnic organization whose members met at the Leif Erickson Lodge in Ballard, and knew quite a few things about the neighborhood.

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I speak with my hands!

I just had a really good semester in the classroom, the best at Pepperdine.  In the first two years, I had some good classes and even three or four great ones: “great” means you cannot ask for more.  But for each semester there was at least one class out of three or four (depending on the semester) that was average at best or, at least once in my first year, quite sub-par.  Well, not this fall.  If the third time is the charm in trying most things in life, then the third year might be my charm in full-time teaching.

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Annual outing at the Getty Villa of first-year students in Great Books

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