Big Think: I’m Going to Use the R-Word (and it’s ok if you do, too)

Editor’s Note(s):1. You may be wondering why Erika is writing another Big Think in October. Andrew and Mary have been stepping back from the Big Think this month because of other duties, and Erika has been especially prolific lately, so we decided to just make the switch.2. The “writing mentor” mentioned in this piece is,Continue reading “Big Think: I’m Going to Use the R-Word (and it’s ok if you do, too)”

Erika’s Big Think #6: The Story I Never Told my Grandmother

By Erika Grumet My grandmother was known for entertaining guests; in fact, the stone at her grave makes note of her skill as a hostess. I recall standing in the kitchen with my mother, while we were preparing the house to sit shiva* for her. I was busy getting the table organized, setting up coffee,Continue reading “Erika’s Big Think #6: The Story I Never Told my Grandmother”

Adam’s Big Think #6: Wrong Tent

By Adam Katz For this month’s Big Think, the theme is “Things that go Bump in the Night.” Enjoy! It was a weekend camping trip with the Boy Scouts. Yes, I was a Boy Scout for a couple of years. The autumn leaves were fresh and crisp—mostly oak with some maple and ash and someContinue reading “Adam’s Big Think #6: Wrong Tent”

September Wrap Up/October Preview

September has just flown by. It’s a month filled with so many holidays for some people, the unofficial end to summer (and the beginning of the Rabbit Season/Duck Season style debate between the pumpkin crowd and the apple crowd.) We spent the month in the Boiler Room observing holidays and heading Back to the Books,Continue reading “September Wrap Up/October Preview”

Adam’s Big Think #5: Sticking Your Nose in a Book

By Adam Katz Do you think books mind when we read them? Here they are carrying on with their lives, being beautiful or terrible according to how they were written, and we come along and literally stick our noses into their business. There are some people—scholars, philosophers, authors—who treat books as if they were alive.Continue reading “Adam’s Big Think #5: Sticking Your Nose in a Book”

Teaching my Kid about September 11

By Erika Grumet Editor’s Note: Readers of The Ivory Tower Boiler Room know that on Monday, we typically publish our Big Think, an essay giving a perspective on the month’s topic. But then in the days leading up to this important anniversary, Erika wrote the following and we decided just to go with it. SometimesContinue reading “Teaching my Kid about September 11”

Back to the Big Think

This week’s Big Think is a bit of a special edition. This month’s theme is Back to the Books, and we wanted to celebrate (in slightly punny fashion) by going back to our favorite passages from our previous Big Thinks about reading and about books in general. Of course, if you find one of theContinue reading “Back to the Big Think”

Andrew’s Big Think #4

What is the Passion that Fuels the Ivory Tower Boiler Room? Enter Plato! By Andrew Rimby “I propose that each of us should make the finest speech he can in praise of Love, and then pass the topic on to the one on his right.” from Plato’s Symposium (translated by Christopher Gill) “I propose thatContinue reading “Andrew’s Big Think #4”

Erika’s Big Think #4: Dismantling Writer’s Block with Friends

By Erika Grumet My younger kid has always been a big fan of Snoopy. When she was six months old, my sister gave her a stuffed Snoopy puppet, who became known as Puppy, and became her lovie. Puppy is Real to us, just like the Velveteen Rabbit is Real to his boy. Asking Puppy toContinue reading “Erika’s Big Think #4: Dismantling Writer’s Block with Friends”

Adam’s Big Think #4: I’d Rather be Editing

By Adam Katz Last month, the theme for our Big Think was education and scholarship. This month, we’re narrowing our focus to the ways in which our time in the Ivory Tower Boiler Room has helped us discover for ourselves what it means to be a teacher, a scholar, a public intellectual. Enjoy! * WhenContinue reading “Adam’s Big Think #4: I’d Rather be Editing”

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