Author Archives: Chris Cocca

Insist

Today’s prompt is insist.

I read a story earlier today about a student at Southern New Hampshire University who failed a comparative culture essay because her professor didn’t know Australia was a country.  “It’s a continent,” the instructor said.  “Yes,” said the student, “but it’s also a country.”  The student sent links from Australia’s “about us” page, but the teacher was adamant.  The story went viral, the student got reimbursed for the entire class, and the teacher got fired.

I’m sure you’ve been in that student’s shoes to one degree or another.

When I was in kindergarten, my teacher taught us that Thomas Jefferson was on the quarter.  This is not so.  I corrected her, but she would not relent.  The same thing happened in second grade with a different teacher in a different school in a different district.

Sometimes, people learn the wrong thing so well, it’s very hard to learn the right thing.

I know of someone else who believed well into her 40s that the presidents’ heads on Mt. Rushmore were naturally occurring.  When faced with the truth, she said, “well, that’s not nearly as impressive.”

Is It Safe To Eat Moldy Bread? : The Salt : NPR

If you can help it, don’t eat moldy things.

rad infinitum

This is a good read. But I really don’t want you cutting the funk off hard foods, either.

“No, say food safety experts. Molds can easily penetrate deep into a soft food, like bread. But you can salvage other foods with tougher surfaces, like cabbages, carrots and hard cheeses.”

Source: Is It Safe To Eat Moldy Bread? : The Salt : NPR

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Rejection Letters for Your Short Stories, Poems, and Other Bits of Brilliance: A Guide

rad infinitum

If you’ve spent any time trying to place creative work for publication, you’ve probably experienced what seems like more than your fair share of rejection.  Your stuff is good, after all.  The thing is, thousands of people have good stuff.

It’s the piece you got into your MFA program with?  Great.  That just meant it has promise.  It workshopped well?  That’s another step, I guess.  Your professor, a well-respected, accomplished writer, really, really believes in it in its current form?  Then keep submitting.

Until the acceptance letter comes, you’ll get lots and lots of gentle letdowns and maybe a few unintentionally terse rejections.  Get them out of the way.  Don’t take them personally.  Editors, like writers, are highly subjective and idiosyncratic.  They have to be.  If you’ve written a something you know is ready, something that has been revised and re-written and imploded and rebuilt and exists now in the…

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Ode To OCD #1 — Fractured Faith Blog

From the folks at Fractured Faith Blog.

I know what this feels like.

You let me binge And now I’m singed Unhinged. Swinging from the gallows that I constructed for You. As you look on The idle god of all you survey. You smile As I decay Dismayed and flayed. Splayed in my grave Of rotating routine.

via Ode To OCD #1 — Fractured Faith Blog

The Good Place Season 2 Finale

rad infinitum

I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this, you’ve already seen The Good Place’s season two finale.  I’m not going to recap the entire episode, but if you haven’t seen it, there are spoilers ahead.

I think we’re supposed to believe that Eleanor and Chidi are back on Earth, but Lost, which now seems like a terrible show after its own second season by comparison, has taught us that we need to expect the unexpected.  What’s really going on?  The Good Place‘s own conceits give us something of a clue.

The Good Place somehow manages to keep itself fresh from episode to episode all the while improving.  Like its characters, it’s constantly evolving.  In philosophic terms, the themes explored have stuck mostly to the show’s self-consciously staked-out claims on moral philosophy.  Michael telling Eleanor that the real question is about what we owe each other…

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