Blog posts (page 1)

The Walls That Divide Us Thursday 23 February 2017

I have many memories of walls.My earliest of these memories is in the garden of our recently built terraced house. The terrace parallels another terrace, which parallels another. And so on. This is the... more

Best Books of 2016 Thursday 8 December 2016

The past six months have reminded me why I love stories so much: they’ve been a great escape from real life. With the U.S. presidential election dominating almost everything - my posts here at InThinking,... more

President Trump: Like? Thursday 17 November 2016

Last week, the day after the US presidential election, I wrote a piece on Donald Trump’s victory. By the time I had written it, I had been confronted by a gloating, baiting student (ultimately, remaining... more

Language and Nature Thursday 22 September 2016

I had an uncanny experience. It is many years since – this was the late 1990s – and the detail has become a little muddled. The essence of the story is this: I was sitting at home alone early on a... more

Flagging the Homeland Daily Thursday 11 August 2016

A recent article in The Economist (‘Drawbridges up’, July 30th 2016) highlights a key ideological tension of our contemporary world. It is a world, the article suggests, that pits openness, internationalism,... more

Summer Reading Recommendations Thursday 23 June 2016

Looking back at my favorite reads over the last six months – January to June – I found a wide range of titles. While I’ve written the book recommendations with your students in mind, I do highly... more

The Big Quiz: The Answers Thursday 16 June 2016

Here, then, are the answers to our recent Big Quiz. Quite a few of you, I know, had a go, and some emailed their answers. One sagacious colleague scored a fantastic 13/20 (well done). And some others…... more

The Big Quiz Thursday 2 June 2016

If you have ever worked with a polymath – and assuming you are not one yourself – you’ll know how very intimidating it can be. I recall sharing an office with one man. He knew his English literature,... more

Approaching Exams: An Open Letter to Students Thursday 24 March 2016

Dear Students,Rites of passage, including coming of age, often involve elaborate and sometimes painful rituals. From around the world, some of these transition to adulthood ceremonies involve wearing... more

To DofE or Not DofE Thursday 10 March 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I dropped my son off at school early on a Saturday morning and bid him farewell as he departed with a group of fellow students to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE)... more