What really is a syllabus? Is it a tool or a manifesto? A machine or a plan? What are its limits? Its horizon? And who is it really for? And what would happen if you took the syllabus as seriously as you take the most serious forms of writing in your own discipline?
It’s so familiar. The first day, the first class meeting, the noises, the competing interests of choosing seats and choosing neighbors, the geometry of students and backpacks, tools, food, books. For you, it’s curtain up. You’ve brought with you a set of handouts, the ones you quickly say are also and always available online in the course learning module. You distribute the handouts, making eye contact as you do it—everyone is so young, and the class is more diverse each time you steal a glance. You’re looking for their response, even before they’ve read a word of what you’ve set down.
You remind yourself that your students are there for one of two reasons. Either they have to be there, or they want to be there. Either your course is a) required of everyone or maybe required in some specific track, or b) it’s an elective. You know that neither category guarantees an easy ride, and you wouldn’t want it any other way. Teaching is hard. One of your goals is to have the students who have to be there want to be there. Another goal is surely to make students who choose your course tell others that it was amazing, that you were terrific. Teaching is hard, you tell yourself again. Knowing that is part of being a teacher.
You feel the electricity of performance, the responsibility of winning students over to your discipline. You run through what you’re going to say this hour in a distracted, internal monologue. A few moments later, and the class has settled down into what looks like an attentive studying of the handout. It feels as if it’s your moment to lose: students poring over the little world you’ve created for them, a place where the hierarchy of the university—your mastery, their innocent but open-minded ignorance—is mediated by a simple document and the set of rules to which it conforms. Their eyes turn to you. Electronics are stowed. You pick up a piece of chalk. House lights down. You begin. You will be at that blackboard, chalk in hand, for sixteen weeks, and during that time your voice, and your brilliance, will fill the space.
You begin talking, but something strange is happening. All your expertise seems to have left you, and you’re jabbering on in what you recognize as a steady stream of amateurish nonsense. But that’s not the most horrifying part. What’s truly frightening is that the students are looking at you as if you’re making perfect sense—or, more accurately, as if it doesn’t matter whether you’re brilliant or banal.
Then the alarm clock goes off and you wake up. It’s four a.m., still dark, and you don’t have to be on campus for another two weeks. You spent last night fine-tuning your syllabus one last time and in the process ratcheting up your own anxiety.
You’ve just awakened from one version of the Academic’s Performance Dream. In the dream-class, you were about to tell the students something for sixteen weeks, which might be fine if your course were a one-way transmission to an adoring audience and nothing more. You wouldn’t really teach a class that way.
And yet you’re beginning to concede that the dream that woke you is more or less a critique—your critique—of your own teaching, your unconscious mind accusing you of a particular kind of earnest, hardworking—what to call it?—laziness. You’re half-awake now and recognize too much of your own teaching style. It isn’t a horror show—far from it. Reasonably genial, largely inert, a series of solos in which you enacted knowledge of the subject, underscoring memorable points with chalk, points dutifully copied by a silent room of students whose own thoughts remained locked away for the semester or at least until the final exam.
The sun’s coming up, and your morning resolution is not to teach that way again. You’re not even sure what kind of teaching that was, but it felt deeply incomplete. You’re awake now and, breaking the rules you’ve set for yourself, you’ve got your laptop open in bed. You’re anxiously looking over that syllabus one more time. Is it too much, too little, too complicated, too filled with arrows that point the student to side roads? Could you read your own syllabus and make a reasonable guess as to what the course wants to accomplish, as opposed to what your department’s course catalogue says that the course studies or describes? Could you recognize what the course challenges students to do? And how exactly would you, the teacher who wrote that syllabus, follow through on your own expectations for students?
Dreaming or waking, these questions never seem to go away. Teachers aim high. Big targets, big goals. A class that sings with intellectual engagement. Rigorous but fair grading, and each student doing better than you had hoped. The gratification of giving the exemplary lecture to a room of attentive students. Your own delight in the difficulty that comes with thinking seriously about things that count. All good goals, which, taken together, add up to an ideal of the teacher-focused class. “You’re a star!” says somebody in the hallway, possibly without irony.
But stars are bright, distant things, and the light they throw off is old, old news. What might it mean to teach now, to shine now, in the present, close to the moment and our students? This question is about more than diversity or age or ethnic sensitivity or a sympathetic engagement with the complexities of gender, or disability, or any of the other qualities that distinguish person from person. First or last, teaching is inevitably about all of these things.3 But to be present asks that we do so much more. Our students, hungry for something that starry light can’t provide by itself, need from us not just knowledge—even knowledge tempered by sensitivity—but craft.
The myth of Prometheus—the Greek name means “forethought”—tells us that this most generous of Titans stole fire from the gods and brought it to us clay-built human creatures, functionally kindling life in our dark world. Teaching in the present is a bit like stealing fire. Here, o starry teacher, the fire is your own but briefly. Teaching is renouncing the glamour and assurance of the well-executed solo and sharing that light with your students, moving the focus from something we’ve long called teaching and giving the torch to learning. You can teach by yourself, or at least tell yourself that you can, but you can’t learn (let’s for a moment allow it to be a transitive verb meaning “to make them learn”) by yourself.
Modern English learn has as one of its antecedents the Old English form gelaeran, which meant “to teach.” This etymological paradox isn’t a paradox at all, of course. If teaching is the thing that happens when students are learning, subject and object come to be bound together, like Aristophanes’s conception of the sexes balled up inseparably in The Symposium, a Möbius-like continuum of teaching and learning, enacted by teacher and student.
We begin to discern the contours of this perplexing space of learning when we awake from the dream (it was always only a dream, never a solid reality) of the masterful teacher delivering knowledge. We can map out something so complex only by making a concerted effort to describe its nuances, conundrums, its areas of density and lightness. We perform this mapping and engage in this forethought when we compose a syllabus, but only if it is indeed an attempt to map the space of learning. Which means that, as we’ll say in several ways throughout this book, a syllabus isn’t so much about what you will do. It’s about what your students will do.
This essay is an excerpt from Syllabus: The Remarkable, Unremarkable Document That Changes Everything by William Germano and Kit Nicholls.
William Germano is professor of English at Cooper Union. His books include Getting It Published and From Dissertation to Book. Twitter @WmGermano Kit Nicholls is director of the Center for Writing at Cooper Union, where he teaches writing, literature, and cultural studies.
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Um, is there anything the amazing Serena Williams can’t do? Because we can’t really think of anything. She’s a mom, a tennis legend, a business powerhouse, a venture capitalist, an assistant soccer coach, and oh yeah — now she can add children’s book author to that list. Her first kids’ book, The Adventures of Qai Qai, released this week, and it is already an Amazon #1 bestseller. Are we surprised? It’s Serena Williams we’re talking about, after all, and she doesn’t do anything halfway.
Williams first announced the book’s impending arrival back in December, and it’s inspired by the sweetest thing: Williams’ daughter Olympia’s real life doll, Qai Qai. When Olympia was gifted the doll by her parents, Williams and husband Alexis Ohanian, they became inseparable besties. Their adorable relationship even garnered Qai Qai her very own Instagram account! Ah, the life of a celebrity doll.
“I know one thing four years ago that was really important to us was to make sure that Olympia had a Black baby doll,” Ohanian told People in September. He also went on to say, “Very quickly we started to see this story play out online of people who were just so enamored with this doll and were really excited to hear about the stories and adventures she was going to go on.”
Naturally, this lent itself very well to a children’s book — and The Adventures of Qai Qai does not disappoint. It’s a tale of a little girl who is very nervous about her upcoming dance recital, until her best friend Qai Qai comes to life and helps boost her confidence (because everyone needs a hype man — er, doll — right?!). Kirkus Reviews calls the story a “lively, encouraging tale of self-belief and friendship.” And of the vivid pictures by Afro-Latina artist Yesenia Moises, Booklist says, “Filled with richly colored illustrations that see a preponderance of velvety purples and pinks, this book will particularly catch the eye of dancers and the Fancy Nancy set.”
Williams herself said in a statement that storytime was a huge part of their bedtime routine with Olympia, adding, “Qai Qai is a special member of our family and we hope The Adventures of Qai Qai will deliver others a new way to welcome Qai Qai into their own home.”
And if you want to really welcome Qai Qai into your home, you can snag your very own Qai Qai doll to snuggle as you read along with the adventures! She stands on her own, and is wearing the cutest removable tutu. But the best part? She’s almost SIXTY PERCENT OFF right now, putting her at under $20!
Serena Williams is simply awe-inspiring, as a professional, as an athlete, and as a mother — so it’s no wonder that her latest undertaking is such a grand slam.
We celebrate strong women every day! Here are the books about some of the most iconic..
Tennis star Williams brings her celebrated positivity and fashion sense to this upbeat story of Baby Girl, a Black child who loves to “prance, passé, and pirouette” at home but is nervous about her solo in an upcoming recital. Cheered on by her doll, Qai Qai, come magically to life, Baby Girl dons an outfit that makes her feel “ready for anything.” She also learns that just as her belief in Qai Qai’s friendship enabled the doll’s transformation, her belief in herself will ensure that Baby Girl dances her very best. The book focuses on the relationship between the girl and doll (the latter, Williams’s commercially available design), as well as Baby Girl’s bond with her supportive parents, portrayed as interracial. Moises’s bright digital cartoon art, dominated by shades of purple, pink, and blue, aptly reflects the book’s element of fantasy laced with optimism. Ages 2–5. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/2022
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Serena Williams's daughter loves her mom's new children's book — especially because she thinks it's about her!
The tennis star, 40, appeared on Good Morning America Tuesday where she chatted about her children's book The Adventures of Qai Qai, which comes out later this month.
Asked how her 5-year-old daughter Olympia likes the book, Williams shared that her little girl, whom she shares with husband Alexis Ohanian, believes the book is actually about her, and not her doll Qai Qai.
"Olympia thinks it's her in the book. She thinks the mom is me and she thinks the dad is my husband," she said with a laugh. "It's quite funny because I'm like it's not us ... I don't want it to go to her head."
Sharing more about her first children's book, Williams explained that the story includes "some really cool hidden messages about self-confidence" and goes "back to the art about being a kid."
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RELATED: Serena Williams Writes Kids' Book About Daughter's Favorite Doll: 'Dedicated to All Little Girls'
"We can't forget how important it is to use your imagination and play and also believe in yourself," she added.
Williams first announced in December that she would be releasing her first kids' book, illustrated by Yesenia Moises, with Invisible Universe, an entertainment technology company.
"Storytime is such an important pillar of our bedtime routine, like so many others around the world," Williams said in a statement at the time about studying with her daughter. "Qai Qai is a special member of our family and we hope The Adventures of Qai Qai will deliver others a new way to welcome Qai Qai into their own home."
After Williams and Ohanian gave the doll to their young daughter, the two became inseparable. The couple wanted to share Qai Qai's fun antics with the world by creating her own Instagram account in August 2018, with the help of Invisible Universe, which brought the doll to life.
Since then, Williams and Ohanian have continued to share Olympia's toy with fans both in-person and on Instagram. (In May, Williams posed with Olympia and Qai Qai in matching pink swimsuits. "When @nike makes a swimsuit for not just @olympiaohanian but @realqaiqai too," the athlete captioned the photo.) Qai Qai is now an Internet celebrity and a beloved doll for thousands of children.
"This book is dedicated to all little girls," Williams writes in the picture book's dedication. "Let this book be a constant reminder that you can do anything you put your mind to. Imagine it, believe it, do it."
Read the original article on People
Bugatti now offers a certified preowned used car program.
Both the Chiron and Veyron are covered under the CPO program, with a one-year warranty that covers things like parts and labor for mechanical and electrical issues, and more.
All Bugatti service partners around the world are eligible to sell and service these certified preowned cars.
are pretty commonplace for mainstream automakers like or Toyota. But how's a super-rich aristocrat supposed to sleep at night knowing their secondhand exotic hypercar might not meet the absolute highest standards of quality? Fear not, dear billionaire. Bugatti has you covered.
Bugatti on Wednesday announced the formation of its new Certified Program, which applies to all preownedand models. All authorized Bugatti service partners around the world can sell and work on vehicles as part of the preowned program.
Through Bugatti's CPO arrangement, these used vehicles come with a one-year limited warranty that includes the car's annual service within the first year of ownership. For the Chiron, the warranty covers all parts and labor for mechanical, electrical, corrosion or paint problems. The Veyron's warranty is less comprehensive, covering mechanical and electrical issues, plus the cost of all parts and labor.
What's pretty cool is that Bugatti's CPO warranty stays with the car even if you move to another region. For example, Bugatti says that if someone buys a car in the Middle East and then drives it to Europe -- you're bound to have homes in both locations, after all -- the one-year warranty will then be honored by the company's European service partners. Feel like flying your Chiron over to the US after that? You're covered there, too.
Just two weeks ago, we told you that Serena Williams was heating up the runway at New York Fashion Week with her latest S by Serena collection. Now it looks like the tennis star is on her way to becoming a bestselling children’s book author. Serena Williams released her first picture book, “The Adventures of Qai Qai,” this week on Amazon. And fans were here for it. The book instantly became an Amazon # 1 bestseller. And because you’re gonna want to get a copy for every young girl in your life, I have to tell you there’s a doll too.
“The Adventures of Qai Qai” tells the story of a little girl who is worried about performing in an upcoming dance recital. But when her best friend Qai Qai comes to life, the two go on an adventure to help her find the confidence she needs. The inspiration for the main character came from one of Williams’ daughter Olympia’s real-life favorite things – her doll, Qai Qai.
Qai Qai has been one of Olympia’s constant companions. And as the pair have traveled, Serena and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, were surprised to see the doll’s popularity grow with fans online. Qai Qai even has her own Instagram account, which has 336,000 loyal followers to date.
In 2021, Ohanian told PEOPLE he loves that other kids have connected with his daughter’s best friend. “I think there’s a lot of people who have resonated with this idea of a really mischievous, and fun, and clever, and brave, and strong little girl doll, and I’m excited to see all the places she goes, and I do hope it can inspire kids – boys, girls, Black, white – all over the world to just have fun and dream,” he said.
Williams hopes her new book will help young readers learn the power of believing in yourself. “Qai Qai is a special member of our family, and we hope The Adventures of Qai Qai will deliver others a new way to welcome Qai Qai into their own home,” she said.
Serena Williams released her first children's book on Tuesday, another accomplishment she can add to her legendary résumé.
Williams' book, titled "The Adventures of Qai Qai," stars her daughter Olympia's doll. According to the official summary on the publisher's website, the story centers around a little girl who "learns to believe in herself with the help of her doll and best friend, Qai Qai."
Needless to say, it looks pretty adorable and has a message everyone can get behind.
Williams, 41, has had a lot going on in the past few months -- from walking in Vogue's show at New York Fashion Week to running her own venture capital firm to, you know, that whole evolving-from-tennis thing with an absolutely epic and unforgettable week at the US Open.
To recap, Williams is now a 23-time major champion, an entrepreneur, a fashion designer, a Beyonce music video star (Williams was in the artist's 2016 video for "Sorry") and an author. Truly, what can't she do?
In mid-April 2020, as Covid-19 shutdowns and lockdowns were being put in place across the U.S., my grandmother’s health started to decline. With so many unknowns, the assisted living facility where she lived, like most others, had a strict no-visitors policy. When it became clear that my grandmother was in her last hours of life, the facility figured out how to safely allow my aunt into the building for my grandmother’s last breaths.
When my aunt arrived, certified nursing assistants were there, providing comfort and care throughout my grandmother’s passing. At the time, doctors and nurses were being lauded as heroes. CNAs didn’t get that acclaim, though they should have.
Under the supervision of registered nurses, certified nursing assistants provide care in individuals’ homes, nursing homes, subacute/rehab centers, assisted living facilities, and a variety of other settings. Their work is both physically and emotionally taxing. They are responsible for helping their patients with activities of daily living like eating, bathing and grooming, lifting and moving them, making beds, and cleaning living spaces, as well as communicating their patients’ needs to their health care teams and families.
Certified nurse assistants also provide their patients with companionship during difficult and lonely times.
Despite all that they do, CNAs they are not well paid. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly rate for a certified nursing assistant is $14.83 but, in some states, they make less than $10 an hour. That’s less than many Starbucks or McDonald’s workers are paid.
Most of this undervalued workforce is comprised of women and people of color. The U.S. Census Bureau says women consist of nearly 90% of the nursing assistant workforce. A report by PHI, a nonprofit organization working to Excellerate long-term care services and job quality for direct-care workers, estimates that people of color make up the majority of the nursing assistant workforce, even though they make up one-quarter of the total U.S. workforce. More than one-third of these workers are Black or African American.
Improving job quality for the direct-care workforce is also a matter of racial and gender equity.
Not only are certified nursing assistants underpaid, but they must also spend money before they can earn it. To be certified, they are required to participate in a state-approved training program that can cost anywhere from $400 to $3,000 for a federally mandated minimum of 75 hours (though some states require more) — with limited information about the success rates of these programs — and they must also pay for the cost of final state exams, ranging from $80 to $105.
I recently had the opportunity to work on a team exploring the challenges facing the certified nursing assistant workforce in Massachusetts and across the country as part of the Project on Workforce, a collaborative project between Harvard’s Kennedy School, Business School, and Graduate School of Education. Our team found that only nine states and the District of Columbia offered public information about the average pass rate for the written and clinical test in 2019. In other words, many individuals are assuming the costs of required certification programs with limited knowledge about whether the state-approved training program they enroll in will properly prepare them for the state CNA certification exams and ultimately lead to a return on their investment.
These barriers to entry are at odds with the shortage of health care staff, including certified nursing assistants, in long-term care facilities and for in-home care across the U.S. Many people assume that the shortage is a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s not so: the pandemic only intensified an already-existing shortage of health care staff in long-term care.
Improving working conditions and wages for certified nursing assistants is not only the right thing to do, but smart public policy. Given that Medicaid is the top funding source for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, increasing Medicaid funding with an appropriated portion for increasing wages of nursing assistants and other lower-paid health care workers can help support these integral health care staff members and address workforce retainment. In addition, states could design CNA tenure and promotion programs, like the recently implemented Illinois CNA Subsidy/Incentive Program, which provides certified nursing assistants with wage increases based on their years of experience, to help keep wages competitive and create career pathways.
Some Americans don’t know what certified nursing assistants do, or why they are needed. Others know it all too well. I often hear people say that, given the low pay, nursing assistants must truly care about helping others and that “it is a calling.” Whether it is a calling or not, these essential workers have bills to pay and families to support. As the minimum wage in many states across the country increases, wages for CNAs need to stay competitive. If an individual can make the same or more money in another industry, with a less strenuous and emotionally taxing position, there is little incentive to join the CNA work force, or stay in it.
I will forever be thankful to the certified nursing assistants who cared for my grandmother during her last few days of life. As an important element of the U.S. health care system, these essential health care workers need to be treated with the same dignity and respect with which they treat our loved ones. We can start by paying them a living wage.
Toni Gingerelli is a public policy advisor and consultant specializing in workforce development, health, and gender equity. She formerly served as chief of staff for New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal.
Buying a used car can be a daunting experience, even if you're in the market for a W16-powered Bugatti. The company is giving customers valuable peace of mind by launching a certified pre-owned program for the Veyron and the Chiron that includes a one-year warranty plan.
The firm explains that the cars eligible for the certified pre-owned label "exhibit the incomparable quality expected of the Bugatti macaron." There's no word yet on how Bugatti and its technicians decide if a car is eligible to join the certified pre-owned program, though it likely involves a series of comprehensive inspections. We've reached out to the company and we'll update this story if we learn more.
Bugatti's certified pre-owned cars come with a one-year warranty plan, but what it covers depends on the model selected. For the Chiron, it includes all parts and labor for mechanical, electrical, corrosion-, and paint-related repairs. For the Veyron, it covers parts and labor for mechanical and electrical repairs. It's valid worldwide, so you're covered if you buy a Chiron in Utah and ship it to Italy for a road trip.
Enthusiasts who buy a certified pre-owned Bugatti will also receive a free annual service that needs to be performed within one year of the purchase date. And, every authorized Bugatti dealer can sell certified pre-owned cars, so the program will include a wide selection of cars.
Bugatti isn't the only high-end company that offers a certified pre-owned program. Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Rolls-Royce operate similar programs. Many of these companies are sitting on a full order book, so investing in used-car sales makes sense from a business standpoint.