Utah is often portrayed as a political and cultural monolith, whose Latter-day Saint majority helped Mitt Romney hold Barack Obama to less than 25 percent of the state’s vote in the 2012 presidential election. But there have long been divisions within Utah and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, often called Mormons), as highlighted in a recent Washington Post Magazine feature on the rise of a liberal faction within the church.
Nowhere has this schism played out more viciously, and at times violently, than in the fierce 150-year-old rivalry between Utah’s two largest newspapers.
Boiling pasta in a pot of salted water is an operation that to a lot of people seems obvious, but in the history of cooking there is very little that is obvious, or maybe nothing.
I’ll allow myself a personal memory. Some time ago, some American university students, whom I had asked to indicate what products they perceived as “typically” Italian, allotted first place to water. Right then and there, I thought they meant mineral water or bottled water, of which Italians are some of the world’s greatest consumers. They explained to me, instead, that they were thinking of water for boiling pasta (not coincidentally, they had put salt in second place, which should have clued me in).
I am not ready for Christmas yet. I cannot force myself to barrel into festivities and holiday cheer. I need to take a minute. I need a season to notice, reflect on and grieve what we collectively and I individually have walked through this year (and the past few years, really). I need to take stock of where I am and how I got here.
Blum, an anthropologist at Notre Dame, argues that grading “promotes a deleterious focus on an appearance of objectivity (with its use of numbers) and an appearance of accuracy (with its fine distinctions), and contributes to a misplaced sense of concreteness.” In other words, it is pedagogical theater. Blum opposes this approach to a “nondogmatic” pedagogy that understands how teaching and learning comprise “a multidimensional, human set of interactions” that cannot be reduced to any standard practice or algorithmic certainty, to any instrumental or managerial approach.