Student Reading: Putting A Name And Face To A Famous Voice

Ever wonder about the voice behind Wake Me Up, by Avicii? I did. The song is a study of contrasts: a beautiful lingering voice with some heavy pounding beats.

A quote from the lyricist/vocalist Aloe Blacc:

“It was just a moment where I felt like my life could get no better,” Blacc says. “You know, from indie-label struggling artist to first-class flights? I thought, “Wake me up when it’s all over.'”

Find out more about the voice (and lyricist) through this article:

Putting A Name And Face To A Famous Voice, from NPR.


Also available in audio form at the top of that page.


SAT Announces Major Changes!

The best article I can find on the proposed changes to the SAT is currently by The New York Times. Kudos to them.

I grabbed some key changes from their website and highlighted my very favorite one below. Some key changes include:

• Instead of arcane “SAT words” (“depreciatory,” “membranous”), the vocabulary words on the new exam will be ones commonly used in college courses, such as “synthesis” and “empirical.”

• The essay, required since 2005, will become optional. Those who choose to write an essay will be asked to read a passage and analyze how its author used evidence, reasoning and stylistic elements to build an argument.

The guessing penalty, in which points are deducted for incorrect answers, will be eliminated.

• The overall scoring will return to the old 1600 scales, based on a top score of 800 in reading and math. The essay will have a separate score.

Read on for more key changes over at The NYT. Very exciting!

Major Changes in SAT Announced by College Board, by Tamar Lewin in The New York Times


Student Reading: Norway, Slovenia, and Latvia are Owning the Sochi Olympics


I know, I know, the Olympics are over. Sad face. But in case you want to be impressed by some tiny countries and how they were faring through the Olympics, here’s an opportunity! Who doesn’t want to root for the underdog? Even if it is against Team USA. Maybe because it’s all settled and done with, we can just read and appreciate what these small countries brought to the games.

The last graph is the coolest. Read on, dear students.

Norway, Slovenia, and Latvia Are Owning the Sochi Olympics, by Richard Florida in The Atlantic


Student Reading: An Explanation

Hi readers!

Over the years, I’ve seen quite a number of my students who could use some practice when it comes to reading skills, and simply telling them there is lots of compelling, well-written information on the web doesn’t seem to do much good. They ask: where would I find something that’s interesting AND well-written? Usually they only encounter writing of one or the other, and I can understand why. It’s hard, especially when none of your friends are posting anything but what’s considered socially acceptable, to find something that satisfies both categories.

So I have begun sending them articles with the hope of changing this. As it starts, I have only a vague estimation of what students find interesting to read. So if you would like to leave a comment for me on what you find interesting or what you’d like to see more of, I’d be happy to find other kinds of articles as well!

Please note: I do not condone the views of any of these articles! I select them because they are what I picture as interesting to a “typical” high school student and simultaneously have good writing and/or strong vocabulary. I also aim for them to be at a PG13 level or lower. If we would let them into a PG13 movie, why not show them some solid writing in that category?

Anyway, without more ado, Students, here’s your assignment: read at least the first paragraph of each article I post. If you find it interesting, feel free to read more! But I will be happy if you just give the first paragraph a go. All articles will not be appealing to you, so do not try to read all articles. All days will not be carefree and empty, so do not try to read each and every word of each article. You can find time each day to read one paragraph, so do that. And if you don’t have time today to read more than that, but want to, bookmark it in a special folder designed for this purpose!

Also, there are already a bunch posted, but don’t feel like you need to read all of them. If you just start today, from here on out, that’s great!

And we’re off!


Student Reading: Cloudy With a Chance of Beer



Hello students, this is a great one for those of you interested in human behavior and/or business. Surprisingly fascinating and a short read, too. From the article:

There is a correlation for bug spray that’s kind of bizarre. We found that a very small difference in dew point made a huge difference in bug-spray orders. When the dew point changed, insects popped up, and everybody ran for the bug spray.

Cloudy With a Chance of Beer, by Alexis Madrigal in The Atlantic