Unlocking the Gospels

There is no way to “unlock” the Gospel of Matthew. It does not have hidden secrets. It is a text, and it has no underneath, and so no hidden depths. It is all surface. There isn’t some sort of skin that you can peel back and see something more profound underneath. What you see depends [Read More...]

Too Old

A student sent me this e-mail recently: Dr. McGrath, Sorry about the multiple emails. I’m not sure if we went over this or not but I was wondering what your thoughts were on about how far back we should go when deciding which articles to use? I have all mine set, but one is from the [Read More...]

You May Take Notes

Times have changed. Technologies change. It isn't clear that just listening intently, and then photographing the board, helps you process the information as well as writing with your own hand. But it also isn't clear how much of our weaker processing when we don't take notes by hand is due to adapting to a new [Read More...]

Lifelong Learning in Religious Studies

My colleague Brent Hege shared on Facebook the sense of trepidation one has as a professor who is not an expert in Shintoism, and finds that one has a student who is Shinto in a course that will include a brief overview of that tradition. I chimed in in a comment and wrote the following: [Read More...]

2014 State of the University

At the start of every academic year, the president of Butler University gives a talk called the “State of the University” address. I thought I’d share this year’s, since it is on YouTube, and it includes pictures of some of the exciting building projects that are planned on campus for the near future. There’s more about [Read More...]

10 Amazing Reasons to Buzzfeedify Your Syllabus

Beloit has released its annual mindset list, about the things that this year’s incoming freshmen take for granted (HT Inside Higher Ed). #2 (that’s “hashtag two” for you old-timers) is particularly interesting for educators: “Since they binge-watch their favorite TV shows, they might like to binge-watch the video portions of their courses too.” I’m giving [Read More...]

First Day of School

Classes start at Butler tomorrow. If you are an educator, have classes started for you? Was this/will this be you? [Read more...]

I Don’t Always Ignore Your E-Mails

A “most interesting man in the world” meme for the start of the semester. [Read more...]

Butler University Convocation 2014

Here’s the video footage from yesterday’s convocation ceremony at Butler University, marking the official start of the academic year. Classes begin on Wednesday. I presume that you can spot me easily in the video… [Read more...]

(Learning) From a Distance

This is the follow-up to my song parody about online learning, “Message Sent on Moodle,” although I actually had the idea for doing a parody of “From a Distance” on this topic first. Hope you enjoy it. Here are the lyrics: From A Distance From a distance An online course can seem Like something that [Read More...]

Amelia Bedelia and the Sinister Buttocks

Wikipedia has been making headlines again. If you haven’t seen it yet, read the article about how someone as a student edited the Wikipedia entry about Amelia Bedelia as a prank, only to encounter it tweeted as fact years later. The second part of the title of this post comes from an article about the tendency [Read More...]


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