253 posts

On laughing at students’ mistakes | Remnant of Giants

Deane is absolutely right. It has always rubbed me the wrong way. Very similar to the way in which “Dean Dad,” a community college dean who blogs anonymously, would openly mock or criticize his faculty and others who were in their community. Oddly enough, Inside Higher Ed decided to make him a regularly contributor. Dean’s quote below reminds me of a favorite admonition. “Never make for of someone for mispronouncing a word. It means they […]

What is Targum?

Several years ago I offered a “brief definition” of Targum and the Targumim but here is the more detailed entry I wrote for the Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible. The Hebrew term “targum” (plural “targumim”) literally means “translation,” but in the rabbinic period (c. 1st century – 7th century AD) the term came to refer specifically to the written Jewish Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Targumim exist for every book of the Bible except Ezra, Nehemiah, […]

To blog or not to blog…that is the question. At least for graduate students.

During the Q&A period of the panel discussion with Bart Ehrman, Will Gaffney, and Larry Schiffman were asked about whether or not grad students should blog. There response was an unanimous “no.” Some of their specific reasons were concerns of exposure, that they might post things/opinions that could come back to hurt them in the job search and P&T track, and that anything that distracts them from their research and writing of their doctorate should be […]

Don’t just say it, wear it: “It’s in the Syllabus!”

From Inside Higher Ed: ‘It’s in the Syllabus!’ October 18, 2013 By Colleen Flaherty Some things are better worn than said. At least that’s what one Austin Community College professor of English thinks, based on his “It’s in the syllabus” T-shirt. A student posted a photo on Reddit and Imgur of David Lydic flashing the shirt this week, with the caption, “Frustrated with the same old questions, my professor ripped off his shirt in the middle of lecture.” It […]

“God is not in this classroom”

This is a paper presented at the 2006 SBL. I am negligent in preparing it for a volume on teaching the Bible in a secular context. I thought I would repost it here now in hopes that a few more folks might offer their thoughts and comments that I may incorporate into the final product. There is a wide range of experience out there and I think this would be a much stronger work with […]

Moving forward at Penn State

Most of you know that I am dean of the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State. Those of you in the United States also likely know that this has been a very hard week. I thought I should share with those of you who only know me as “Targuman” what I wrote to our students and community yesterday.  Where do we go from here? Remembering the past, transforming the future As I write this it […]

Just say no to endnotes.

Can we all agree that endnotes are simply awful? They are annoying at best and, when reading electronic texts that are not hyperlinked, downright damnable.1 Footnotes, on the other hand, are convenient, easy to read and do little to interrupt the flow of the argument. I believe we should stand up for our rights and demand that publishers only use footnotes. Are you with me? Huzzah!   This is in no way a criticism of […]

Joe Pa in a toga.

How To Get Tenure: Dos and Don’ts

Sean Caroll, “a Cal Tech physicist denied tenure a few years back at Chicago” wrote a guide: How To Get Tenure at a Major Research University | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine. His field is not mine (or likely that of those reading this blog) but you should read his whole post because it has very relevant material and suggestions. I will provide just a couple here, with a few comments of my own. The first […]

Connecting to younger generations

It is tough to admit it but I am no longer the “younger generation.” Sure I use twitter, facebook, and often have the gadgets. Folks are saying that twitter and facebook are really for the old folks anyway so maybe that isn’t a sign of my hipness. But when it comes to education and preaching I think that we are very often in danger of altering the message rather than the means of delivery. When […]