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Gary Paulsen is a successful graduate of the college of hard knocks. From a young age, he was fending for himself, working odd jobs and camping out in the woods alone for months at a time. He has run the Iditarod (the famously grueling, 1,049-mile Alaskan sled-dog race) three times, trained horses at New Mexico, sailed around the Pacific at a beat-up sailboat, also dwelt in some of the harshest environments in the world. Oh, and college definitely wasn't his thing: he flunked from ninth grade,......Read More
Do you remember the very first time you ever wrote something? Maybe it was a brief story for a class, or even a journal entry, or a strangely specific want list for Santa Claus. But what if it was preserved for all the world to see, 400 years from today? Some scholars think this is the very first play Shakespeare ever wrote. It is tricky to say for sure, but many scholars think this play was written way back in 1590-1591, when Shakespeare was 26 years old. That is a decade before he'd get to......Read More
In England, at the middle of the nineteenth century (a.k.a. Victorian times) Charles Dickens was totally fed up with Utilitarianism and Political Economy. Whoa, don't panic! Shmoop to the what-on-earth-is-that-big-capitalized-word rescue! Political Economy is exactly what they predicted economics back in the day, and Utilitarianism is the idea that we ought to put up society to do the greatest good for the most number of individuals. It sounds great when we say it like this, but how can anyone......Read More
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