Rochester, New York, USA
August 06
Genesee Community College
I moved from Boston to Rochester, NY in 2004. I teach composition at a local community college. More at: www.rmgosselin.wordpress.com www.oneoclocktable.com


Rmgosselin's Links


I'm always delighted to stumble across explicit directives designed to help certain groups get their message across. It's like finding some secret orders left in a desk drawer: fun to read, not too far removed from what we English teachers do in the classroom, and a hell of a good way… Read full post »

MARCH 28, 2010 8:15AM

10 Books a Little Late

In no particular order, and painfully incomplete...

The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, G.B. Edwards


"Sing, Christine, sing! Be not bitter, as Lot's wife was. Forgive them, forgive them: for they have loved much!...I wish I could live my life again. I wish I could write my story again. IRead full post »

MARCH 21, 2010 2:59PM

The Great Book Massacre

We're culling our books. And not just any books: childrens' books.

Several stacks of them, in fact, fifteen years of bound words and pictures. Of dog-eared paper and kittenish clauses. Of holding your breath before turning a page because you knew what was coming, and it was both a comfort… Read full post »

It's been called "the world's most valuable domain asset," yet the company that owns sex.com just can't seem to get rid of it. According to Megan K. Scott, of The Associated Press,

"An auction for the much-sought-after domain name was canceled Wednesday after three creditors filed a petition forcin

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MARCH 18, 2010 11:01AM

The Cross of the Strip Mall

In 2004, shortly after moving to Rochester, we learned that a husband and wife had been killed in their car when a railroad signal malfunctioned at a busy intersection. Before long, a small cross had appeared by the tracks. It bears 2 names—Jack & Jenn—and is enclosed by a circle of… Read full post »

MARCH 17, 2010 12:17PM

Born in the Summer of My 27th Year

I distinctly remember the day that Anne Berthoff, the professor of my Composition Theory seminar, wrote the letters P, I, and E on the board and demanded to know what they had to do with pie. I had no idea what she was talking about.  I did manage to ace the… Read full post »

MARCH 14, 2010 3:53PM

The Connotation of "Texas"

During the first week of my EN102 class, a student from Tokyo happened to say that an athlete in the room had "a great body." What she meant was obvious: he's in great shape. What her fellow students heard, though, was another matter entirely. They laughed. She was mortified, and has… Read full post »

"We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown."
—T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

The sign by the elevator leading down to the Maid of the Mist read, “Explore the Roar,” which seemed… Read full post »

MARCH 8, 2010 12:38AM


So, I'm looking again at The Mount Vernon Statement, a Conservative Manifesto of Retro that, in a brilliant instance of cross-marketing, looks just like the Declaration of Independence. And I'm struck by 3 things:
1. The template for the Statement's web page. It's a Wordpress theme called "Pa… Read full post »
MARCH 4, 2010 12:48PM

Sorry, Miracle Whip, But It's Over

bride"It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils. With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet."Read full post »

FEBRUARY 26, 2010 3:34PM

The Silence of Grief

This picture of Joannie Rochette made me think of so many other images. She looks like a statue, like the personification of grief.


"Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break."  ~William Shakespeare


"It's so curious: one canRead full post »

FEBRUARY 25, 2010 10:53AM

Orcarotica: SeaWorld Bites Back

I was at SeaWorld with my kids a week before Dawn Brancheau was killed. We had done a lot of research to figure out which Orlando park we wanted to spend our small budget on, and I distinctly remember the language at SeaWorld's web sites:


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What parent can not identify with this situation? My brother sent me the photo. It's described as a soldier holding a child whose family was killed by insurgents.  For me, the image is far more convincing than the President's speech on why we're in Afghanistan.

As a freelancer of sorts, I often check Craigslist for gigs. Lately I've noticed that some people, instead of just ignoring lame job offers, will respond with an outraged statement of why the poster is not being "realistic". Now, inasmuch as my writing students are currently working on Persuasive Ess… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 20, 2009 11:05AM

The Art of the Glock

"Seek to delight, that they may mend mankind,
And, while they captivate, inform the mind."
—William Cowper, on Teachers

So my 10:00 writing class has finally woken up, and with a bang.

They're starting their Art Essays, and being the My Little Pony of instructors I encourage them to write about… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 14, 2009 8:15AM

Monkeys Love Monkey Music

While doing research for a freelance article on APA Style, I found this oddly charming little study on the web site of the American Psychological Association. Turns out, monkeys rock, but not to Metallica or Tool: they love music made for monkeys. When soft monkey music was played for them, "they… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 12, 2009 8:17PM

The Importance of a Red Blouse

atalanta3A couple of months ago, I took my two boys to see the Moving Vietnam Wall at the local VFW. It had come escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders of New York, and we had a nice time checking out the bikes, the names on the wall, and the resident helicopter. After… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 9, 2009 10:12AM

The Poetry of Annoyance

bride_of_frankenstein Here are some spam email names and come-ons that I’ve received over the years. Some of them are oddly beautiful, especially when read out loud. I'm currently compiling a list of cyborg OS and Facebook friends to see what kind of monsters the commercial scientists are stitching together… Read full post »

OCTOBER 9, 2009 2:16PM

An Immense Intimacy

Susan B. Anthony HouseI have been to many historical sites in my time, looking for presiding genii, the spirits of the men who lived or died there. But most of these places felt empty. Their famous residents - Washington, Jefferson, Adams - were always out somewhere, visiting D.C. or Paris, or floating in the…

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Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 6, 2009 12:14AM

Kidz Bop is In Da House!

Count DraculaI know that a vampire can’t just walk into my house. It can hover around doors, or beat its wings on the outside of windows, but without an invitation it’s pretty much stuck. What I didn’t realize, of course, is that highly skilled predators know a few tricks, and throughtou… Read full post »