Tag Archives: Work

Work Makes Us Soar, Money Not So Much

In her novel “Leaps fo Faith,” Rachel Kranz helps us understand what work means to us. Citing Marx, she notes that work helps us express our essence but that, when it becomes part of the cash nexus, we find ourselves alienated from it.

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History from the Workers’ Perspective

Bertolt Brecht captures the spirit of May Day in “A Worker Reads History.”

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Muscles and Mind, Aching to Work

Celebrate May Day with this passage from “Grapes of Wrath,” which emphasizes how vital work is to our sense of self respect.

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A Poem for Those Feeling Dragged Down

In “The Fascination of What’s Difficult,” William Butler Yeats gives us a poem that will help get us through end-of-the-year workplace fatigue.

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Dirty Work = Heart of Darkness

In “Heart of Darkness,” Joseph Conrad indirectly teaches us that doing work that contributes to human misery will take a toll, however much we try to focus just on the work.

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Laureate Philip Levine, Working Class Poet

Raised in Michigan and once a factory worker, Philip Levine, our new poet laureate, often writes about rustbelt desolation, as he does in “An Abandoned Factory, Detroit.”

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Essay Grading and the Great Wall of China

At this time of year, I sometimes wonder why I signed up for this gig. Stacks of ungraded essays are strewn “far and wee” across my study, and only the knowledge that I have completed my student essays in the past assures me that I will make it through this batch. In my hour of […]

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A Tribute to the Workers of the World

Here’s a special Labor Day post for the workers of the world—those who have jobs and those who don’t, those who are overworked and those who are underemployed, those who are treated fairly and those who are exploited, those who are just starting out and those who have been working for a long time, those […]

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Up in the Air, Then Back to Earth

George Clooney, Up in the Air  The wonderful opportunity I had last week to deliver a series of lectures in Ljubljana (Slovenia) has me thinking about why it seems to be more satisfying to teach elsewhere than at home. In Slovenia, everything was fresh and exciting. In America, I feel inundated by worries and obligations. What […]

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