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Caryn McKechnie didn’t like high school, but now she’s a college senior working on her teaching certificate. She went back to her high school to interview her favorite teacher. And that teacher? He left the public schools altogether.

paint brushes

Humanities programs are under siege. Their budgets are getting slashed as critics say schools should focus on job skills. But essayist Mark Slouka believes this is a tragic mistake.

A hipster cat poses for a hipster photo opp.

Every generation has critics who truly capture the cultural moment they’re living in. Today's may be Mark Greif, who has written memorably about the tyranny of food snobbery, the rise and fall of the hipster, and his own inability to love hip hop.

A light in the dark (from a phone)

Filmmaker Astra Taylor wants to reclaim the democratic potential of personal technology.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson makes the case for why constantly searching for answers doesn't have to dispel our sense of awe and wonder faced with the seemingly unknowable universe.

Searching the stars

For more than 30 years, the scientists at the SETI Institute have been looking and listening for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence. And recently, some of them decided to get a bit more proactive.

“Mortified SF” by rick is licensed under CC BY 2.0

For years, the Mortified stage show and podcast has brought people together from all walks of life to share their most painfully awkward teenage moments. Participants open up their diaries and recount their most embarrassing stories.

“awkward phase 5” by J E Theriot is licensed under CC BY 2.0

What is it about awkwardness that we can't seem to get enough of? Philosopher Adam Kotsko says our fascination with awkwardness is more than about entertainment -- it defines our modern era.

Bar time.

For a true case study of an awkward situation, just head to the nearest pick-up bar. Here's what not to say when introducing yourself to a potential mate, in the words of actor and writer Jesse Eisenberg.

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