There are many courses which future teachers and university lecturers could profit from — not just by being paid to arrange the courses, but also by attending them and learning useful new things.

For example:

Chalk: an introduction

The Essence of Chalk

  1. a materials introduction
  2. sidebar: chalk, cement and sulfuric acid: a lesson in inoptimal storage methods
  3. chalk, temperature and humidity
  4. chalk under pressure
  5. the flashpoint
  6. sidebar: the great Ghananese chalk combustion disaster of 1989
  7. exercise: experiments in friction and traction

Chalk as a writing and drawing tool

  1. legibility: which colors to use?
  2. legibility sidebar: diff’rent colors of blackboards
  3. fonts, scripts and chalk writing
  4. sidebar: blackboard bold and blackboard fraktur
  5. the room size and your font size
  6. sidebar: multi-panel blackboards: a hazard or a menace?
  7. exercise: drawing big giant circles

The Chalkstick

  1. the ideal of width and length
  2. your hand and the ideal
  3. when the chalk breaks
  4. sidebar: gloves?
  5. throwin’ chalk: you and the attentive class
  6. exercise: chalk-tossing circle

The blackboard as a presentation space

  1. points, lines and paragraphs
  2. the consistency of sectioning and numeration
  3. backreferences and planning your erasures
  4. exercise: timing your output

Health effects

  1. skin whitening: temporary or permanent?
  2. “whitelung” and your health care coverage
  3. sidebar: do not wear a breathing mask, it will demoralize the students!
  4. chalk: is it edible?
  5. exercise: is it tasty?


  1. how do they work: smearing or picking up chalk?
  2. wipe once, twice or n times? diminishing returns vs. neatness
  3. sidebar: who wipes what: the standard, British and continental classroom wiping etiquettes
  4. dry or wet erasers?
  5. sidebar: the semiwet
  6. the optimum of wetness and the runny letters syndrome
  7. the super soaker alternative
  8. the “rasta dandruff” alternative
  9. sidebar: reconstituting the chalkstick
  10. sidebar (time allowing): whiteboards: the Satan in our midst

Review of the advanced courses

  1. chalk for intermediate users
  2. chalk masterclass
  3. chalk dusts and bellows: the art of dramatic entrances and exits
  4. white antiquity: an introduction to blackboard archiving, with an emphasis on authentication
  5. chalk and the outdoors teacher
  6. always wear black clothes: or, chalk usage on the fly

Based on this sketch, I could stretch this to a full-semester course; if I now just found someone to pay me, I would.

4 Responses to “Chalk”

  1. Other useful courses | Masks of Eris Says:

    […] on the theme of Chalk : an introduction, here are some hypothetical useful courses that nobody organizes for M.Sc. students in […]

  2. これ Says:


    Chalk | Masks of Eris

  3. Says:

    Chalk | Masks of Eris

  4. Markerstudio.Zendesk.Com Says:


    Chalk | Masks of Eris

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