Missing Oxford Comma Costs Company $10 Million

Delivery drivers for Oakhurst Dairy won their suit against the Portland milk and cream company, after a U.S. court of appeals found that the wording of Maine’s overtime rules were written ambiguously. Per state law, the following activities are not eligible for overtime pay:

The canning, processing, preserving,
freezing, drying, marketing, storing,
packing for shipment or distribution of:

(1) Agricultural produce;
(2) Meat and fish products; and
(3) Perishable foods.

Oakhurst argued that “distribution of” was separate from “packing for shipment,” which would allow the company to claim exemption from paying its delivery drivers over time. In trying to prove lawmakers’ intent, Oakhurst even pointed to Maine’s legislative style guide, which advises against using the Oxford comma.

“For want of a comma, we have this case,” U.S. appeals judge David J. Barron wrote.

The appeals court ruled in favor of the five delivery drivers Monday, citing the “remedial purpose” of the state’s overtime laws as reason to interpret them liberally. So rejoice, grammar nerds, and know that the law is on your side.

via BostonMagazine.com

FOLLOW UP: The Boston Globe reports that the settlement will cost the company $10 million.

Literary Magazine Call for Submissions [Bonus]

Earn up to 30 bonus points in any of my high school courses (excluding Dual Enrollment and Mass Media) if your submissions are published in our upcoming issue of the school literary magazine. (Short stories = 20 points Essay = 20 points Poetry = 10 points  Other Work [drawings, comics, artistic photography, etc.] = 5 points.) Please note that submission does not guarantee inclusion. See details below:

Chadwick School Literary Magazine: Call for Submissions

The editorial staff of the Chadwick School literary magazine is looking for original creative works by Chadwick students to publish in our next issue.

Short stories, poetry, essays, songs, comics, drawings, photography, and other creative works will all be considered. You may submit work from class assignments or that you completed at home, but it must be entirely original. More

Orwell’s classic dystopian novel about a man who basically creates “alternative facts” for a living, tops the Amazon.com top sellers list. 1984 was published 35 years before the year 1984. Now, nearly 35 years after the year 1984, the book seems more relevant than ever. If you’ve never read it, or if it’s been a while, it is worth a second look.

Read more here:

US News & World Report

The New Yorker

 

Rules are what makes art beautiful.

“There’s a tendency to think that art is finally the place where there are no rules, where you have complete freedom. I’m going to sit down at the keyboard and it’s just going to flow out of me onto the paper and it’s going to be pure art.–No! What you are describing is finger painting. Rules are what makes art beautiful.”

-Aaron Sorkin

Classroom Library [Bonus]

img_20160925_134726267I added over fifty books to the classroom library this summer; now it’s your turn! Students in English I, English II, English III, and High School Reading can turn in books from the independent reading list for bonus points. Each book is worth five bonus points and students can turn in up to two books per quarter.

Keep in mind that the point is to donate books that either (1) you already own or (2) you find really cheap somewhere. I do not recommend that you go out and buy a new copy of the book simply to donate as that might be quite expensive. Instead, keep your eyes open for cheap copies or if there is a book you really want to read, buy it, then donate it when you are through.

I almost always find a handful of books from the list when I visit any thrift store. When I visit the Goodwill in Ozark, I sometimes buy books for the library myself, but if I bought them all, I would spend hundreds of dollars of my own money. So often I move them to the top shelf all the way to the left to make them easier for my students to find. I put half a dozen books from the list there yesterday, for instance.

The point of this bonus is two-fold: (1) it helps familiarize students with titles and authors on the list and (2) it helps build up our classroom library, which makes it easier for all students to find books on the list.

If you have questions, let me know.

Why Talk to Anybody at All?

dogsondogs

This quote from Martha Speaks struck me as having profound implications outside the dog world for some reason: “If you can’t trust what a dog tells you about dogs, why talk to a dog at all?” I mean, why talk to anyone at all when you put it that way, right? When we think about this in terms of writing, it puts forth interesting questions about trust, credibility, honesty, and the value of essays and literature.