Teach To The Future

I’ve started a new series of blog posts on Applied Sentience: “Teach To The Future”.

Through these posts, I cover subjects like teaching people (especially kids) to write for an online audience:


Or teaching people to see through the eyes of other people, in a rigorous and practical way:


I care a lot about education, especially since I’ve just received 17 straight years of the stuff. But I think we spend too much time on some subjects and not enough on… well, the subjects I cover in these posts. I don’t know much about pedagogy, but I try to stick to skills I do know. As always, let me know if you have thoughts on how to develop these ideas further.

Bonus: If you teach children and want help figuring out a curriculum based on any of the subjects or lesson plans I describe, I’m happy to help!

Area Writer Applies To The Onion, Fails

I recently applied for a writing position at The OnionI went in expecting to be rejected, knowing that the website has some of the funniest living writers on staff. And I was, in fact, rejected!

I noticed while I was applying that I couldn’t easily find any other applications online. So I’m posting mine here, with minor edits for typos. If you’d like to work at The Onion, you’ll have to do better than this. (Also, you’ll have to spend more than four hours on your submission. When it comes to finding your dream job, don’t procrastinate.)

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How To Write a Job Posting: One Student’s Opinion (Part II)


Hello! I’m Aaron Gertler, and I’ve spent the last six months looking at hundreds of job postings on Yale University’s career site. Some of them were awesome; many were awful.

In the first part of this post, I examined common mistakes companies make when trying to hire students. This post is much happier: I’ll be looking at the common traits of my favorite job postings, and explaining how companies can use them to improve their hiring process!

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How to Write a Job Posting: One Student’s Opinion

Dear companies,

Are you trying to hire students fresh out of college?

If so, that’s wonderful! We really appreciate it. I’ve applied to a lot of jobs over the past few months, and most companies I spoke to made me feel welcome and appreciated.

However, there are a few strange flaws I see in a lot of job postings. These aren’t just my pet peeves: I’ve also heard a complaints from many other students. And when a student has hundreds of jobs they could be applying for, a good job posting often makes the difference between keeping them on the hook and losing them in the wide sea of capitalism.

To help companies improve their hiring, I’ve written this quick guide to writing job postings for students. Some of this might be relevant to other job postings. Take what you like, leave what you don’t.

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How to Start a College Magazine, Part Three: Building the Publication

This is the third article in a four-part series on starting a college magazine, written by the Chairman of the Yale Record, America’s oldest humor magazine. There’s a lot of information here; pick and choose whatever seems helpful. 

Click here to read the first article, or click here to send me a question.


Hello again, and welcome to the third part of the Guide.

This article tells you how to go from:

“Okay, we have people interested, now what?”


“Omigod look at our first issue hot off the presses/internet, it’s BEAUTIFUL! We are so cool and thoughtful!”

I’ve written this in three parts: The “how to write an issue” checklist, a sample timeline for a monthly magazine, and an extremely long and non-mandatory special feature: “One year in the publishing life of the Yale Record“.

In the final section, I explain what we do during the year, and when. Whether you’re starting a magazine in the summertime or the middle of the school year, you should be able to pick up a similar rhythm.

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How to Start a College Magazine, Part Two: Recruitment and Staffing

Welcome to the second article in a four-part series on starting a college magazine. There’s a lot of information here; pick and choose whatever seems helpful. Click here to read the first article, or click here to send me a question.


Hello again! This time, I’m going to talk about finding people to work with you on your new publication.

If you think you already have enough people to get going, you can skip this article and read the next one. But I’d recommend recruiting even if you have friends working with you. Staffing can be unpredictable: people graduate, people leave school, and people move on. Having extra writers and editors rarely hurts, as long as you can keep your standards high.


How to Recruit Writers

And, of course, all the people who aren’t writers. Every publication’s needs will be different. However, I’ll explain the setup of the Yale Record, since we have a large staff, work in many different styles, and publish a lot of art.

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How to Start a College Magazine, Part One: Ground Rules and Structure

This is the first article in a four-part series on starting a college magazine, written by the Chairman of the Yale Record, America’s oldest humor magazine. There’s a lot of information here; pick and choose whatever seems helpful. 


As the chairman of the Yale Record, and the person whose email is connected to this web page, I get requests from students around the world to advise them on college magazine projects.

I looked around the internet to find resources on this, but most of them were written at least a decade ago, or applied only to newspapers, rather than the humor magazines/fashion blogs/scholarly journals people were asking me about. So I decided to write a series of posts explaining most of what I know about college publications.

This is part one of the guide, which deals with “ground rules”: things you should do, or think about, before you start writing and recruiting.

For part two, which deals with building a staff, click here. For part three, which deals with creating content, click here. For part four, which discusses growing your publication after you start producing material, click here.

I hope you find these posts helpful. If you have any questions they don’t answer, please post them in the comment section or contact me directly. I’m always happy to offer individual advice.

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