I'm teaching a course where the New Yorker is our primary text. Nay, it is our only text, our model, our muse. It's a little bit of a canned idea, but it exposes students to readings that they'll be able to continue to access even after class. One of the reasons I went to grad school is so that I could have people direct me toward readings. The New Yorker, as conservative and cheeky as it can be, serves as a good bridge from interest in yourself to interest in the world.
As my students turn in their "Shouts & Murmurs" and their "Talks of the Town" I find something so off about them. They're generally written well and the students try to reach for erudition and SAT vocabulary. But what their pieces lack is any sense of irony whatsoever. When they review, they loved it. When they self-reflect, they mean it. Earnestness runneth over. How do you teach irony? Should you even teach students the cynicism that irony requires?