Franklin had it 1/3 right

[Total read time: 2 minutes] Tuesday, 5:24 am. The school year ended a week ago. I’m in the weight room stretching my hip flexors when Fabrizio, my gym pal, approaches. I am ready for the question; I hear it every year around this time. “Why are you here so early?” Right away, I understand the…

186 Days: A Self-Assessment of Learning

ZOIKS! My next 186 days are already underway, and I have yet to file a report about the last 186!  Already firmly embedded in teacher mode again, I’ll sum up my learning through an evidence-based self-assessment of relevant academic qualities honed during the year. (All scores out of 4 possible points) Listens attentively: 4+ I…

From the Archives: A Lesson In Joinery and a Love Story, Too

[Total read time: 4.5 mintues] In honor of my husband’s and my seventh wedding anniversary today, I’ve resurrected a piece I wrote in 2009. It’s already been around the block a few times, so apologies if it’s stale.   Mortise H. and Tenon S. (not their real names) reminisce about their first date: dinner at the…

Virtual Coffee Date: Join Me For Anotha Cuppa?

Total read time: 3 minutes As June draws to close, I am feeling some pressure to not allow another month (hello, April) to pass without posting. If you were to check out my blog archives, you’d see that my publishing calendar has become anemic; the momentum I rode last fall when I created “186 Days:…

Armed and Repulsed

      Total read time: 3.5 minutes If one more person tells me, “I’m glad for the rain! We really need the moisture,” I’m going to stick my umbrella up their nod politely and move along. This rain. It’s relentless. Our rainfall to date is 21% higher than a typical May. We can’t get a…

Brontë v. Burroughs: Leaps, Looks, and Nets

Total read time: <1 minute In the wilderness of risk-taking, I’ve always pitched my tent in the Brontë camp. In fact, “look twice” is an understatement; I scan, scrutinize, and dissect all options and possible outcomes in every direction when considering any decision, especially one with even a whiff of risk. It’s exhausting. So in honor…

Rob Bars: An Eponymous Act of Love

Oysters, chocolate, honey, figs, artichokes: All are foods with a reputation for inciting passion. But what about using food to douse the flames? A sort of Smoky Bear for one’s desires? Such was the mission of Sylvester Graham, a 19th century minister-turned-diet grinch proponent who advocated a regimen of bland foods (meat and spices verboten)…

Brainbumps and Bob Ross

I am 7 years old, in the health room at my elementary school, on deck for a lice check by the school nurse. Robert Rothrock was hastily removed from class earlier in the day, and we are told that the rest of us second graders are vulnerable. I’m up. The school nurse explores my scalp…

The Only Joke In My Back Pocket

I will go to my grave remembering my first checking account number (6185021200); every word of Macbeth’s soliloquy in Act 5 Scene 5 of the eponymous play (“…full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”); and the names of all the boys I’ve ever kissed (which I won’t include since my mother reads this). But remember…

2015: My Year In Numbers

  2015 It was the year the Supremes ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. The year the People’s Pontiff visited the U.S. The year NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft reached Pluto after 9.5 years, HarperCollins published Harper Lee’s sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird under suspicious circumstances, and David Letterman broke up with his razor.  These are…

The Year I Last Believed

I held my breath and pushed “PLAY” on the clunky, black and silver cassette recorder. It was Christmas morning, and I was on the verge of a discovery that would squelch a part of my childhood I could never reclaim. REWIND As a kid, I was a keen enthusiast of Nancy Drew, whose intuition, cleverness,…