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,…

No Matter How Dark the Night

Thursday, December 3. My grandmother would’ve turned 99 that day. She’s been gone for 10 years now. How would she have reacted if she were alive to read the headlines that morning?   14 killed in California mass shooting; 2 suspects dead in shootout Baltimore on edge as Freddie Gray police trials begin Planned Parenthood…

A Thanksgiving Resolution

Ah, Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday has many reasons to recommend itself: Naps are encouraged and even expected. Mashed potatoes. The Snoopy float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Pumpkin pie. Anyone can express the sentiment of the occasion without fear of offending or excluding anyone else. Leftover mashed potatoes. And leftover pumpkin pie. Gratitude, shared…

Writing 101: Join Me For a Virtual Coffee Date?

Today’s Writing 101 assignment asked me to write an update post in the form of a “virtual coffee date,” you know, like catching up with a friend over a hot drink. Join me for a cuppa?   If we were having coffee right now, I’d be asking questions more than I’d be answering yours. But I…

Writing 101: Eleanor Roosevelt Probably Rocked Zumba

If Mrs. Roosevelt is right, I am as agreeable as the day is long. I consent to feeling inferior every time I compare my pedagogy to another teacher’s; every time I compare my blog to one that’s more insightful, wittier, and more articulate; every time I compare myself to women who work full time, have…

Writing 101: Things I Like

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), during which aspiring authors work towards the goal of a 50,000-word novel. Who’s in? Not me. But I have enrolled in a Blogging U. course called Writing 101 with the goal of writing every day. Some days I will post my (unrevised, unedited) work and other days I will…

Mask Off: Boo, Humbug!

Now that another Halloween is behind us, I can take off my mask and proudly roar, “Boo Humbug!” I am a Halloween Scrooge. It’s not because October 31 encourages gluttony for a population whose children are experiencing an obesity epidemic and a rise in Type 2 diabetes due primarily to sugar intake, although I’d be dishonest…

Seven Seconds

The silver pods advanced towards us from around the bend. Dash and Moxie watched, transfixed. Moments earlier they had considered these pods with varying degrees of wonder, suspicion, and fear from below as the alien crafts thundered over our heads on our approach to the station. Now, with Dash’s leash in my hand and Moxie’s…

Teaching With Both Hands

As a teacher, I know a thing or two about learning. Thing 1. Children learn through observation from a very young age, and they do not need to understand what they are seeing for learning to happen. A 1988 study in Developmental Psychology showed that babies as young as nine months imitate actions hours after…

Super Sunday With Pockets Full of Corn

I spent a good part of the last five days struggling to write about Sunday, September 20. Why that day? I wanted to write about it because it was the perfect day. It was perfect not because I woke up to find that all of my gray hairs had disappeared. (They hadn’t.) And not because…

Can This Marriage Be Saved?

It’s been 13 years, and the union has both blessed and tormented me. Blessed me with children, long vacations, financial security, opportunities to learn and travel, engaging relationships, pride, and purpose. And tormented me with feelings of resentment, anger, frustration, anxiety, and inadequacy.  If it sucks your soul, you know you’re doing it right.