Category: Teaching

In mid-season form

In mid-season form

I stayed late at school today, and had a chance for a little fun, on the eve of our school’s first football game of the year, tomorrow night. I had dropped something off in the office, and was walking down a nearly deserted hallway – maybe seven, eight, kids milling around, here and there – … Continue reading In mid-season form

Connecting Disparate Dots

Connecting Disparate Dots

As an only child, when I was sick or we were on a trip, my family always loaded me up with the latest and greatest in interactive toys of the time: puzzle books. Yeah, that was my time – 1960’s, B.T. (Before technology.) The books I favored the most featured a lot of word searches and … Continue reading Connecting Disparate Dots

Of Jefferson, Lincoln, and the Folks There Now; Lessons from a Week in D.C.

Of Jefferson, Lincoln, and the Folks There Now; Lessons from a Week in D.C.

From the Marchives: I originally posted this six years ago, and while a lot has changed, so much hasn't.  Eldest son Willi is now heading into his senior year in college as a political science major, youngest son Sam has just graduated from high school.  The current political shenanigans  in D.C....?  Still a solid postscript … Continue reading Of Jefferson, Lincoln, and the Folks There Now; Lessons from a Week in D.C.

Shades of Black and White

It was late summer, 1979, and my friend Johnny was dying. Our star fullback in high school, heavyweight wrestling champ, all around BMOC, sat there before me, slumped, in a wheelchair in his parent’s Denver living room. His once chiseled, athletic frame was basically down to half of the 215 pounds he burst through opposing … Continue reading Shades of Black and White

Schoolyear Homestretch: They Know Not of What They Speak. Or Write.

Schoolyear Homestretch: They Know Not of What They Speak. Or Write.

The discussion in my predominately black, tenth grade classroom was focused on racism. We have been working our way through the book A Lesson Before Dying, a wonderful 1994 Pulitzer nominee about a rural Louisiana black man sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit. Set in 1947, the story pre-dates the Civil Rights […]

Ya buy ’em books…

An elementary school I drive by daily is emblazoned with signs announcing their ongoing book fair, and I will admit to a bit of nostalgia.  An only child, books were my constant companions, and book fair time at Horace Mann Elementary in Minneapolis meant my usually-not-overly-indulgent parents were willing to drop a few bucks at … Continue reading Ya buy ’em books…

Reprise: Happily, Less Full of Phil

07/13/16 I learned just today of the passing of a great poet and incredibly influential teacher: professor Phil Dacey. I was finishing up college as a middle-aged non-trad, Phil was in his last year of teaching before retirement, and he helmed my first class at Southwest Minnesota State University. The year - and his tutelage - … Continue reading Reprise: Happily, Less Full of Phil

Homeroom Homeruns

We recently had an extended homeroom (two hours with fifteen juniors I usually only see twenty minutes a day) while we coded in bubbles on ACT test forms for testing later this month. (Not as easy as you might think: between college locales to send scores to and a career interest survey plus all the … Continue reading Homeroom Homeruns

January in toto; so far, so…good grief.

January is a good time to be a teacher in New Orleans; you have the first half of the year behind you, you are (hopefully) refreshed from your two-week hiatus, and you have a Monday holiday the second week back. Add in a week-long Mardi Gras break for early February (this year, anyway) and spring … Continue reading January in toto; so far, so…good grief.

Nine down…

“Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like bananas.” - Groucho Marx Want to have some fun? Hang that quote in a high school English classroom and have students try to diagram it. I do. Keeps me amused, anyway. The past few weeks have been hectic, as we wind down the first nine weeks of … Continue reading Nine down…