Tag: high schools

Dressing the part

As I have now returned home to Minnesota (and landed a new teaching gig there) this little classroom escapade from a few years back in New Orleans resonates even more.  A good start-of-a-new-school-year memory from the Marchives. Friday was a ‘dress down’ day at school – pay five bucks for the privilege of wearing your … Continue reading Dressing the part

Shakespeare: tragedy, comedy…and this.

While getting my sophomore English classes ready to tackle Julius Caesar, we spend time wrapping up our unit on poetry with some Shakespearean sonnets, and then dive into a two-day crash-course in Elizabethan English, in part using a series of Elizabethan-to-Contemporary English ‘cheat sheets’. It makes for a nice segue from unit to unit and … Continue reading Shakespeare: tragedy, comedy…and this.

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 […]

Conversation

Conversation

“How many students of yours have been killed?” Her tone was inquisitive, non-invasive. “A dozen” I replied softly, taking a deep hit on my bottle of Coke. She sighed, audibly. “At least nine” I clarified. “Nine that I have seen the obit on, story on the news, newspaper article about. Nine.” I was running through … Continue reading Conversation

Dressing the part

Friday was a ‘dress down’ day at school – pay five bucks for the privilege of wearing your favorite pro or college team jersey and jeans. Yee-ha!   My inner city New Orleans high school kids know nothing of hockey, so I was interested in gauging their response to me wearing my U of M … Continue reading Dressing the part

“Texting, one, two…really?”

“Texting, one, two…really?”

For those of you who have followed our saga as teachers the past eight-plus years, and for those who have read my book (‘Do You Know What it Means, to Teach new Orleans?’ http://lrd.to/do-you-know-what-it-means ) know that we have our share of offbeat stories to tell. Classroom stories and oddities galore, to be sure, but … Continue reading “Texting, one, two…really?”

It’s all the rage

A few years back, prompted by the writings of my erstwhile high school seniors at the time, I coined a new phrase for a phenomenon I never knew existed.  Two-plus years later, the spectacle I envisioned then came back to my classroom (an entirely different locale and temperament than where the original story occurred) via … Continue reading It’s all the rage

Inspirare

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, old time is still a flying, and this same flower that smiles today, tomorrow will be dying." - Robert Herrick, 1591 – 1674 as quoted in the film Dead Poet’s Society Along with many others, I mourn the recent death of Robin Williams. I have seen a lot of … Continue reading Inspirare

It’s all the rage these days

Prompted by the writings of my erstwhile high school seniors, I coined a new phrase for a phenomenon I never knew existed. ‘Sprite Rage’ It all started with a simple start of class, ‘Do Now’ writing prompt one day a few weeks back. When my students come in, there is a prompt up on the … Continue reading It’s all the rage these days