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
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
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.
With hurricane Harvey now hitting Texas, those of us in New Orleans have wary eyes pointed westward - and still, we keep on truckin'. It's what we have to do, in the classroom and out of it. Looking back at this piece, all the apprehension of watching Isaac had to have an impact on our … Continue reading Keeping Score
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
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
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 […]