My translation of the Lord’s Prayer

Our parent who art everywhere Hallowed be thy name Thy love-order come, thy will be done On earth as it is in heaven Give us this day our basic needs and forgive us our mistakes As we forgive those who make mistakes against us Lead us not into selfish delusions  But deliver us from choosing  […]

half blind and half deaf

As a language teacher, I know about communicating. I also know how often people think they have communicated, but they really haven’t. I love to play the game of Telephone with my students. We start a whispered sentence in German, and by the time it gets all the way around the circle, it is usually […]

She

She’s not homeless today. She has a one-room place and a landlord who notices if she uses more water. She’s on her usual corner  Encouraging her cornermates with kind words chiding them lovingly about not doing their part to pick up their trash. Today is a few weeks after the cop ticketed her For “aggressive […]

Why standardized testing must die.

My son loves math. I’m gonna straight up brag, not even humblebrag. He’s gifted in math, way above grade level. Super bright. 3rd grade standardized math tests were yesterday. He bombed. He didn’t finish the test. He got caught up perfectionizing on one problem he couldn’t figure out the answer to. He felt so stressed […]

What the Taxidermist taught his daughter about value

When I was about 10 years old, a well-dressed white lady walked into my dad’s corpse-scented taxidermy shop reverently holding the body of a hummingbird that had smashed itself into her picture window. “How much will it cost me to have it preserved? Poor little beautiful creature!” she said. “Hmm….” said my father, looking at […]

Fawn

Ever wonder why people often stop making sense when they are arguing? It’s because of the fight-or-flight response system. Our bodies perceive a threat to our beliefs the same as it perceives a physical threat, such as a hungry tiger. Once our bodies perceive threat, then control of the body is taken over by the […]

are we teaching more than competition?

Children naturally compete for resources like food and attention. They are programmed by nature to do so. If they have enough and they feel safe and loved, many children naturally and good-naturedly share what they have with others. Children are naturally openly curious about those different from them, and may look shocked and surprised or […]

overanalyzing small talk

I hate small talk. Not all small talk. Just the small talk that’s mostly about ego competition, one-upping each other, attempting to cling to tribal groups and figure out who to exclude. I find it meaningless and exhausting. But who am I to decide what is meaningful and meaningless? Many things that I find meaningful […]

Part of me leaked out today

Friday, 8. March, 2019 As I was trying to leave to go to work today, my nose began to gush blood. I stood in the kitchen with a roll of paper towels, watching my life force drip into the sink. I stared at the  erythrocytes bright red with oxygenation. I wondered about my white blood […]

are humans smarter than animals?

Today’s journal prompt was about the ways in which we are smarter than animals, and the ways in which they are smarter than us. Here are some results from my 7th and 8th graders: WAYS HUMANS ARE SMARTER: “Better technology.” “Complicated buildings.” “Written language.” WAYS ANIMALS ARE SMARTER: “Animals don’t judge each other.” “My dog […]

Sugar-Free Salt-Free Wheat-free Vegan Blueberry Yum

My gran made the best blueberry cheesecake. Graham cracker crust, lots of butter, cream cheese, cool whip, canned blueberries, more sugar, pecans. MMMM Now, my husband and I are both on this diet for different health reasons. Limiting refined sugar, salt, wheat, dairy and egg. I’ve been working with my dietary restrictions for a long […]

Rosenmontag; Art as Protest

I teach middle school, y’all. These kids are full of energy and potential action; they need to be actively taught how to deal with life’s travails, not taught to avoid all discussion of the Big Issues like religion and politics, as my generation was.  The way to do this is NOT to show them footage […]

The Nothing.

from facebook, February 15, 2017 After decades of struggle with depression, I have spent the past year coming into a sense of personal peace. I felt for many years that I was standing on a tiny, shrinking island of safety in a boiling tar pit of nothingness. I was unconsciously holding onto my privileged, unrealistic […]

“I smell you.” Meditations on the Simpsons and True Detective.

In an episode of the Simpsons, Lisa is trying to figure out why the bully, Francine, attacks some victims and ignores others. Through a series of experiments she finds that Francine does, in fact, smell fear, and then attacks her nerdy prey as a hawk would. As a middle school teacher, I can attest to […]

taking water for granted

March 2, 2019 some of my students were calling each other ghetto yesterday a flow of words coming through the door scrutinizing hair and clothing for signs of poverty then we watched Lion , and they saw the ghettos of Calcutta they asked why people washing clothes in the river why that boy wore the same thing […]

People need to be seen and heard, y’all

March 1, 2019 Your attention is valuable.  Yes, you. There is someone in your life today who would really value your listening ear or undistracted eye; someone you can learn from. I met an interesting older gentleman today at the coffee shop.  He talked of his mother, who he calls a queen of Kinloch. She […]