Fight Flight Freeze FAWN

Ever wonder why people often stop making sense when they are arguing? The answer is in our bodies, not our minds or souls. Arguing people are triggered; their bodies are in fight-or-flight. Remember that regardless of what you believe about morality or our immortal souls, our bodies themselves are still mammals.  (If you doubt this truth, just try to mess with a mother’s child, and see what kind of Mama-Bear response you get!) In my decades of teaching, especially when it comes to de-escalating upset students, I have found it helpful to, for just a moment, set aside all my … Continue reading Fight Flight Freeze FAWN

The Dam of Tears

Why did I cry so much about the damn dam while watching Frozen 2? It’s a kid’s movie about a woman who magically creates ice. ummm, ok, Shalay’s tears, whatever. Y’all, it’s also a movie about a community that hid the evil it employed to establish its wealth, and literally dammed the resources away from the people whose land was stolen. I cried when I saw the film because I had recently learned the history of the indigenous people who lived in my hometown, and the role that the dam played in the theft of their land. I, like Elsa, … Continue reading The Dam of Tears

For Dr. August DeBerdt, beloved Teacher.

My beloved professor passed away last July. August DeBerdt was born  February 19, 1934.So in honor of his birthday,  better late than never,  I wanted to share some of what I learned from him. I attended Berry College in 1994. A small liberal arts college in the foothills of Georgia. It was difficult for me as a first generation college student. I was excited to learn. But I was scared to death.  I wanted to hide my head from  the horrors of the world. But I was also impossibly curious. I wanted to be a writer. So, rather against my … Continue reading For Dr. August DeBerdt, beloved Teacher.

an 80s poem for my brother

Once in a Lifetime By Shalay for Russ Hey you are we comfortably numb mumbling along to the practical song? are you Tom Sawyer? or a brick in the wall? Am I a spirit in the material world, Or a material girl? We were moving in stereo Then they blinded me with science, and I ran one of our submarines is missing. bring it closer to the heart We really should have seen through the airwaves You might think I am crazy But We’re not on a road to nowhere. Take me to the river, Water’s flowing underground The world … Continue reading an 80s poem for my brother

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  evil  For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory Forever Continue reading My translation of the Lord’s Prayer

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 completely garbled and hilarious. Or we play a similar game, except with sketches that get passed around. It shows them how fragile communication really is. “Purple monkey dishwasher” is my husband’s name for the phenomenon in which you explain something to your students, they nod … Continue reading half blind and half deaf