A Love Letter to People with ADHD or ADD

Dear Tribe, I am 44 and have had my diagnosis for three years. For most of my life I thought I was just nothing but a mess. Now that I know more about ADD and ADHD, I have other ideas. I have been teaching for 20 years. In that time I have gotten to know […]

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  […]

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 […]

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 […]

Words are like fossils

There is a relationship between written words and fossilization.  It is taxidermy of an idea. Words that have ossified can lose their meaning. Words work best when spoken and heard directly. They carry more of the original meaning.  We all know about the game of telephone, which ends up with wild misinterpretations of the original. […]

Robot Birdies and Shapeshifting Buzzards

September 1979 My little birdies cheep so soft that no one else can hear them. They live in a box under my dresser, and when I get them out sometimes there are four but today there are five. I am holding them so carefully so nothing can hurt them while I am checking on them. […]