Monthly Archives: December 2009

Tradition and the Individual Christmas

Tradition is a fluid process, not a fixed point. And so it is that we put away the remnants of another Christmas past, burdened by our efforts to please both tradition and present reality. The one sure thing about family … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood, Family | Leave a comment

On Getting Journally

I’ve devoted a good chunk of the day, when I wasn’t doing laundry or last-minute shopping, to setting up a new blog. Meet Journally. It’s a blog of journal prompts for students in composition and creative writing classes, or for … Continue reading

Posted in The Blog | 1 Comment

It's easy if you try

The “Black Jesus” episode of Good Times is one of my most memorable childhood television experiences. It ranks right up there with the Pearl Harbor episode of The Waltons for TV that taught me something. The White Jesus on the … Continue reading

Posted in Racism, Religion, Television | Leave a comment

The Cat Who Came for Christmas

I was loading my car to head to my parents’ house for Christmas. I opened my door, and in walked a black and white kitten. He looked at me, he looked around, he went to the bedroom and hopped onto … Continue reading

Posted in Cats | Leave a comment

Been Down So Long

My Facebook feed has had an odd serendipity today, yielding a wonderful article about what the Saints mean to New Orleans and a report that places Mississippi in the top ten happiest states in the country. In my mind, the … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Crisis, Mississippi | 1 Comment

Lost and Found

Monday morning I found a twenty dollar bill in my jacket pocket that I thought I’d lost.  I was happy I found it.  I gave my money toward an office Christmas present for our office housekeeper, and I bought a … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Crisis | Leave a comment

Elizabeth Cottage: A Place out of Time

I grew up cash poor and opportunity rich.  Maybe you won’t even know what I mean unless you too grew up in this way.  Some people are born poor without anything to offset the mental and physical impact of deprivation. … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood, Mississippi, Racism | Leave a comment

Elizabeth Cottage: A Sense of Place

Meet Elizabeth Cottage, the house I think of as home when asked where home is.  I lived in six houses and a dorm room from birth to age 18, but this one was mine up to age 9.  It looked … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood | 1 Comment

Participate if you can't orchestrate (teachers)

Participate even if you could orchestrate. Participating in classroom activities means you are experiencing issues and trials along with your students. It means you’re experimenting with them and feeling the joy and pride with them when problems are overcome. Participate, … Continue reading

Posted in Teachers | Leave a comment

Teachers as Life Changers

I hate smarmy tributes to teachers as life changers. You know the ones where people say they would have been out on the streets if not for Mrs. So-and-So. I know that teachers do have that kind of influence sometimes, … Continue reading

Posted in Teachers | Leave a comment