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.  Others, like me, grow up with all they really need to thrive despite never having […]

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 about like it does in this picture then, though I believe the ramp was added […]

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, participate, participate. I don’t remember who said this because I’m not the best note-taker when […]

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, but most of the job is about conquering the little battles, and I just find […]

The Flip: It's What's for Christmas

If you have kids, parents, teachers, grandparents, or people in general on your Christmas list that you love enough to spend $150 or more on, The Flip cam is the thing this year. YouTube tells us, “People are watching hundreds of millions of videos a day on YouTube and uploading hundreds of thousands of videos […]

The Voices Inside My Head Don't Have to Breathe

I do. I have to breathe. When I stand in front of a group of people to read poetry, I have to breathe. I wish I wrote with my own need to breathe in mind. That would make it so much easier to stand up and say my poems out loud. My friend tells me […]

Let them read Captain Underpants

As an act of blogging, I’m cheating today by posting something I wrote last week. Click here to read my column that appeared today in the Hattiesburg American. Or just keep reading. Here’s the column: Give a fun reading gift LATELY I’VE BEEN reading a comic book about quantum mechanics, mainly to annoy my brother […]

Sherman vs. Kindle

 The above video is just icing. The one I want to respond to is Sherman Alexie’s appearance last night on The Colbert Report. Something there is that doesn’t heart the Kindle. Alexie, National Book Award winner for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, has a new book out, and he’s not Kindling […]

Notice of Intent to Write

It’s December 1, and I find myself with a wild hair about blogging my way through the month of December. A post a day for a month on this blog or another is my very best intention. I think I’ll do it unless, of course, I don’t, and/or unless, of course, I quit. There’s been […]

Racism Doesn't Want to Look at Itself

Socrates might have us believe that the unexamined life is not worth living, but plenty goes unexamined in this life.  Or maybe we know it is there, and we look at it from time to time, but we’d rather not.  We’d rather not see the clutter in our own houses.  We have other things on […]