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Celebrate the Student

This week, I start my 25th year of teaching college English. The brain, she boggles. Brain has been along for the entire ride–since the first day my clammy hands pushed open the door of a classroom on the University of Idaho campus. Clutching a stack of fresh-off-the-ditto-machine, purple-inked syllabi to my chest,...

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Twelve Moments of Summer with My Twelve-Year-Old: DAY TWELVE

On the twelfth day of Summer(mas), my middle schooler gave to me: twelve plushies thrumming —————— We can trace it through the generations: the impulse towards creative expression. Paco’s paternal grandmother is an artist, a painter.   Paco’s paternal grandfather is an architect, a photographer.   Paco’s maternal grandmother is a...

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Twelve Days of Summer with My Twelve-Year-Old: DAY ELEVEN

On the eleventh day of summer(mas), my middle schooler gave to me: eleven piped positives ———————————– From the start, Allegra was crazy about her little brother. Excited from her soon-to-be-shorn scalp* right down to her slow-healing umbilical hernia, she gloried in having a buddy for life. For “Brudder,” she had...

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Twelve Days of Summer with My Twelve-Year-Old: DAY TEN

On the tenth day of Summer(mas), my middle schooler gave to me: ten meringues a’melting ——————– When he was born, he was a big baby, fully 50% larger than his sister had been. That made sense: I’d carried him 41 days longer than I’d carried her. He’d had bonus snack time...

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Twelve Days of Summer with My Twelve-Year-Old: DAY NINE

On the ninth day of Summer(mas), my middle schooler gave to me: nine sheep a’leaping —————————————– The past couple of years, I’ve been the faculty advisor for our campus’ chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, which is the honor society for two-year colleges. It’s been a fascinating experience–something that’s foreign to my...

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Twelve Days of Summer with My Twelve-Year-Old: DAY EIGHT

On the eighth day of Summer(mas), my middle schooler gave to me: eight dropped balls a’rolling ————————– My summer teaching takes place online, allowing me the mercy of not driving to campus but, rather, typing at my students from a variety of places within my house. Always, always, I’m a better...

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Twelve Days of Summer with My Twelve-Year-Old: DAY SEVEN

On the seventh day of Summer(mas), my middle schooler gave to me: seven(teen) birdies a-falling ——————————————————————————- If I were a more protective mother, I might consider having tracking devices implanted in my children. Nothing ostentatious–just a tasteful computer chip inserted into the scalp behind the ear, a quick out-patient procedure with a...

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Twelve Days of Summer with My Twelve-Year-Old: DAY SIX

On the sixth day of Summer(mas), my middle schooler gave to me: respite from my complaining —————————————— It’s a crappy irony, this business of having “been on a journey” with my body and spending four decades figuring out a kind of acceptance, and then, once I get to a point of...

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Twelve Days of Summer with My Twelve-Year-Old: DAY FOUR

On the fourth day of Summer(mas), my middle schooler gave to me: four flaming worksheets containing words ————————— I will not bitch about teachers. Governors and legislators like to rationalize budget cutting by asserting that teachers have it easy. I will bitch about governors and legislators. My rant to them begins with...