What I Did During My Summer Vacation

In a few days, the new academic year begins. Since I’ve not quite recovered from the stresses of the summer session, and since my fall teaching schedule recently underwent an adjustment (one section cancelled, another added), I’m a bit breathless. No matter. Whether or not I’m ready, it’ll happen anyways. I’ll hit an alarm and […]

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Noncomplementary

His rage was immediate. “God damn it! You could have killed me! Why weren’t you looking? You God damn just about hit me!” Panting, fueled by adrenaline, the middle-aged man glared at me, outraged, itching to transfer his upset, ready to spit more invective as soon as I engaged. He was shaking; he was scared. In the […]

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Tender Toddler Tending

Even before he came out after school, even before he got into the car, I knew he’d be crabby. He’s always crabby when he’s nervous. Often, he swings through a few pit stops  — quick pullovers at “I’m so tired” and “I’m really hungry” — before parking at the real destination: the thirteen-year-old is cranky because his […]

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Grit

I wrote this more than a year ago. I am re-running it. The world is too awful. It was a glorious spring day, the hard edges of the air softening into mildness, the sun reflecting in puddles, spirits sitting up and stretching their arms to the sky. Awaking from the freeze of winter, everyone was […]

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The Small Things

Guns. Bombs. Death. Terrorists. Neo-conservatism. Trump. Brexit. As heart-on-her-shirt hard-boiled-egg of a comic strip character Cathy would say, “Ack.” ACK. I feel ill-equipped to have the big conversations. When it comes to politics and violence and hatred and opinions, my stomach compacts into a dark, hard knot; instinctively, my spirit folds protectively into a crouch […]

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My Teenage Diaries: The Gifts That Keep Giving

Of late, I’ve been mining my teenage diaries as source material for an essay I’m writing. The collateral joy from this process has been surprising. Because, well, I was an idiot when I was a teenager. I was cruel and bitchy and loving and fun and wishing and wanting and sad and judgmental and snide. Already, […]

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Who’s There?

The knock on the door startled me. No one had ever knocked on my door before. Quickly, I wrapped up my phone conversation, telling my parents I had to go and would talk to them soon. Then I pushed back the dinged-up wooden chair I’d been sitting on – the metal glides shrieking as they […]

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Preschool Pom Poms

Out of the cacophony of Facebook, good things can emerge. Tips, recommendations, friendships, support, connections, networking — all of these have come to me through Facebook. But my favorite Facebook moments happen when a thinking person uses the platform for storytelling. My friend Ellen is a master at maximizing the Facebook space for sharing vignettes […]

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