From a Kindred Spirit

Below are responses to Allegra’s latest survey questions written by a woman who has become a great friend to me in recent months. She’s supportive, she’s attentive, she’s crackerjack smart, and we just GET each other. Will I ever forget that she drew me vowel charts to help me improve my Russian pronunciation? No, I… Continue reading From a Kindred Spirit

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A Slice of Leslie

I met Leslie in July in Washington D.C. at Fulbright orientation, but in the flurry of those quick days, I didn’t get to know much about her beyond my observations that she is intelligent, poised, organized, and professional. It was clear why she’d been selected as an English Teaching Assistant (now living in the city… Continue reading A Slice of Leslie

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The Latest Survey: Jocelyn’s Responses

As many of you know, Allegra has been making, distributing, and collecting surveys and responses since she was in the second grade. Now on break from her first term at college, she’s done it again. Below are my responses to her latest set of questions. If you, too, would be willing to write up answers… Continue reading The Latest Survey: Jocelyn’s Responses

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Notes over the Atlantic

The problem with hypervigilance: as the plane starts to taxi for take-off, I am fretting. Two people on the aisle haven’t fastened their seatbelts. The old white guy in front of me has inflated his pillow and slapped on his headphones, but half his unclipped belt dangles out the side of his seat. Fortunately, the… Continue reading Notes over the Atlantic

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Highlights

We recently returned from a family trip to Bosnia, Croatia, and Slovenia — meeting up with Allegra, who’d already been traveling by herself for six weeks. We flew from Minneapolis to Sarajevo, and she took the bus into Sarajevo from Montenegro; easily, beautifully, shortly after we checked into our apartment the first night, she pulled… Continue reading Highlights

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She’s Off

I want to tell you what love looks like. She is 18, about 5′ 7″ with dark blonde hair to her shoulders. Love looks like her, fresh sweetness driven by curiosity. I want to tell you what else love looks like. She is 46, about 5′ 10″, a brunette with tints of red. Love looks… Continue reading She’s Off

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Five in Five: Wednesday, February 21

Five Things about Countries Beginning with “E” that Allegra Told Us During a Car Ride to a Race in Wisconsin: She Was Reading from One of Her Beloved Travel Books, Both of Which She Bought with a Barnes & Noble Gift Card from Byron’s Great-Uncle 1. One of Egypt’s trademarks is incessant honking 2. Egypt… Continue reading Five in Five: Wednesday, February 21

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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… Continue reading What I Did During My Summer Vacation

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Faces of Nicaragua

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As a family who doesn’t draw energy from the holidays but twirls with hands to the sky at the notion of taking a trip, the choice was easy: we flew to Nicaragua for Christmas and New Year’s. So far, we’ve eaten plantain chips and yucca; tried the famous seven-year rum; felt the bottoms of our… Continue reading Faces of Nicaragua

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Get a Job

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I slip into the high school classroom a few minutes late–hell if I could find Room 3031, tucked back there in the Foreign Languages suite. Since when do high schools have “suites”? Did the demise of the smoking lounge make way for the rise of the language suite? Most of the chairs are occupied already,… Continue reading Get a Job

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