Category: On Educating

Real or Real-ish

In which I tried to explain to the kids that our little “artificial” tree is actually “real.” Existentialism 101 Me: We are putting up our tree this afternoon. Kid 1: Is it a real tree? Me: Well, yes, it is a real tree. A real tree in that it isn’t imaginary. Kid 1: No, I…

What Can You Do in 10 Minutes?

What can you get done in 10 Minutes? Right now, my kids are brushing teeth and puttering about in the last few minutes before school, I am stealing away (aside really… they are right behind me!) to post here. So many times we say “I don’t have time!” Yet what happens when we make a…

All Hail the Right Brain!

Or, On the Research of Choosing You. Neuroscientists have been doing a lot of good work for those of us who consider ourselves creative, artistic and “right-brained.” Personally, I think we are all this way! This is fantastic news. Yes, our scientist friends are discovering that the Right Brain– with its power to love, mourn,…

How To Write Around It

Yesterday in class, my student Mike had clearly lost faith. I didn’t know why. But I could see that he was lost. I had asked the entire class to write for a page in response to the question: “Who are you in a group?” followed by “What do you fear about working in  groups?” They…

In Praise of My Homeschool Homies

I used to be one of those annoying, know-it-alls about education. “School is the only place for a child to learn what it is REALLY like out there in the world.” I’d sneer. Well, then, what happened was: I actually MET people who homeschool. I spent time around their kids. I learned more about how…

Charisma Will Get You… Somewhere

“Lenny” walked into my classroom today with NOTHING in his hands. “Bye Lenny. Go get yours books, paper, a pen.” On a scale from 1 to 10, I adore Lenny, at like a 9.2. He is charming, funny, he pays attention. He has that “It” factor as a human being that exudes from his pores.…

Sexy Ballerinas & Sweaty Marky Mark

Or, Why I Won’t Tell You that this is “A Post About BLEEPinism,” Because If I Did You Wouldn’t Read It “Why don’t more “enlightened” men talk about their role in gender and family issues?” was a question I recently posed as my Facebook status. I received two comments, neither from men. However, when I…

To Be of Use: Beyond Making Do

Here’s a tandem response today: integrating #Reverb10’s Day 13 prompt on “Action,” asking  “What’s your next step?” with my dovetailed thoughts to Tara’s question posed to us: “Why do you make?” (I am going to put aside for now the fact that when I nannied in 1989, the family used the word “make” as euphemism…

Embracing our Inner Madonna

It’s another We Scout Wednesday! Thanks Tara! Everyday my life is being reformed by the choice to be  “teacher of children,” big and small, at work and at home. So I was glad Tara asked: What will you teach the new generation about creativity? Every single one of us must embrace our inner-Madonna. The pop…

Enter the Storm

I like to see people who write –all people who sit down and write, not just those who call themselves “writers” — to try to write beautifully and meaningfully. One of the writing concepts that I teach is this: Complicate the Metaphor To make writing more meaningful, we all need to back the f*ck away…

“It’s All Up in the Air”

Valerie Weaver-Zercher’s musings on “The Philo-Lilac” (available only in hardcopy… not yet available online) in Orion Magazine this month poses the question I am pondering myself– what’s that emptiness and loss of rejection in the work world–  even when it’s something you are pretty sure you don’t want? Previously I blogged about the political in-fighting…

Steeling Myself

The good news is that I have completed a semester’s worth of teaching. The bad news is that I must somehow complete a semester’s worth of grading, if I can, in four and half days. That includes those grades that will, inevitably, be less than a ‘C,’ thus requiring these students I have come to…