Protesting is American, Just Ask Thoreau

These days are divisive in the US. In addition to mask-wearing, schooling complications, and the efficacy of various vaccines, everyone has an opinion about the protests (whether they talk about it or not) and the controversies related to them: kneeling during the national anthem, removing Confederate monuments, defunding police, and more. According to the InternationalContinue reading “Protesting is American, Just Ask Thoreau”

Sacrificing Our Sacred Cows: Rethinking the Literary Canon in Secondary English

      In my class, I refer to literature in two categories: Real Lit and Junk Lit. Real Lit means texts that you need to unpack, that have layers, that speak to the human condition. Junk Lit is mostly comprised of those free titles on the Amazon e-books list—you read them fast, but neverContinue reading “Sacrificing Our Sacred Cows: Rethinking the Literary Canon in Secondary English”

Thoughts on Using Social Media As a Platform for Change

     Some argue that posting ideology to social media is pointless; people are too entrenched in their own thinking for it to make a difference. And that’s probably true for the most part. However, I believe that I am a product of the power of one’s voice on social media platforms.      IContinue reading “Thoughts on Using Social Media As a Platform for Change”

The Beauty of Complexity

In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard’s Pulitzer Prize winning book (1975), she writes the following: The point of the dragonfly’s terrible lip, the giant water bug, birdsong, or the beautiful dazzle and flash of sunlighted minnows, is not that it all fits together like clockwork–for it doesn’t ….–but that it all flows so freely wild,Continue reading “The Beauty of Complexity”

10 Years Ago Today: “loos’d of limits and imaginary lines”

*Follow this journey on my former (now inactive) blog: Europe 2010 My memory is hazy since my departure for Europe ten years ago (to the day). I can’t remember all the sensations of saying goodbye to my parents at the airport, laden with my brand new North Face 60 liter backpack, stuffed to the breakingContinue reading “10 Years Ago Today: “loos’d of limits and imaginary lines””

Stay Curious

“How do you fight cynicism? Stay curious.” This is my third year teaching at a school in the Kansas City area. Each of the past two years we have begun back-to-school teacher training with a sermon from a local pastor, a message reminding us of our duty to mold the children and young men andContinue reading “Stay Curious”

Why Poetry Is Still Important (Period).

Recently I wrapped up a unit on poetry both for my ninth graders and tenth graders. I’m going to rag on them a bit (they know how much I love them–I often joke that sarcasm is my love language, so if I don’t sass you, we’re probably not too close). The reason is that IContinue reading “Why Poetry Is Still Important (Period).”

He Knew How to Keep Christmas Well

  …and to Tiny Tim, who did NOT die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see theContinue reading “He Knew How to Keep Christmas Well”

From JNCO Jeans to Jesus: Musing on True Popularity

Sixth grade was a transitional year for me. I never really thought about style and appearances before that, but all the sudden looks mattered. That year in particular stood out to me because, wanting to appease one crowd, I began the year dressed in JNCO jeans (if you don’t remember those, they were like denimContinue reading “From JNCO Jeans to Jesus: Musing on True Popularity”

“Advent”: A Poem

Advent We hold on to our demise– what things we hold on to! Lamp-posts line cold streets: lightless, lifeless, leafless poking about in irrelevance. Rosy cheeks cross rosy streets, a subtle blush sponged upon the winter droll; everything is fine. “Say it enough, and it’s yours if you just believe,” thumped from a television set,Continue reading ““Advent”: A Poem”