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”

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””

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”

“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”

My First Published Poem

Really, this is late news, but last fall a poem of mine was selected to fill the pages of Glass Mountain, “a literary journal edited by undergraduate students at the University of Houston” and “dedicated to showcasing the works from undergraduate and emerging artists.” This, of course, is a humble achievement (I wasn’t exactly publishedContinue reading “My First Published Poem”

Macbeth, the anti-David

  Just the other day, my class was performing skits of various scenes in the life of David before becoming king of Israel (and the king of Israel’s brief Golden Age). As I was sharing a few personal thoughts to the end of one performance, I suddenly realized just how closely it paralleled the storyContinue reading “Macbeth, the anti-David”

Till We Have Faces: My Blog’s New Look

  About a year and a half ago I began this blog primarily as a literary resource for students when I was teaching in El Salvador. I posted on the blog, but it was usually in a literary or educational capacity: a creative attempt to engage with my students. When I moved back to theContinue reading “Till We Have Faces: My Blog’s New Look”

November 5th

Bare trees with branches, tentacle-like, grasp. Exposed bark. Leaves cling to a few oaks, green tinged with yellow, orange, brown. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. God has given us nature to surround us and wrap us like a garment, and I have had only a few moments of electrifying clarityContinue reading “November 5th”