it goes on without you

a church in Portugal because why not everything I miss / is a monument / I cannot see through ****** It is midterms and finals week at the school I taught at this past fall. Semester over. New block classes beginning in February, a strange freshness in an otherwise stagnant, gray month. My e-mail account …

nothing ever really ends

Writing one of my students turned in It is another season of goodbye. I packed up my car, gave the sink a final scrub, and headed west through the cornfields. I've wrote about goodbyes a lot on this blog, so here we go again. There is never enough time to see everyone, to visit all …

triage

Sunrise before the commute. It's because of mercury, one of my coworkers tells me in the staff room. It's in retrograde? Something like that. I saw it on social media. That's why the kids are acting like this. Full moon's tomorrow, a different coworker says a week later. Another teacher shakes her head. I don't …

the other side

Everything you know about Aspen is true. Everything and more. Calling it a small Colorado ski town is like calling a humvee a car---you're not wrong, but you're not really right either. Aspen is a town wedged into a northward-slicing valley, mountains cradling it like arms. Everything about it is pristine, from the level sidewalks, …

Three Moments

One I have a group of eight students. It is their first week of school. We're going to do some get-to-know-you games, I say. To start, let's go around the circle and say our name and favorite holiday. You can go first. I gesture to my left. The boy shakes his head as he looks up at me. …

What Blossoms From Anger

When I was eleven, I wrote a strongly worded email to General Mills arguing that gymnast Paul Hamm should be on a Wheaties box. I didn’t regularly eat Wheaties and I didn’t do gymnastics, but I thought that the red-headed gymnast was adorable and talented and totally deserved to be smiling up at frazzled grocery …

Wild Child(ren)

      "What's this tree's name? C'mon, we just went over it." I point to a slender tree with gray bark peeling off like wallpaper. The kids look at it uncertainly.        "I know it!" A girl exclaims, tugging on her braid. Her eyes widen in revelation. "A shaggy hickey!"     …

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