Reluctance and High School Reunions: Why Am I Such an Ass?

I’m experiencing Hamlet-like indecisiveness regarding whether or not to attend an upcoming high school reunion. Ever since receiving the informal invitation, I have been debating the prospect, bouncing back and forth between confirming my intention to attend and ignoring the invite entirely.

Fairness vs. Forgiveness

Surely, as a society, it’s reasonable to offer some degree of forgiveness to those who, many of whom were teenagers at the time, were poorly or completely unadvised or, even worse, duped into unwisely borrowing what they could never afford to pay back and for which, in reality, they should never have been considered qualified. If we are willing to bailout financial institutions, the auto industry, and farmers, we can find a way to alleviate at least some of the financial burden of ordinary, good-intentioned people.

Suspension of Disbelief

Last Saturday in the juxtaposition of a theatrical performance of To Kill a Mockingbird five hours after a mass shooting in a Buffalo supermarket, I learned that, although the suspension of disbelief is absolutely necessary in the theater, in real life, it may get you killed.

Then They Came for Teachers

The greatest threat to America’s continuation is any group’s insistence (Right or Left leaning) on unanimous adherence to a monolithic worldview, a teaching of a jingoistic version of its history, and the denial of its national sins. Just as it is appropriate and necessary to teach of the glories of America, it is equally imperative to teach of its shame.

Your Least Happy Child

A truism, which my wife and I have come to accept, is that, as parents, we are only capable of being “as happy as our least happy child.” It’s a truism that applies no matter how young or old your children are, and for us, it has been extended to include daughter-in-laws and grandchildren.

St. Nevercome’s Day

Lately, I’ve found myself saddened by and disgruntled with myself, other people, and the state of the world in general. My once youthful, naive dreams of personal achievement and societal betterment are disappearing at an alarming rate. Each day, each news cycle, I find myself slipping towards lassitude, surrender, and withdrawal rather than meaningful engagement in professional, social, or political arenas. Darkness beckons.

Talking Race in the Classroom

For the first time in thirty-seven years of teaching, this week I felt the need to inform my bosses of the material I would be sharing in my classroom. I wasn’t seeking permission as much as providing them with a warning that the topic of the readings in the upcoming unit in my college compositionContinue reading “Talking Race in the Classroom”