One should never conflate popularity with quality, and whenever a song or any work of art crosses unintentionally into self-parody through an overabundance of clichés, there’s a problem whether it’s popular or not.
One of the main reasons I began writing novels and, more recently, publishing a blog is that I wanted to expand my classroom, where, in any given year, I might reach 100 to 150 students. Through my fiction and essay writing, I’ve been able to share whatever small measure of wisdom I’ve gleaned over myContinue reading “Roth’s Class, Volume 1”
Other reasons for my feeling myself to be a fossilized remnant include 1) half of the time, I don’t understand what the young bucks on staff are talking about, especially when they start throwing around education-related acronyms; 2) there are very few grandparents, like myself, on staff; 3) data, data, data; and 4) I wish I had my chalkboard back. Perhaps my most dinosaur-like attribute, however, is — GOD FORBID AND FORGIVE ME — I am a lecturer. I still possess the audacity to expect my students to sit for forty-five minutes while I offer instruction and, on the best days, entertainment and enlightenment.
There is a well-known quotation attributed to John G. Kemeny that “it is the greatest achievement of a teacher to enable his students to surpass him.” If Kemeny is correct in his assertion, I have little left to achieve as a classroom teacher, for Jim Lamb is one of the finest educators I have ever worked with or known.
Cover photo is of Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island looking west from Kelleys Island. As my use of multiple forms of end punctuation in the title suggests, the sentence they conclude can be voiced in a declarative (.), interrogative (?), and exclamatory fashion (!). In the past month, I’ve had two different close acquaintances, notContinue reading “There are Islands in Lake Erie.?!”
As a typically overly-sensitive middle child (In my case the 4th of 8 siblings) and as a person of nondescript features and average talents, I’ve related to and struggled with this notion of wanting/needing to be seen and validated all of my life. I know. It sounds a bit pathetic. But I don’t think I’m all that rare in my need.
I imagine both the quality and quantity of my writing would increase exponentially should I commit myself and my time exclusively to writing and to a hermit’s existence. And maybe it would pay off in both critical and financial success. For me, however, that price is too high. My Art will have to remain my part-time mistress, for I am in no way ready or willing to give up all she necessitates to be married to her.
With apologies to the many American metropolises which I have either never visited or spent enough time in to form an opinion, when I think of cities, it is New York and Chicago that come to mind for two reasons: 1) with the possible exception of Philadelphia, these are first and second cities of America, and 2) they are the two I have visited often enough to have conjured somewhat-informed appraisals.
Last Friday was one of my best days as a teacher ever.
Your faces will change, and in the future, I may struggle to put your names with them, but I will never forget nor take for granted the time we spent together and the many ways you helped me to make sense of myself and the world in which we live by reading, writing, discussing, and just being together.