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.

The Braver Choice

I want more than anything to “put soul into [my] life.” I want to share “my deeper feelings, thoughts, and desires” and be privy to those of others. I want to “feel and enquire.” I want to be aware of “nature’s great beauty and humanity’s great genius.” I want to “treasure [my] friends,” “read as much as [I] can,” and make “the braver choice.”

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”

Roth’s Class, Volume 1

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”

To the Dreamers

I often see on Facebook postings by friends, typically former students, who are chasing various dreams and life goals that many would perceive as unrealistic rather than settling for something less. They inspire me and give me hope. Reading one such post recently reminded me of a speech I gave a few years back at a banquet at the University of Toledo for English majors who had won various department-sponsored creative writing awards.