#38: Last Night I Dreamt I Was Awake and Unable to Sleep

I’m not especially skilled at dream interpretation, probably because I don’t invest the time.  However, here’s a poem about one of the most annoying types of dreams in my personal repertoire.  True story. Last Night I Dreamt I Was Awake and Unable to Sleep Last night I dreamt I was awake and unable to sleep.Continue reading “#38: Last Night I Dreamt I Was Awake and Unable to Sleep”

#37: On Failure

I wrote these short little pieces from various failure perspectives.  There’s such an intriguing and wide variety of ways to fail.  Maybe we gain a little bit of insight by reaching into these mindsets–even for a moment–provided we’re not cynical or simply poking fun.  There’s nothing funny about it.  Each represents an underlying problem thatContinue reading “#37: On Failure”

#36: On Teaching Vietnam

On Teaching Vietnam We have read Bao Ninh’s The Sorrow of War and now we’re watching a film called Regret To Inform, a documentary inspired by Barbara Sonneborn’s personal quest, twenty years after the fact, to come to terms with her husband’s death in Vietnam, to go there to that country, to try to understand where,Continue reading “#36: On Teaching Vietnam”

#35: Sax and Violins

The title stolen from the Talking Heads tune; the subject stolen from real life. Censorship, or the urge to censor, is still alive and well. Sax and Violins The parent of the high school junior objects to all the sax and violins in the literature studied in English classes. She objects, in the case ofContinue reading “#35: Sax and Violins”

#34: How Discussion of The Great Gatsby Gets Totally Derailed by a Big Spider

How Discussion of The Great Gatsby Gets Totally Derailed by a Big Spider It’s happened before: bug gets into the room and distracts the students, rightfully so, because it’s like, you know, a bug. Today it’s a spider, a really big one, as the teacher tries to tease out this delicious bit in the novelContinue reading “#34: How Discussion of The Great Gatsby Gets Totally Derailed by a Big Spider”

#33: After Teacher Appreciation Week

After Teacher Appreciation Week On Monday, several dozens of cookies were placed in the staff lounge, a gift from our secretaries and support staff. On Friday morning, the administrators served us hot coffee and fruit and pastries. We were still trying to polish off the cookies in the staff lounge, some of which are stillContinue reading “#33: After Teacher Appreciation Week”

Why I Am Totally Bugged By This Video

http://www.upworthy.com/student-freaks-out-in-front-of-his-class-and-says-what-were-all-thinking-about-our-education-system-3 The video making the rounds Thursday on facebook was of a young man who stands up in the middle of his classroom and goes on a little tirade against his teacher, accusing her, essentially, of malpractice, of making no effort to teach, of handing the kids packet after packet, worksheet after worksheet.  He imploresContinue reading “Why I Am Totally Bugged By This Video”

#32: Gatsby? What Gatsby?

Gatsby? What Gatsby? is what Daisy says when she hears Jordan Baker mention the name to Nick, and it’s what teenagers used to say before they knew Leonardo DiCaprio was starring in the new Baz Luhrmann film. Suddenly, now, they want to read this novel because they recognize the name and because Leonardo is starring inContinue reading “#32: Gatsby? What Gatsby?”

#31: The American English Teacher Critiques His Own Poetry

Either he’s a Stat Blip Junky or he just can’t give up the poetry, one or the other.  In the following blog entry, the American English Teacher decides to keep writing poetry even though National Poetry Writing Month is over. The American English Teacher Critiques His Own Poetry I’m no T.S. Eliot, he says, pouringContinue reading “#31: The American English Teacher Critiques His Own Poetry”

Forced Creativity Experiences (Only the Bad and the Ugly)

In my last blog entry, I waxed lovingly about the benefits and the necessary prerequisites to submitting oneself to a Forced Creativity Experience such as the National Novel or Poetry Writing Months in November and April, respectively, and my experience in a songwriting circle that does a similar thing in the musical realm.  I subtitledContinue reading “Forced Creativity Experiences (Only the Bad and the Ugly)”