#415: A Snow Day in April: A Casual Poem on April 11, 2022

I live in a neighborhoodtypically referred to as a banana belt. Yes, we haveno bananas, but it’s sometimeswarm here when it’s cold everywhere else. It’s alsoApril in the Pacific Northwest, a month during which, in my entirelifetime, I do not remember a single day of snow. It snowed last night and closed our school districtdownContinue reading “#415: A Snow Day in April: A Casual Poem on April 11, 2022”

Journal of the Plague Year: #20

As a high school English teacher, I believe that on Friday, June 12, 2020, I experienced the strangest last day of school in the history of last school days. I mean, on the surface, it was somewhat unremarkable. I got out of bed at 8:30 a.m., took a shower, didn’t shave, moseyed on downstairs inContinue reading “Journal of the Plague Year: #20”

#367: For Its Own Sake

Here’s a question. What motivates a person to do a thing, especially a thing that is purported to be good for a person–let’s say, eat right, exercise, learn an instrument, learn an instrument well, dance, sing, paint, or act well, and while we’re at it, add into the mix all the academic endeavors: write well, readContinue reading “#367: For Its Own Sake”

#366: Ghost School

I saw two human beings in this building that, on a typical school day, houses thirteen-hundred. I saw our head secretary, Dee, spending her Wednesdays from eight to noon on site, and the head custodian, Dan, spending a couple hours a day doing odd jobs until the crew can come back in May, he hears,Continue reading “#366: Ghost School”

#358: The Class of 2020 May Not Want to See Your Senior Picture

People keep posting their senior pictures in solidarity with the class of 2020, as if this will make young people whose proms and graduation ceremonies were cancelled, who may or may not have had their own senior photos taken, feel better about their losses. I don’t know. If I was 18, I might be pissed;Continue reading “#358: The Class of 2020 May Not Want to See Your Senior Picture”

A Journal of the Plague Year: #17

Most importantly, I will not be able to BE with my seniors in IB English, not even remotely. I won’t see their faces, hear their voices, read their writing, laugh at their good humor, be in awe of their intelligence and kindness. But additionally, I will not be able to formally finish the Hamlet unitContinue reading “A Journal of the Plague Year: #17”

A Journal of the Plague Year: #16

We saw it coming. In fact, it’s not at all surprising. Nevertheless, I was surprised (!) to hear our governor’s announcement today that schools would remain closed until the end of the year. Distance Learning would be the modality that would take us through to the end. What I found most distressing in this news–andContinue reading “A Journal of the Plague Year: #16”

A Journal of the Plague Year: #12

Jesus, I wish the sun would come back out. The weather is still shitty, and it is Monday, March 30, the day we would have returned to the classroom after Spring Break had we no pandemic. Even in the early stages, the first school closure only included the five school days preceding the break andContinue reading “A Journal of the Plague Year: #12”

A Journal of the Plague Year: #11

It’s Saturday here in Portland, Oregon. More likely than not, it’s Saturday where you are as well. I don’t have a lot to report today, except to say that we are two full weeks into our extended Spring Break. We are all healthy here. A little stir crazy. I have been behind the wheel ofContinue reading “A Journal of the Plague Year: #11”

A Journal of the Plague Year: #10

Are we having fun yet? That, in case there was any confusion, is a rhetorical question. We are not having fun on this Friday of Spring Break, 2020, the year of our plague. Are we bored? Some of us are bored. You know what they say, though? Whoever “they” are, I am told that theyContinue reading “A Journal of the Plague Year: #10”