Life Envy: The FOMO

  I want to be living that life. By myself, late at night, sitting in the dark of the back yard with my phone, the dog, and a drink, I actually heard myself say this out loud: I want to be living that life. It’s crazy, I know, but looking sometimes at pictures of peopleContinue reading “Life Envy: The FOMO”

Diary of an English Teacher in His Penultimate Year, Redux: Kids These Days, Part the Third–On Being and Unbeing

I’ve been writing lately about student behavior. In one blog I commiserated with my elementary school colleagues about young children who cause violent disruptions and I bemoaned the high school apathy I saw at my own school, and in another blog I wrote about surprising teenage shenanigans, you know, like bringing communion wafers to class.Continue reading “Diary of an English Teacher in His Penultimate Year, Redux: Kids These Days, Part the Third–On Being and Unbeing”

#236: Media Fast, Anyone?

I cannot help it. I can’t look away. It’s a train wreck, a complete cluster, and every morning begins with the same question: What’s the outrage of the day? And now that I’m on a holiday break I’ve got something like free time to keep checking in on the downfall of my civilization. I thinkContinue reading “#236: Media Fast, Anyone?”

#149: Unspeakable

Unspeakable I’m trying to find words to describe how I feel when, during a reading from Elie Wiesel’s Night, I look up and see students looking at their phones. One student, in particular, looks at me, and without irony, without hesitation, and without, I would say, consciousness, says, as if it were a legitimate explanation, that sheContinue reading “#149: Unspeakable”

#138: A New Stupid Smart Phone

1. Stupid, perhaps.  But I bought a new iPhone today because my wallet case broke, you know the one, the wallet case I bought two years ago to hold my i.d., some cash, and a 3G phone I bought for $50 that was already two years out of date. The old phone was fine, still,Continue reading “#138: A New Stupid Smart Phone”

#54: The School Year Begins with a Crash of the Hard Drive

The School Year Begins with a Crash of the Hard Drive on which my entire life’s work as a teacher was “saved.” My technology guy, bless him, was able to retrieve nearly every last god-forsaken item– except any kind of organizational feature previously attached. So all perhaps one thousand assorted folders, documents, presentations, audio files,Continue reading “#54: The School Year Begins with a Crash of the Hard Drive”

Of A Twelve Step Program for Young Cell Phone Addicts

I’m serious.  There’s not a day that goes by any more when I don’t tell a student or several students, sometimes repeatedly in a single period, to put their cell phones away.  And lately there hasn’t been a week that’s passed without a serious discussion around the lunch table about the need for some sortContinue reading “Of A Twelve Step Program for Young Cell Phone Addicts”

The Imaginary Commencement Address

Greetings, class of 2012! You’ve worked hard and you’ve finally arrived at this momentous day, which, just like yesterday was, and the day before yesterday, and just like tomorrow will be and the day after tomorrow will be again, the first day of the rest of your life.  But yesterday you weren’t graduating from highContinue reading “The Imaginary Commencement Address”

Monkeys Typing Shakespeare: Plagiarism’s New Frontier

A teacher friend came into my classroom this morning with a new internet discovery which proves once and for all that it is in fact possible to get a group of monkeys together with some typewriters (read: computers with internet access) who will, given a little time and some encouragement, recreate the works of Shakespeare.Continue reading “Monkeys Typing Shakespeare: Plagiarism’s New Frontier”