#346: I Drove Through the Desert and Back Over a Mountain to Get Home

I drove for three hours, through the desert and back over a mountain, to get home. Listening to XTC the whole way, I felt every twenty minutes or so tears of gratitude welling up, which I staved off, because I was driving at sixty-five miles per hour and singing along to every single song, neitherContinue reading “#346: I Drove Through the Desert and Back Over a Mountain to Get Home”

Diary of an English Teacher in His Penultimate Year: June 12, 2018

Please excuse my absence. After 30 poems over the 30 days of April, one needs a little rest. But on top of all that, I’ve been having a transformative experience. On Sunday, May 20, I came down from the mountaintop. My hair turned white and now looks blown back by a great force of energyContinue reading “Diary of an English Teacher in His Penultimate Year: June 12, 2018”

#300: The American English Teacher Gets His Courage Shit Together

“This shit works” –heard in conversation with Rick, and then later with Paul or Jeff, one or both of whom attributed it to Parker Palmer, perhaps apocryphally. 20 years ago I thought to myself there’s no way I can do this for another 20 years. I would need the strength of a half dozen supermen,Continue reading “#300: The American English Teacher Gets His Courage Shit Together”

Diary of an English Teacher in His Penultimate Year: February 15, 2018

Today I wrapped up three full days of sitting with my senior IB English students, listening to their oral commentaries on a poem by Seamus Heaney and holding discussions with them about Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and Toni Morrison’s Beloved. I sat with almost 25 students, just me and the kid, one at a time, forContinue reading “Diary of an English Teacher in His Penultimate Year: February 15, 2018”

Diary of an English Teacher in His Penultimate Year: October 20, 2017

October 11th of last week was Oregon’s official teacher in-service day. In our school district, the day is unofficial, in that it’s no longer a paid work day. Somehow during negotiations that took place more than a decade ago now, the paid in-service day was bargained away in exchange for some other mysterious but beneficialContinue reading “Diary of an English Teacher in His Penultimate Year: October 20, 2017”