2017

On the way to work, yesterday, I saw the most astounding thing. Middle schoolers marching to their doom. You remember middle school, right? Or maybe junior high? You remember walking toward the school doors and dreading the hours of social anxiety and teachers droning on at you about how to punctuate correctly or which proof to… Read more

One of the best parts of writing for children is finding authors and their outstanding books. I picked up Fannie Never Flinched at the writing conference I went to in Spokane last weekend and read every word, shocked at how much one woman did for others many years ago. Beautifully written with incredible photos of… Read more

“A lot of times, you are one or two questions away from very interesting fascinating things.” I turned this podcast idea over last Monday while washing dishes and folding laundry. (Life is still at a slower stay-at-home mom pace right now. Next week, I’ll go back to the more hectic teaching days.) The mystics, Rob… Read more

Angie Thomas told the story my students tried to tell me for many years. In the early 2000s, I frequently read essays my teenaged students wrote about Tupac Shakir. I didn’t know about the artist or his story and learned few details from my students’ writing. But I could often feel their sincerity and the… Read more

My heart is breaking over a t-shirt. I know. A t-shirt is a silly thing to mourn, especially when others are losing so much more in the world. Houston is flooded right now and people there are genuinely suffering. Not fussing over a t-shirt. Yet, there is a connection. When I see Houston in the… Read more

Keith Jarett made a marvel out of a mess when he played an unplayable piano in front of an audience of 1400 people. According to the Hidden Brain podcast, he almost refused to perform because the instrument was ‘unplayable.’ Instead, Jarett took pity on the 17-year-old concert organizer and improvised to meet the piano’s limitations… Read more

The former Arizona Diamondback minor league pitcher sat before us, tense with the muscles he now uses to work construction instead of throwing baseballs. In a small side-sanctuary of the mega-methodist church with 4500 members, Alex Byo told us the tale of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. You may remember some of the key points from the… Read more

My grandmother Helen took each of her 16 grandchildren anywhere in the continental United States. She packed us into airplanes one at a time when we turned 12. This way we would be old enough to appreciate the trip without our parents but young enough to have discounted airfare. Grandma said she saw the Disneyland… Read more

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