I didn’t want to write about this because I am afraid. I am afraid that people I know and care about will think less of me because I went to the Women’s March last Saturday. I’m afraid they’ll be angry or disapprove. But every time I started to think about what to write this week… Read more

Spoiler Warning: If you haven’t seen Finding Dory and still want to be surprised, don’t read this.  I recently told my English class that I have two sons. One is 17 and the other is 6. This means, I told them, that I have been watching kid movies since 1999. Many of the films numbed my… Read more

Not too long ago, I was correcting papers and wishing the writers would not be so inventive with their sentence structures and vocabulary. I would see something with a phrase, a comma, or an unfamiliar word like ‘thalassemia’ and sigh. I had an prickly sense that something was off but wasn’t strong enough on the structure to… Read more

Recently, I looked up International Women’s Day while drafting my next column for The News Tribune. I had never heard of the holiday until my immigrant students brought me flowers, so I was quite surprised to learn that the celebration began in the United States. Perhaps we dropped it in the U.S. because it was started by socialists and the… Read more

Funky Family Phrases

The Sick Canary Theory and The Volkswagen Theory At one point in my life I heard these phrases everyday and thought everyone knew them. When my mother was young, her parents told her she could get a bird. In the store, she picked out the sickest of the lot because she felt sorry for it and wanted… Read more


“Hello,” I croaked. I knew that the person on the other line could barely hear me, and I wondered why I’d bothered to answer the phone at all. Too late now. “Uh…is Philip Myton there?” said the receptionist from the clinic my husband uses. “No, he’s not.” I breathed more than spoke those words. I… Read more

When my family and I moved into a new home, many of our neighbors greeted us. The two families on either side of us welcomed us, told us all about the neighborhood watch and made sure we had the phone numbers of the neighborhood on a gridded map.  One neighbor noticed our dog Remington and… Read more

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