days without capitalism

The fireworks display I’ve watched for many years are made by guys from the neighborhood. The soundtrack to my holiday is blasted from family sound systems.  The landscape is families taking over sidewalks and streets to host events for communal celebration. Cars are used to block of intersections so that streets can be filled with…

When I Think of Tamir Rice While Driving

in the backseat of my car are my own sons, still not yet Tamir’s age, already having heard me warn them against playing with toy pistols, though my rhetoric is always about what I don’t like, not what I fear, because sometimes I think of  Tamir Rice & shed tears, Source: When I Think of…

for non-Black folks

A powerful new call for the empowerment and respect of Black people has been issued. It has transcended grassroots activism, permeated discussion of culture and power, made demands on those in political positions, and inspired a creative response from artists. For non-Black folks it can feel alienating, aggressive, “disrespectful”, divisive… But I have never understood…

Who Will Be the Gun Takers?

Who will be the gun takers? Don’t forget that actual individuals, not the devil himself, will have to go to gun person to gun person and collect all that power…

No other choice

My blog posts have most recently focused on the act of writing. Writing is one of my survival mechanisms to resist the collective failures of our world. We all need survival escape hatches, because failure is not a healthy paradigm by which to view the world. We have no other choice but to survive, struggle…

Fake it until you Make it

Faking it perhaps sounds like a horrible mantra. Faking, pretending, posturing, projecting – may sound like excuses for lying. I am not fond of lying, actually I find myself to be particularly inept at it. Blatant honesty or uncomfortable silence are my two modis operandi. But lying, deceit, manipulation make my stomach ache and I feel…

Letting my weakness’ show is a muscle I flex

this was a short piece I wrote last summer for the “Jumpstart Odyssey” assignment for the Calderwood writing fellowship: The Strength of Weakness   “For Amily to be able to enter into third grade, she must be able to write cursive. Our second graders at the Learning Project have already learned this skill. Amily will fall…

what could be a bigger downer than “failure”

I had started this blog with just my name, but it is not about me as a person, my writing here is meant to be me as a thinking, observing participant in our world. Collective failure was going to be my first entry, which seemed like a terribly depressing notion. I’d pondered, “will I simply be…

time out of my busy day

“Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to email us – we greatly appreciate it.” A note at the end of an email from a parent. An email I initiated, an email that I wrote simply to note a student’s improvement, and a confession that she made in class that she…

what is collective failure

Why write? I teach, I live among curious, thinking, learning creatures that make my mind spin. It is a good spin, it keeps my mind sharp. But sometimes there are observations that I need to share, outside of my mind. And most of that has to do with how we, as a society, have failed…