Category Archives: Uncategorized

What’s the use in love poems?

After the sixth grade assembly a boy came up to me and asked, “Why do poets always write about love? Never did ME any good.”“How old are you?”“Eleven.”“Well, give it another chance, you’ve got time.”“Love is just a kick in the crotch.” And he walked off before I could get any more senseless words out

Memorial Junior High and beyond

It is rare that I visit a school and get to come home for lunch, but Memorial is right down the road from my house. I had a great time with the writing club and with an honors English class writing. In the afternoon, the two assemblies went well. But in between, I visited

Perseus House Charter School of Excellence

I drove home from a great visit to Perseus in Erie, PA today only to sit down to watch another expose about yet another teacher engaged in appropriate conduct with a student. Purportedly.
How come the teachers I met today in Erie never make the news? The ones who attend

Between a rock and a melting place

Ajax (the special needs dog) is eating a pencil under my desk. I’m dressed for the gym but stalled here at the computer. I read the news — or most of it. I’m afraid to look at the article about the melting polar cap and disappearing glaciers. I already struggled through

Don’t know how to feel about this

Let’s say some school district, a big district, is putting together scripted lesson plans for the third grade, a program that is destined to grow up through all the grades. It is organized into 10 minute segments so that every teacher in the district can be at the same point at the same time

Parkside Elementary School, Goshen, IN

Goshen is in prairie country, flat and windswept. Tuesday morning dawned clear and cold — extra cold. The reception at school however was warm and welcoming. The students from Parkside are camping out at a school called (appropriately) Praire Elementary while their own school is undergoing an extreme makeover. But before

Poem the poem — Parkside teacher Matt Cooper had his fifth graders rewrite some of my poems, to “poem the poem,” as he describes it. Here one student rewrote “Which Way to the Dragon” as Which Way to my Teddy Bear.” 

Universal peace signs and lots of smiles. 

Illegal migrants — not an issue confined to USA

In China, rules are in place that require a visa to move from one province (like a state) to another. If a family moves without this visa to find work, say from a farming community to the growing city of Shanghai, they become illegal immigrants and thus are not able to enroll their children

Children at the Chinese Migrant School recite poetry by heart. Then I taught them a poem in English — my shortest poem. Everyone laughed and laughed.