Archive for the ‘1’ Category

Good Bumper Sticker, Bad Bumper Sticker

November 13, 2009

Good Bumper Sticker: “Just because I’m paranoid does not mean that people are not out to get me.” 

Bad Bumper Sticker: “Life is too short to drink old coffee.”

Commentary: Okay, fresh coffee better. Yes. But is this significant enough for a bumper sticker? We have limited space on our cars’ asses–use that space wisely. 



September 24, 2009

A former student of mine (one of my all-time favorite students), who now teaches fifth grade, heard about my book. She wrote to tell me that she was going to share part of my book with her fifth graders. I felt I had to immediately warn her that many of my stories are R rated. However, she managed to find an excerpt at my publisher’s page — — that is child friendly. 

Today I received in the mail a 10 X 12 manilla envelope that contained letters from her class, not only praising my writing (which was good to see) but also thanking me for teaching their teacher, whom they clearly adore. The latter was even more satisfying.

Teachers rarely get to know that they reached a student in a certain way, and even less often do they find out that their former students are reaching students of their own.I plan to write the class back, and I think I will save their letters to me forever.

Dylan and Kohlberg

September 5, 2009

“To live outside the law you must be honest.”

                      –Bob Dylan


It seems to me Dylan’s succinct line captures the essence of Kohlberg’s highest level of moral development, but I’m going on what I vaguely remember about Kohlberg from an education course about fifteen years ago.

Postmodern Serenity Prayer

August 31, 2009


Grant me the Xanax to accept the things I cannot change

The Adderall to change the things I can

And the Paxil to know the difference

More Wisdom Than Meets The Ear

August 24, 2009

When I first read the following words in the June 2009 issue of The Mensa Bulletin, I almost dismissed them as pop psychology, self-help BS. However, reading the therapist’s thoughts about the ranking of the three items helped me to understand that  the real value is the prioritization. Here they are: 

      There are only three things to remember:

      1. I will be happy

      2. I will make some money

      3. I will make other people happy

One hundred percent of the people I saw agreed with the three, but not one of them had the order right! Get them out of order an it will fail, ultimately.

–Bernard Kitt, Ph.D on a psychotherapist’s solution to personal problems

Summer Reading

August 19, 2009

With unexpected things happening this summer, some of them pretty significant, I was not able to read as much as I’d planned. I’m currently reading Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas, which all of our incoming freshmen are reading. I have to say that so far I’ve found that “Mildly Amusing in Farsi” would have been a more apt title, but it wouldn’t have sold many copies. I will say the book is educational for anyone such as I, who is fairly ignorant of Middle Eastern culture and how different it is from American culture. 

I also read the  timeless gem The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. She is up there with Faulkner and Flannery O. I read  a very interesting quirky book called Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe. I recommend it for anyone who wants something a little different. As usual, I’ve read many short stories. I highly recommend Kevin Winchester’s Everybody’s Gotta Eat. Winchester’s ear has perfect pitch for southern dialects. I’m just starting to check out Cut Men by  Steve Taylor. Very strong so far. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell is a nonfiction book that validates some things I believed to be true via my own anecdotal evidence.

I’ve talked to several poets this summer and I hope to read their work soon.  

Hope others had good summer reading. Please share any titles you found particularly valuable in some way.