Skip the Cards and Bards on Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day's insane. The American Consumer Greed Association adopted it as the official holiday to support Hallmark writers through the doldrums between Christmas and Easter, and that season where it's just a tad early to start stocking for Halloween. "I know!...

For a Bad Time, Invite Me

They call it "The Curse." Kids started begging me not to attend their games. Me! Their one fan. We didn't get a lot of fans in those days because we're regional and we didn't win. "Casey! You're cursed. Don't come, it's a big game." I began to test "The Curse" with...

I’ll Never Be Beautiful

I'm looking at everyone's profile pictures. They're all rock stars with awesome pictures--pictures of hair blowing in slow-mo, light hitting unblemished faces in just the right way. Pictures of scaling Mount Everest. Pictures of scuba diving, standing in front of race...

Ageless: Lessons from the Horror of Pep Rally

Pep rally day at school. Screaming teens with faces painted for war, and someone's got a fog horn I just can't catch. All day...The type of day teachers dread. Earplugs for everyone. I think this day keeps me young. "What are you WEARING, Miss?" My shirt's not the...

Death of the Five-Paragraph Essay

They looked at me. "How long's this gotta be?" It was the midterm essay. "As long as it takes to be informative. And interesting--don't put me to sleep...I only write zeroes when I'm asleep." Actually, it's a puddle of drool. "How many paragraphs?" We train them to...

Appreciation of Appreciation

Last night was our second parent night. I feel honored when families take the time to come see me. Anyone drives a couple of towns to pay respects to a child's education is someone for whom I'm very grateful. Many can't come--parents who work or care for others, or...

For the Love of Money

My kid loves money. He loves money more than the federal government does. He walks around playing with his money. Talking to it, putting it in containers and carrying it with him. Last night he was watching movies with his money--he sat on top of it in a laundry...

I’m Terrible…by the Numbers

I woke from a nightmare. I was taking standardized tests. I bombed. I'm glad it was a dream.It's standardized test season, a time that strikes more fear in the hearts of schools than a life-sized poster of the Bieber mug shot. Everyone's defined by these numbers. The...

Using Your Head: Not the Same As Getting Hit

"You box?" asked my friend. "Boxing" is a specific art. I can't say I box. Do I own boxing gear? Full contact safety stuff with a gag reflex mouthpiece, "get bashed in the head" Olympic headgear, and 14-ounce gloves because I don't need the full pound? Yes. I own...

Finding the Vegan Worcestershire Sauce

I was at a large store. I don't often go if I can avoid it. So many boxes, and bags, all that extra wasted packaging. I prefer to go to the farm and get a carrot. But there are some things the farm doesn't have, like King Arthur Bread Flour and vegan Worcestershire...