I’m No Hero–A Veteran’s Day Reflection

"Happy Veteran's Day, Dad!" said Declan.  "Were you in the war?  I'm glad you're not dead."  Note to self--Declan should write greeting cards.  "Mom, do we have to get him a gift?" he asked. "No.  This is an appreciation holiday, not a gift holiday," I said. "I can't...

9 Things You Never Want to Hear a Kid Say

I'm minding my own business relaxing after a long day of work when the boy walks in. "Hey Mom, did you know you can cut your hair with paper scissors?" "Why yes, I did." I say. The trick is not to overreact.  This isn't some random conversation.  It's a revelation....

Death of a Copier: Turning Teachers into Cannibals

You can do a lot of things wrong in public education, but never do this: Never tell a single person you can fix things. That's the kiss of death.  If people find out, quit today.  Get a Witness Protection job in fast food.  Otherwise, everyone will hound you. "Can you...

When Famous People Hate You

My friend the photographer went for a portfolio review and came back crushed. A portfolio review is when an artist submits work to experts who give feedback.   Her work is unique.  It sits at the intersection of art and social justice--the kind of photos people see...

Things Kids Ask to Make Moms Crazy

"How long is an hour?"  Declan asks.  He already knows the answer. It's a trick question.  An hour used to be sixty minutes on the sundial--or sixty minutes, plus or minus a smidge of an Olympic fraction of a microsecond that over time changed the calendars of...

Never Waste a Good Sick Day Being Sick

Fall is here. It's beautiful in New England--the trees are starting to look like they grew out of a Norman Rockwell painting.  We used to watch this guy on Public Television back in the days when there were only three channels.  He'd paint "happy trees."  We called...

The Legacy of a Teacher

Brother Norris was a fascinating man.  I heard of his passing this week. He spent thirty years teaching us English, then went on to retirement.  It's time for him to look down from heaven and make sure we're not splitting our infinitives.  I know he's smiling to see...