How A Possum Ended Up In The Prayer Service

For Christian Brothers High School, this has been a year of great achievement. We saw major accomplishments on the football field, baseball and softball diamonds, golf courses, tennis courts, basketball and volleyball courts, in the pool and on the track and fields of lacrosse, rugby and soccer. Our students saw incredible academic success in robotics, engineering, academic decathlon, mock trial, and broadcasting. We saw enormous success for our actors and singers and dancers on stage here and on the road. The Lasallian art show was amazing as were the literary arts journal, the Open Mic nights, the one acts, and…

A List of Hobbies I Gave Up When I Got Serious About Writing

Baking Gardening Thai food cooking Garage sales Beadwork Jewelry making Watercolor painting T-shirt painting Apron painting Hot gluing used coffee filters to the tops of glass jars and stamping them with Amish-style stamp designs Hot gluing cotton balls to the tops of glass jars and then gluing fabric over the cotton balls to make the lids puffy and then filling the jars with candy Wreath-making from vines I cut from random bushes on the side of the road Knitting Cutting hearts out of the pages of old books and Mod Podging them to glass jars and putting candles inside Mod…

What I Said at the Friendship Prayer Service

It’s funny that the God Squad asked me to give today’s talk about Friendship because it’s my job at this school to teach about argument and debate. I teach my students to anticipate what the opposition is going to say, analyze their weaknesses, and crush them in debates. Not very friendly. But we have a saying in my class and that is in argument, you must first seek to understand, then to be understood. If you release yourself of the responsibility of trying to change someone else’s mind, then you are free to try to understand the other person’s point…

To My White Sisters Amongst the 48%

We feel good about yesterday. We woke up this morning feeling better than we have since before the election. We exerted ourselves and we marched in solidarity with millions of others around the globe. We thought we were alone in a dystopian fascist world, but now we know we aren’t. We feel better. More comfortable. The march was so diverse, we are saying to one another. There weren’t just white people there. And wasn’t it nice that the cops were so supportive and smiley? No arrests. No violence. I’m only talking about myself, but there is a reason we don’t…

8 Things I Am Doing

1. Taking superior care of my physical self.  I’m focusing on upper body strength and cardio vascular endurance. I’m eating clean, avoiding junk food, and absolutely eschewing processed sugar. I’m looking after my teeth. Getting appointments for check ups, eye exams and teeth cleanings for my kids and me. It’s time to be as proactive and intentional as possible with physical health and strength. 2.  Increasing community vigilance. It’s time to be out and about more, not less. I’m prepared more than ever to stand in observation when a person of color is stopped by police. I’m prepared more than…

Whose Jersey I Was Wearing

A couple of days ago, a line of Varsity football players barreled into my classroom. I’ve been known to offer encouraging journal writing times before big game days. Friday was a huge game day. The league championship was at stake against a higher ranked team. I thought they might have been there to ask to write with me. They weren’t there to write. They were uncharacteristically quiet, this group of boys. Shuffling their enormous feet. Smiling funny. “Guess what,” one of the guys finally said. “We get to pick one teacher to be with us on the field for Friday’s game…

Summer Fades

Summer Fades Photographs by Evan Hartzell Curated by Jona Frank Evan Hartzell : Summer Fades ‘When summer’s breath their masked buds discloses:But, for their virtue only is their show, … Source: Summer Fades

Facing Stress Without An Eraser

I have had a trying couple of weeks. That is, I am going through a rough patch. Nothing evil or insurmountable. But annoying. Stressful. I’m going through a rough patch that might cause a person to end the day with a well-deserved adult beverage. Or a sleeve of Donettes from the 7-Eleven down the street, chased with a wild cherry Slurpee. Or at least a Diet Coke and some pretzels. These things would erase my stress for a while. For me, avoiding alcohol and drugs is a habit that can certainly be tried, if not exactly tested by the sort of scrape…