White Man Yelling in a Crowded Hall: How do we react?

Last night, it became crystal clear that my daughter is the generation raised with gun violence as an everyday aspect of their lives.  I knew that, of course.  I’ve been a teacher for over 20 years and we’ve been doing lockdown drills for what seems like forever. But this . . . We were at…

Butterflies, Guns, and Freedom: Why I’m So Done with the 2nd Amendment

There is a reason the young Pavel Friedman wrote from Terezin in 1942 that he “Never Saw Another Butterfly.”  In the Nazi-made ghetto, where freedom was squashed and guards paraded around with guns slung over their shoulders, how could something as free as a butterfly exist? I’ve been thinking about Pavel a lot lately.  I’ve…

Picking Up Where We Left Off

I swear, my time away was by accident. I’m back now, after forever — although I’m not sure I’m ready.  My hiatus from my tiny blog was more a product of overwhelm than any quieting of the soul, nurturing of the spirit. Kind of like hiding. This past January, we quickly made the decision to…

To the Principal of Covington Catholic High School: FIX THIS.

When Ugly Racism Meets Quiet Dignity, the Responsibility to Shine a Light Belongs to All of Us Yesterday, I marched with thousands of others in the SF Women’s March, where we raised our voices for social justice and showed the world a wall of resistance against the oppressive authoritarianism that has gotten a foot-hold in…

After the Smoke Clears: November Days of Gratitude

The smoke is still pretty thick ’round here, although the rains have come.  We’re used to the Bay Area having fog cascade over the hills like some magical potion pouring out of a steaming mug, but this daily blanket of smoke has not been the same.  Our eyes have watered; we’ve coughed; our voices have…

Oh, these kids! November Days of Gratitude

November Days of Gratitude: My kids, because where would a teacher be without a classroom full of children? I have to admit, this year I have particularly charming classes and, as every teacher can tell you, that isn’t always the case. Classes of children take on personalities and this year, I have an incredibly sweet…

We all need a village: November Days of Gratitude

November Days of Gratitude: My colleagues. In education, that is a combination of scores of teachers, supportive administration, and indispensable support staff. Without all of them, I don’t know where I’d be. I’m sure I wouldn’t be the teacher I am. From my first year teaching in 1990, when I would unabashedly arrive in the…

Respite: November Days of Gratitude

I have to make this quick. We are pressed for time as we’re trying to leave early so as maybe to avoid traffic.  Who am I kidding? We’re leaving Southern California and I don’t know if there is ever a good time to avoid traffic here.  It’s getting that way in the Bay Area, too,…