In middle school I had a Trapper Keeper binder, black with a sparkly unicorn on the front. I loved that thing. In my mind I can still see the unicorn among the clouds, feel the smooth vinyl cover and hear the vvrrrpp of the Velcro flap opening. Funny, that, because I don't think I actually... Continue Reading →


When I was eight my dad bought me a punching bag. He thought it was better for me to punch a bag than to punch the wall, or flip my mattress over, or empty my dresser drawers onto the floor. My rages were always sparked by my inability to do something well - make my... Continue Reading →

Warning: Explicit

While procrastinating the other day I found an article on dyslexia and mathematics.  The standard reading intervention for dyslexics is known as explicit teaching in phonics and other reading skills, which is in contrast to the "whole language" approach that introduces kids to rich language and meaning but leaves out the mechanics. Most kids don't... Continue Reading →

Forget the Silver Lining

What is up with our fixation on finding a silver lining? Every dark place must have one, an up-lifting promise that everything will be okay, that things are not so bad as they seem. We are a people who must make lemonade out of lemons, damn it. Why am I thinking about dark places and... Continue Reading →

Some Kind of Help

Free to Be You and Me was the soundtrack of my childhood. When I see in my mind's eye the living-room of the little red ranch house where I grew up I hear "It's All Right to Cry" and "Housework" playing in the background. But there is one song called "Helping" that sticks in my... Continue Reading →

Unexpected Hour

My calendar is a problem. Most mornings stack up with appointments and to-dos, so that I am deciding whether I need to go to this meeting, take that call, or respond to the flaming email that just arrived. It isn't really about having too much to do, it's about everything I have to do sitting... Continue Reading →

Cleaning Out

We are under orders to clean out our offices. Sometime in the next month the office will be painted, stem to stern, and to do their jobs the painters need our walls to be cleared and all our books and papers and files to be boxed up and out of the way. And so this... Continue Reading →

Purpose and Play

My son's shoes are now bigger than mine, and I sometimes grab his hoodie for a quick dash outside. I am no longer the mother of a small child. When I see pregnant colleagues in the hallway I bite my tongue so the stories of my own pregnancy and time with my baby don't spill... Continue Reading →

A Blank Page

The list is still up on my white board. What did I think, that it would just disappear as the ball dropped over Times Square, wiping away the to-do's of 2017? It didn't happen. And so the list of things I must not forget is still written in blue marker, waiting for me to tackle those things I... Continue Reading →

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