March 2012 Archives

I am staying in the port city of Douala, Cameroon, grand central station of the 18th Century, where kidnapped Africans took the dreadful voyage to the Americas to live out their lives as slaves—if they survived the Middle Passage at all. For the first time in my life, I journeyed to the Motherland, U.S. passport proudly in hand. As I traveled from Chicago to Brussels on the first leg of the trip, it was like any other flight. People minded their own business. They were polite, not asking too many questions. It was an evening flight so the ...


She was so mad that her face was red, eyes tearing, and imaginary puffs of smoke were coming out of her ears. She didn't have an appointment with me, but there she was. In my classroom. Screaming. In my face. Why did you fail my child? I tried to explain. Why did you fail my child! After unsuccessfully trying to finish a sentence about ten times, I realized that this angry mother was not really asking a question. She was demanding that I apologize, that I admit I made a mistake and change the grade. It didn't matter that I ...


I'm told that there's a special place in Heaven for middle school teachers. I'm in no hurry to find out, but I hope it's true. First you love me. Then you hate me. Now you just don't care, except when your best friend decides to. So what I thought :P was a typo! Does that make me lame? You told me that WTF meant Wednesday, Thursday and Friday— but now I'm on to your games. You little hormonal rascal. Always laughing, or crying, or refusing to talk, rolling your eyes. You worry me, make me fearful. For I have two ...


Somebody just tried to kill my little sister! Like most of us, she works hard to put food on the table. She has a son and daughter, both still in diapers. She has a mortgage, student loans, and a greedy little dog named Sir. Everyday she pounds the pavement in and around Chicago, trying to make a living doing real estate. At 9:45 a.m. last Friday, she found herself parked on a residential block in the city's notorious Roseland neighborhood on the far South Side. Having just wrapped up a phone call, she put her hand on the ...


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