October 2012 Archives

I went to bed last night at 9:30 and I woke up at 1:30 in the morning. As hard as I tried, I couldn't go back to sleep. I suffer from a condition called Working-Mother-Wife-Teacher Syndrome. Here were some of the thoughts that kept me awake: 1) I need to finish grading the last eight student memoirs, and each one takes me about 15 minutes for me to assess. I had collected 70. 2) I have to write a blog. 3) I have two interns coming in today to observe me teach and ask me questions. I am ...


A friend named Mick sent me an email last week about what happened to his friend Christopher's three-year-old daughter. The child got very sick, but he couldn't take her to the doctor immediately because he didn't have the money. Where he lives, the doctors require their basic examination fee paid in full up front, and Christopher had less than a dollar to his name. By the time he was able to scrape up the money, he hired a taxi to take his daughter to the hospital. But the child was too far gone, and she died within 10 hours. Still, ...


Change is hard, especially for the Chicago Public Schools. We have had five CEOs of the school system in the past four years. Arne Duncan. Ron Huberman. Terry Mazany. Jean-Claude Brizard. And now, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, or B3 as her nickname goes. At least we finally got a woman in the top spot! But whether this is change we can believe in is another question. Byrd-Bennett said in her announcement press conference last week that she is in Chicago "for the long haul." That, of course, is not entirely up to her. Mayor Rahm Emanuel hires and fires in this town. ...


If you hang around middle schoolers long enough, you can learn a lot—even a few things about sex. When I was their age, no one talked to me about sex. When I got my menstrual period, all my mother told me was that if I started fooling around with boys I could get pregnant. I figured out what "fooling around" meant by watching veiled sex scenes on TV shows like Dynasty and talking to the "fast" girl who lived next door. I was naïve for a long time and, to let my husband tell it, I'm still rather...


I'm still in bed The small hum of my husband's car backing down the driveway My hand gropes for the pull-chain on the nightstand lamp I place my laptop on my old cutting board and slowly open it up The chill of the wood now warming against my thighs Click, click, clicking of keys It's 4:30 a.m. Papers from school still in my bag, ungraded Students will ask for them and get mad Daughters asleep in their bunk bed Dolls once snuggled and cuddled now on the floor I will learn of their midnight dreams and pretend to ...


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