June 2008 Archives

Waterproofing a deck is not sexy. No one oohs and ahs when you’re done. The only discernible difference is that when juice spills it puddles instead of absorbs. But it is necessary. The payoff is deferred, barely tangible except over time: the deck lasts longer. I built this one myself, a summer ago. It was our third year in the house, long enough to be sick of the cramped poo-brown platform tacked on the back, with its national park bars that dissected one’s view no matter where one sat. Five more feet and white-painted rails was all we ...

Sorry it’s been a while since I last wrote. Along with most of you at this time of year, I’ve been deep in the Stuff. Grading mountains of papers, saying good-byes, grading mountains of papers, distributing yearbooks, calculating final grades, moving stuff out of the room, telling kids to put away their yearbooks, haggling with kids about their final grades, signing yearbooks, exporting grades, going to end of the year luncheons, wondering if I should have changed so-and-so’s grade, hauling boxes of books around… you know. Stuff. On top of the usual maelstrom, I’m getting ready ...

I’ve told my colleagues and my kids, and now I’m telling you. I’ve accepted a position for next year as Dean of Students and teaching 8th grade English at The Congressional Schools of Virginia, an independent preschool-8 school in nearby Falls Church. Like Voltaire’s Candide (blogged about by some of my tenth graders this year), I am leaving a fabled land of riches. Diamonds aren’t strewn on the ground like pebbles here at TJ, but you can’t spit without hitting a remarkable student or teacher. I’m blown away daily by the eagerness and ...


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