Not Out of Class: Still An Educator

Teacher and Class

My class of 12th graders in 2013

30, 29, 28, 27…

This time of year I’m normally counting down. But now, there’s no counting. The days come, and the days go. The calendar turns, and I don’t care. My calendar has changed.

Recently, someone asked me if I missed teaching. It’s not the first time someone asked. I actually ask myself the question often.

After all, for more than a decade, I was a high school English teacher. I worked in the same school and had many of the same colleagues over that time. While that’s not quite Letterman type of longevity, it’s still significant.

I felt at ease in the school. I knew my way around the halls, the neighborhood, and the bureaucracy (that was the toughest part).

We identify ourselves by our profession. After all, what is the most asked question when you meet someone? “So, what do you do?”  (Back in college, it was, “What’s your major?” It was after that line I struggled with the women. I was so awkward.)

Anyway, I was ready with an answer. Continue reading

What Novels Moved You?

Novels that moveI didn’t always love books. But I do now.

There are two people who I credit this to.

My mother loved to read. When she reads a book, she becomes completely engrossed. As a child, I remember hearing her laugh and seeing her cry with a book in her hands.

My oldest brother, HL, always asked me what I was reading. One year, he got me a book, The Essential Steinbeck, for Chanukah.  It included four of Steinbeck’s novels. I read them all and have not stopped reading since.

The other day my nephew, AL, asked me to participate in a school project. He is going to interview me about a book I’ve read that made an impact upon me. AL will then read the book, write a paper on it, and then recommend a book to me.

With the interview coming up Sunday, I have to decide what book I’ll focus on. It’s difficult to think of just one book that had an impact.

Below are a few books I’m considering talking to AL about.

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He Should Be An Author

He Should Be an Author: Dads Behaving Dadly 2He should be an author. That’s what Adele Springsteen said to her son Bruce.

How do I know this? Well, Bruce Springsteen told me. Really, he did.

You see during his earlier days, Bruce Springsteen was apt to stop in the middle of a song. The music would slow down and Bruce would share a story. The story might be funny or serious or a combination of the two. Some were true while some were probably less so. Either way, he would tie the story to the song.

Growin’ Up

Anyway, one of these stoppages occurred during the song Growin’ Up at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, CA on July 7th, 1978.  This song and story were memorialized as they became part of the album, Live 75-85.

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Refrigerator Temperature: The Silent Argument

No silent argument here.

Ms. MMK and I during happy times.

Arguments are loud. Arguments are ugly. Arguments are aggressive.

So, does an argument truly exist if it is silent and neither side acknowledges it?

Two words: HELL YES!!

I know of what I speak. Ms. MMK and I have had a number of silent arguments over the years.  By the way, we have had plenty of the loud and ugly arguments too. No need to talk about those. Unpleasant memories that they are.

Anyway, Ms. MMK and I are nearing the end of our most recent silent argument. The issue: at what temperature to set the refrigerator.

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