Monthly Archives: January 2013


Last weekend I was visiting my significant in Portland (a happy story for another post), and I watched her do this pretty cool trick with her dogs: she set down their food bowls then held balled hands over their noses, a signal that cues them to hold their sitting positions until she opens her hands and says, “Release,” to which they spring to their separate bowls and gobble down their meals in seconds. I was impressed. Sort of a doggie delayed gratification thing. A hungry pitbull and another “bully” mix, raw meat (and veggies) two feet away, yet neither made a move for the bowls until the beloved caretaker gave word.

Waiting for release… Continue reading



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Beyond the Control…

Returning from winter break this week, one of my students who every morning comes in for a hug and hello said to me, “Ms. C., I saw lots of patriarchy in my house during the break. My daddy said to me, ‘I want you to grow up and find a good man to take care of you,’ and I said, ‘Daddy, what am I going to school for if you don’t think I can grow up to take care of myself?’ Then he said, ‘But you’re my baby and I want someone to watch after you,’ and I said, ‘You think I’m a baby?’ and he said, ‘Well, you’re my baby’ and I said, ‘You think you own me?’… ”

Pity that poor papa. Continue reading

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Beyond Labels

In my language arts classroom, I teach my kids to label words by their parts of speech—noun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, etc—and once in a great while, a student from the realms of the bored senseless who’s not yet learned that her/his value in a classroom is relative to The Test (you know, the mandated ones that politicians beholden to giant publishers use to noose public schools to an end of privatized profits) will ask, “Why do we need to know this?” Continue reading


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