Saturday, April 28, 2007


We spent today outside, even brought a playpen out for J, who enjoyed standing up and peering over the edge at us. L crawled in with him when I turned my back. After many hours of back-breaking manual labor, the drainage in our backyard is complete. Or so we hope. We won't truly know until the next big rain. To top it off, our new redbud is faring well. Summer, here we come.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Getting Technical

Tasteless pun, please excuse me.

I've delayed posting on Virginia Tech because I was hoping to gain some insight with time, hoping to come to peace with it after a few days have sunk in. Still waiting.

In the meantime, here are two newsworthy pieces on the incident: the retrospective advice of Brooks Brown, a Columbine survivor (who happened to have lost 4 friends that day, 2 of whom were the shooters) and Stephen King's take on psych evaluations based on student-submitted fiction.

School violence always makes you look twice at yourself, your own students, the quiet kid who leans against the back of the building and always pretends to not hear when I say hello, the essay sitting next to my computer with the violent ending about the boy who comes home to find his entire family murdered and decides to take vengeance.

Pray for the dead. Pray for the living. Both Jeffery Hodges and Daniel Hoffman-Gill shed some light on the topic of prayer.

I've never been afraid as a teacher. I'm naive enough to continue to believe it will never happen to me, to my students. Even after it did. What terrifies me most is that I don't think I have it in me to stop it from happening, the way a gym teacher at Rocori High School (Minnesota) confronted a student shooter by standing in front of him and saying, "No." Mark Johnson prevented who knows how many other deaths. And yet, a year later Minnesota saw its second school shooting at Red Lake.

I want to believe in all my students. I want to be the nurturing English teacher who coaxes each person to share his or her story in the sappiest Hollywood way that has been replayed far too many times. (Poor gym teachers, they never get the credit.) So what do you write at the end of the paper, where the font switches to 16 point bold and says "For anyone who has been reading this tragedy, you know it is not the end. What will Jason Black do next? TO BE CONTINUED."

I wrote "I hope he comes back as a hero. 20/20" Then I photocopied it and walked to the office.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


words down. Or so. Now to add 300 more and delete 133. Piece of cake.

Except I just a got a phone call; maybe there will be room for 900 words rather than 500, or perhaps two small pieces. Good news and more work, either way.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Someone is paying me to write 500 words. Now if only it weren't so difficult to choose which words to use.... I haven't written anything polished in a while, much less anything publishable. Writing for a specific purpose (and for money) should be a nice change.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


The birthday of a friend inspired me to make a donation here.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Happy Easter

This is why I love my husband.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I woke up to news that Iran was releasing the 15 Brits. An oddly staged photo of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meeting with the sailors and Marines is on the CBS site. No doubt they are greatful to be going home. I admit that I was less than optimistic.

Today is a Wednesday, and yet I'm home still in PJs and visiting such enlightening websites as Visuwords and World Sunlight Map. (Both thanks to StumbleUpon.)

L is sick, and at the age where she is beginning to articulate her pain. "I don't like it," she says. Despite the fact that she is now as tall as my waist, she is still so little. If she gets better this weekend, maybe we'll head to Disneyland. (Just what a recovering toddler needs, I know, but I'll do most anything to see that kid smiling and happy again.)