All Hands on Deck

Is It Any of My Dang (Digital) Business?

Is It Any of My Dang (Digital) Business?

The theater lights had blinked, signaling the end of intermission. As people straggled back to their seats, I watched several gather in a row below us in the section to the right. An older man with a waxy face was lying back in his seat, eyes closed, while a woman rubbed his cheeks and forehead and whispered to him. I couldn’t tell if she was […]

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#SOL18 My #OLW: Honesty

#SOL18 My #OLW: Honesty

Honesty was not the word I chose. It came to me on a piece of shiny magenta paper cut into the shape of a star. I picked it at random from a basket of stars. Well, maybe not completely at random– I quickly fished around until I caught sight of a color I liked. When I read the word, I felt a little jolt. And […]

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#SOL17: Digital Life, Post-Concussion

#SOL17: Digital Life, Post-Concussion

I. I haven’t blogged since July. First there was a bike trip to the San Juan Island. Then there were other things related to giving this old house the kind of love it hasn’t had in a while. And then came the eclipse.  I watched it from a lawn chair in my sister-in-law’s backyard, coffee mugs and cats at our sides. When it was time […]

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I Don’t Know How To Teach Literature

I Don’t Know How To Teach Literature

No, that’s not accurate. I can sling the terms around with the best of them: irony, theme, protagonist, point of view…. More difficult, and what I’ve found myself puzzling about over the course of the past week is the question of how I would “teach” kids to tell the difference between literature and its bastard cousins, fiction, popular fiction, or young adult fiction.  One is enjoying a popular resurgence but […]

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A Rose By Any Other Name Would Be A Dead Weight

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Be A Dead Weight

I’m in A Mood today. I was going to write, for no special reason, but that would be a lie. It all started yesterday, in a rose bed not far from my house. Roses are a Big Deal here. (They don’t call Portland the Rose City for nothing.) Roses grow like weeds, to the point you can feel rose-intoxicated by taking a breath as you walk […]

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Racism Goes to School

Racism Goes to School

Preface In the time since I began to write this post, racism has been visible in Portland in a number of ways, one horrific enough to make national news. But there have been local incidents too. For example, at the middle school a few blocks away, an 8th grader waiting at a bus stop was harassed with racial slurs. This poster appeared not too far […]

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#SOL17: Gobsmacked*

#SOL17: Gobsmacked*

I could have titled this post “Learning By Happenstance,” because I happened on an announcement about a town hall regarding education cuts in Oregon and decided to go. It was an eye-opener, to say the least, especially for someone trying to make sense of a completely new education system. What I learned: Two pieces of Oregon legislation dramatically changed the course of the public schools, beginning in […]

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Discards

Discards

When I told people I was moving to Portland, OR, I received pretty consistent reactions. “Oh, I love Portland.” Or, ” Ohhhh, I have always wanted to go to Portland.” Or, “Ha— I’ve seen Portlandia. I’ve heard it’s just like that.” But it would be a mistake to reinforce the impression that PDX is an idyllic hipster haven. Yes, there are independent bookstores, coffee shops on every block, […]

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Learn. Make. Watch. Why? A Response In Two Parts

Learn. Make. Watch. Why? A Response In Two Parts

I. I’m learning that when a glorious day comes in Portland OR,  you drop everything and head outside. Saturday was one of those days: azure sky, crisp spring air, new leaves bouncing in a light breeze. Me,  I headed indoors and spent my afternoon in a dark, windowless space, staring at a screen. I had snagged one of the 20 spots in a workshop at The Northwest Film Center […]

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