#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

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

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

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*

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

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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