Mr. Schwartz's "You can't see breath but that doesn't mean it's not there."

I’ve been reflecting for a while on things that we can see and things that we cannot. Forces and reasons, like fists or food, impact us and nourish us and can give or take away. They leave bruises, all, whether or not too those bruises are visible ones.
It seems that from just after we’re very young, we have things to accomplish and people to console. We have hurt feelings and hurt resumes. Our transcripts, GPAs, and job histories are on paper and double in our minds as intangible dossiers of hurt or failure or success.  When we are teens we can and cannot see the effects of our actions and when we are adults it is the same. A friend gets hurt and we can help them. We see it literally in their faces, a broken look. We reach out to them with something we cannot see, like breath, but like that breath that does not mean it isn’t there. What we offer them is healing, and someday, whether we realize it or not, it is offered to us. We console and are consoled. We relate and are related to. A…

A Reflection on "Heathers" by Valerie Vollono

The gates of hell are open night and day; smooth the descent, and easy is the way.[1]
Easy is the descent.
Easy is the descent into hell. *** It’s a simple matter to watch Heathers and believe that you would never act like the characters. It’s a satire, after all; it’s exaggerated. Why let it make you feel too uncomfortable? But every horrible action in this story stems from natural, human impulses. Fear. Vulnerability. Self-preservation. Revenge.
And the murders? Those stem from the purest impulse of all – to protect those that we love, to protect those that are weaker than ourselves.
Many of the characters in this show do not have bad intentions. After all, J.D. simply believes in “making the world a decent place for people who are decent.” That goal is a hard one to argue with. But it also is a goal that culminates in death. Good intentions can easily become destructive. And thus, Heathers forces us to confront our own impulses and consider our own capacity for evil. So all in al…

"Babies Are People, too!" by Ben Nelken

That’s actually not true. The fingers and toes are there. And most people count on that fact to assure themselves that babies are real people. We took Margaret to a summer pool party when she was only a few weeks old. A few old Italian people commented that she had the long fingers of a piano player. As her father, I hadn’t noticed. I had been getting just barely enough sleep (about 4 hours a night) to remember to duck the low ceiling fan inside the house as my wife took Maggie inside to breastfeed out of the hot sun. Of all the baby clothes that were passed down to us, there was one Halloween monkey outfit. It fit Maggie perfectly. So for most of October which she spent as not a real person, she was a squeaky monkey. Whenever you slipped her in the outfit -- which included a cotton stuffed round belly, a short brown tail, and a little brown hood with floppy ears – she fell asleep immediately. It was like a travel-size sleeping bag for her. And a sleeping baby makes for happy parents.…
Monday or Tuesday by Virginia Woolf - Reflections

Today I want to share my reflections on an unusal short story, Monday or Tuesday, written by my favorite writer: Virginia Woolf (the text is available on line). The short story has been published in 1921 and reflects Woolf's initial experiments with a completely new writing style, best known as stream of consciousness.

Monday or Tuesday by Virginia Woolf is a very brief short story, just one page, that she published in 1921 when she was experimenting the Post Impressionist theories of her friend Roger Fry. It is the story of one heron “lazy and indifferent … (that) passes over the church” (Woolf 36). The next scenes present “a lake,” “a mountain” and then “wheels,” omnibuses,” men’s feet and women’s feet,” Miss Thingummy,” and “home or not home” before concluding with the same image of the heron returning from his flight. The challenge for the reader is to make sense of all these apparently scattered images by flying together with th…

My Lived Racial History by Daniel Wajnowski

Equity is the single most compelling and complicating topic facing American education today. The Achievement Gap may be the numerical face of education’s failings in equity, but the faces and lives of its students and families are far more important than any one data point. Education may be the answer to leveling playing fields and providing access, but it needs people to lead it there.  My lived racial history, both in and out of educational systems, is blind to experiences of challenge, hardship, or inequity.  Yet, I must somehow be a leader who advocates for such equity.  How then do I -  a privileged, white, male - dare to make any sense of any of these deficiencies let alone assume I can somehow be an advocate for its change?
In a system created for me, it is imperative that I first acknowledge that such a system exists.  This is much harder to actually do for it supposes that in acknowledging a preferential system, one can understand its full capabilities and consequences.  That…