A BETTER WORLD

Dystopias extrapolate the fears of the day while utopias project our dearest hopes and ideals. Science fiction writers from the Golden Age of post-WW2, for example, often address the disastrous impact of the potential for nuclear powers to obliterate the planet. They were concerned about global and intergalactic peace and the trade-off in freedom resulting [...]

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COLLEGE ADMISSIONS

Soon after I entered the University of Washington in the 70s, my mother returned to work. She was an admissions officer at the UW through the 80s. Foreign students were a significant and invaluable presence when I was there. That diverse presence ended soon after I graduated because the State insisted on favoring local students. [...]

DESIRE & PANIC

The author had my attention from the hilarious introduction to his memoir, Between Panic and Desire. I recognize the world he describes. Unlike his parents, my father never left; it was my grandparents who all divorced, some remarrying, some not. But while he was not yet 6 years old during the Bay of Pigs, I was [...]

LETTING GO

The other day a relative posted a meme with hideous and clearly inaccurate images and information. Further investigation revealed the creator of the meme was a Danish neo-Nazi spouting appalling anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant and other hate messages. I can't help wondering if his profile is a fake Russian bot spreading discord and disinformation. As a [...]

IF YOU’RE SO SMART WHY ARE YOU STILL TEACHING?

My first teaching job was at Forest Ridge a school of the Sacred Heart, an elite Catholic girls’ prep school in Bellevue, Washington. Sr. Bunny Flick hired me in 1976 to teach 6-12th grade Art part-time. She was eager to see her students both challenged and supported in their education. At the same time, she [...]

“Smile, you’re beautiful.”

from 19 April 2013 in The Humanist This afternoon a student passed me, grinning. She’d just visited the eastern-most toilet stall in the “senior” bathroom. The room is decrepit, the soap dispenser is often empty, and the stall doors don’t latch. But on the inside of one door is a hand-written message: “Smile, you’re beautiful.” I’ll [...]