RANDOM FACTS

Years ago, long before non-GMO became a common label on foods, before Safeway even had an "Organics" section, and before "gluten-free" became a thing, a junior came to class with an idea for her research paper. "It sounds interesting. They are altering the genes of food," she said about the NPR broadcast she'd listened to [...]

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READING OUT OF THE SHELL

The student working on the research paper was well and truly stuck. He walked from the back table to where I sat at the front and asked me for help. "I am really far behind," he said as if this were a permanent condition. He had the research. He had an idea of what he [...]

VIOLATION

  The rape scene is explicit. I taught The Bluest Eye for 25 years. It is an extraordinary novel told from multiple perspectives. A little girl is ruined, driven insane and lost. The language is stunning, beautiful, masterful. I introduced the novel with an early event where a narrator describes being sick and feeling her [...]

PARING DOWN and going out

In our continuing effort to tidy the house, I am following an online series of articles on how to edit and tidy my home. Fifteen days of advice on how to eliminate clutter, and basically sort "stuff" into giveaway, toss, and keep-but-put-away. The process began by suggesting that I have a "monster pile" someplace in [...]