Monthly Archives: January 2011

Snow day?

  While Chicago and most of the midwest is hunkering down in preparation for “snowmageddon,” my school is preparing teachers, parents, and students for business as usual. The blizzard alert for Chicago on  The Weather Channel emphatically warns people not … Continue reading

Posted in community, education, experience, memory, teaching, tradition, winter | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Beet this!

My friend wrote about her son’s beet soup, and the image stuck with me, even though I haven’t eaten beets too often.  Her photo of the finished soup was pretty amazing.  Because I didn’t have enough butternut squash to make … Continue reading

Posted in food, motherhood | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Belly up to the Pho bar

In preparation for Tet (Vietnamese New Year) arriving on February 3rd, I am testing recipes for our annual Tet Celebration.  A friend asked if I had tried making Pho, and I hadn’t, so I thought there is no time like … Continue reading

Posted in adoption, food, holidays, motherhood, Tet, tradition | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

On aging: bifocals, or a kick in the teeth?

When I told my colleague that I had to get bifocals, he laughed, “Wow, that’s a kick in the teeth.” I wondered, was it really that bad to need bifocals at 44? Why is aging in our culture perceived with … Continue reading

Posted in aging, expectations, growth, memory, motherhood, running, transformation, writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Tell me about your tattoo

One of the most memorable lessons of 7th grade is the “Interview and Experience” Project.  We assign students to identify, contact, interview and “experience” a slice of someone’s life. The person they choose needs to be different from them in … Continue reading

Posted in art, connection, education, experience, growth, identity, inspiration, lessons, loss, memory, motherhood, scars, tattoo, transformation | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Stop arguing

Monkey Man was apparently channeling his pirate shirt and alter-ego after his bath, walking around chanting, “Arg, Arg.” He wandered into the bathroom while Gorilla Girl was brushing her teeth and I tried to goad him into more chanting. After … Continue reading

Posted in identity, language, motherhood, pirates | Tagged | 1 Comment


Gorilla Girl has a habit of hiding under furniture when she has committed an act that she knows is unacceptable or dangerous. Several weeks ago, she ran at top speed from my room, dashed under the couch and remained hidden … Continue reading

Posted in fairy tales, food, lessons, motherhood, teaching | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Mean girls

Because I visit Monkey Man and Gorilla Girl so frequently in their classroom, the other kids are starting to pay more attention to me.  They wanted to know my name, and as I explained in a previous post, I allowed … Continue reading

Posted in education, friends, gender, identity, motherhood, names, scars, teaching | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What my kids do at school

When I visit Gorilla Girl and Monkey Man in their classroom, down the hall from my own, I soak in the aroma of spoiled milk, listen to the sweet voices, and feel the energy that vibrates from twenty two teeny … Continue reading

Posted in community, education, inspiration, motherhood, painting | 1 Comment

Shut up and write

Shut up and write – that is what you have to tell yourself when excuses murmur insidiously to your weary writing fingers. My box of excuses for this week is filled to the brim, and their validity does not trump … Continue reading

Posted in education, expectations, inspiration, motherhood, writing | 2 Comments