Category Archives: language

“Một con vịt”: what “sisters” teach

When Monkey Man and Gorilla Girl were three, we visited an older Vietnamese woman, Nu, who taught them a little Vietnamese–counting from one to ten, the words for airplane, dog and duck. Nu also was a surrogate grandmother who fed … Continue reading

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Union Maid

Today was the first day back at work/school after the winter break, and really, it was a good day with my students, despite their sleepy and jet-lagged energy levels.  They jumped in and were eager to get the ball rolling … Continue reading

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Perhaps I could ride the carousel alone

This morning while snuggling under the blankets and stealing a few more moments of morning calm, Gorilla Girl noted, “Perhaps I could ride the carousel alone now that I am five.” We rode the carousel several times this summer, and … Continue reading

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Miss communication

My students are studying “Encounters” between Columbus and the Taino, between the Aztecs and Cortes, between the English at Jamestown and the Powhatan. We’ve spent quite a bit of time investigating the miscommunication between the groups founded upon each group’s … Continue reading

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Reading, writing, and arithmetic

Gorilla Girl and Monkey Man spent the summer without any scheduled activities — no summer school, day camp, lessons, or classes.  Our summer was about as  unstructured as they come, and we needed it.  So, I have been surprised at … Continue reading

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Trains of time

Here in Three Oaks, very few things remind one of the regular schedule of time. At noon, the warning siren sounds, and a couple of times a day the high-speed train whizzes through town, though it no longer stops here … Continue reading

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Silver Beach — No Silver Lining

We’ve been spending time in St. Joseph, Michigan at the Children’s Museum which happens to house a large carousel, artifacts and a miniature replica of the original Coney-Island Like Silver Beach Amusement Park.  Gorilla Girl loves the carousel, and its … Continue reading

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God, catholics and superheroes

On Sunday, my husband was honored with an award for the work he does at a coach at St. Ignatius by an organization called Sports Faith International.  One of his student-athletes nominated him for the Hometown Heroes Award.  As our … Continue reading

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Not so pretty in pink

Peggy Orenstein’s Schoolgirls, when it was released in 1994, like other feminist works of the 1990s, questioned, probed, revealed, and prompted changes and shifts in education, the work place and social interactions.  Her book, like Myra and David Sadker’s Failing … Continue reading

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Promises, promises or “political poetry”

One of the duties of a 7th grade teacher is to explain to students the importance of the Declaration of Independence. It is no easy task, complicated by the challenging language and lofty ideals, that even today leave readers with … Continue reading

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