I often think back to one particular assignment in Ms. Jenewein’s Expository Writing class my senior year of high school. We had to interview someone and write an article. I chose to interview a friend’s father because, starting with almost nothing, he had worked hard to become quite successful. I asked him questions, typed up the […]Read more "In Writing, Tell the Truth"
I wish I’d had accounts like these in my high school textbooks. Last time, I brought you the story of a WWII soldier stranded on a Pacific island for a month, forced to eat raw monkeys and move only at night. The story was told to me by the soldier’s son, himself a Vietnam veteran. It was […]Read more "A Soldier’s Story, Part II: the Largest Battle in History"
This is the story of a WWII soldier stranded on a Pacific island for a month, forced to eat raw monkeys and move only at night. The story was told to me by the soldier’s son, himself a Vietnam veteran. It was one of only two war stories his father ever told him–the story of his first […]Read more "A Soldier’s Story, Part I"
I feel, as a lifelong student of black-white race relations–albeit a white one–that the only way to improve race relations is to talk and talk and talk and get to know. I think we especially need to ask ignorant questions, as long as they are borne of respect and a desire to learn. Otherwise, how […]Read more "How to Ask Ignorant Questions of a Black Person"
I’d like you to picture a 37-year-old woman jumping around her kitchen, raising her arms in the air as she belts out, “Let It Go.” She twirls her children in a waltz and claps in excitement alongside her 3-year-old daughter when, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” comes on next. I’m not exactly proud […]Read more "Is Frozen Good or Bad for Girls?"
This interview was originally published on True STORIES. in April 2012. A friend suggested I interview my son, Henry, for this blog. Fantastic idea, I thought, and imagined versions of all the delightful things my son has ever said—interesting word choices and insights that only an un-jaded, fresh mind could have, an aptitude for what’s […]Read more "Four-year-old talks Joseph Kony & other things"
At the age of 39, my great-grandfather, Arthur, went to the hospital to have his tonsils taken out. I imagine they’d been troubling him often and he just couldn’t stand it anymore. He was a coal freight agent for the Chicago Eastern Illinois Railroad. His wife, Alice, 37, and their two children, ten-year-old June and fourteen-year-old […]Read more "Alice"
I knew something was up when my dad offered to drive me. I’d been home for a week on summer break and headed to my boyfriend John’s house. I didn’t need him to drive me, he never drove me, so that was the first thing. Then he asked my younger brother, Frank, to come along. […]Read more "What You Leave Your Kids"
The cherried curtains tickled her back, blown in by the breeze through the open kitchen window. She sat at the Formica table, her thighs stuck to the vinyl chair cushion, eating bologna, which she didn’t like, on bread covered with Miracle Whip, a tang that bit her tongue. The kitchen smelled like gas because of the […]Read more "Grandma’s House"
Erin Weed founded Girls Fight Back after her close friend was murdered in 2001. Since then, GFB has taught women from the U.S. to Pakistan how to defend themselves. Check out GirlsFightBack.com for more info. Q. Why do you do what you do? A. Shannon was murdered in June. I was temping near the World […]Read more "Interview with Erin Weed"