My skirt is penciled— my hair pinned back. She is 17 and 18 and 19, and I am pretending I know what to teach her. She marks her sentences breathlessly— doesn’t remember the comma rules. I forget she can see my punctuated skull—the otherwise naked space between the hairline and the ear. I hear her […]Read more "My Student Stares at my Semicolon Tattoo"
The 157th person to tell me I would never get a job in teaching was my mother’s friend’s sister who was visiting from New York. We met in line at the Safeway and engaged in the small talk that transpires between well-meaning 50-somethings and 20-somethings clinging to youthful naivety. “So you’re in graduate school. What […]Read more "Men Swallow Live Boa Constrictors or How I Got My First Teaching Job"
Every mother, every father, every person, judges everyone else. That’s just the way we do. I don’t think that’s necessarily bad. We live in a competitive society and being successful does actually mean that sometimes we see each ourselves in a pretty damn fantastic light and others in a dimmer one. So am I being […]Read more "Home School"
In 2006, I was a public school Art teacher in NYC. This was a Monday: With large craft scissors aimed at six-year-old eye level, Emelia serpentined through the classroom, leaving the spared in her wake. She flew through tiny chairs and tiny tables, her weapon drawn, eliciting yelps and screams from some, frightened laughter from […]Read more "Opportunity Doesn’t Knock"