Choosing Wisely (or trying to)

Some choices can be easy: chocolate or licorice; baseball or hockey; Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. (Obviously, it’s the first option in all of those scenarios.) Others choices are not as easy: stay up late and finish a book or go to bed at a reasonable hour and get a good night’s sleep; scrounge around…

Gardening and Googling: Learning Curves

My grandpa’s greenhouse used to smell pungent and tangy – full of tomatoes. I remember them shooting up to the ceiling, ripening the air with hot green leaves, and my grandpa disappearing below them as he walked to the back of the structure, tending to his plants. It was always too hot; I hung back…

Seeking a Smaller World: Handmade and Homegrown

When life gets too “big,” what do you do to make it feel more manageable? Here are several of my methods for coping, some more productive than others: write eat chocolate play music make things with my own hands look at inspiring things on Instagram try to talk it out/cry exercise garden dream about living…

Weather Report: Chance of Growth

Gardening, if nothing else, has reminded me that life, at its core, is a cycle. In fact, it thrives on the changing of the seasons, and requires it. When seasons in our own lives change, it can suck. Transitions that make our heart ache, our memories reel, our body tighten with grief, or fear, or…

Living Lightly: Buying into Less in a rural, eco-groovy, hippie town

Recently, “zero waste” has permeated my Instagram hashtags, library-book check-outs, and Netflix documentary searches. The movement fascinates me, and inspires me to live with less in a world that is driven by “more.” My interest in living with greater awareness came two springs ago from a unit I taught to 7th graders on Food Waste….

Wild Dog Dancing

I’m writing to break the silence. For the past three months I’ve spent my mornings with eighth graders, in a classroom where silence was a virtue. My students were good kids and they taught me a lot (mostly about what not to do—lessons I often learned after the fact), and my experience in room 19…

Can You Say “Gethsemane”?

Yesterday was a day of being in the right place at the right time. It started with a streak of green lights through town at 7:00am. My carpool and I decided one morning as we were waiting in our Middle School’s parking lot for our teachers to arrive, that if you hit all the lights…

Compass Language

Today when I was downtown for lunch, a woman stopped me on the street to ask for directions. From across the block she called to me and ran across the road to get the information (she was nowhere near where she wanted to be). She made no move to take out her earbuds, so I…

Wrong > Right

As a result of my recent move, “new” things have quickly become undesirable. New weather is too hot, new friends are too slow in the making, and a new routine nearly impossible to establish. But, as with all changes, the bad is often accompanied by the good. The nice thing is that I can sit…

You Will Know the Tree by Its Fruit

I’d arrived early last Wednesday and was so glad I had. Almost as soon as I sat down in the quiet classroom I heard people rolling their knuckles over the door. Tenth graders. Two of them. They’re not really my business (I’m involved with 2nd and 3rd period Eleventh grade), but I stood up anyway to…

“Any More Questions?” … “Yeah! What’s Your Number??!”

Perhaps it was because the first picture I saw of my new high school (a guy lying on his stomach, hands cuffed behind his back, face flat to the pavement, Tasers pointing at him through the end of officers’ uniformed arms), or maybe it was the way everyone talked about it (“It’s really not as…

Break-fast: Quickly Broken

This morning, at 5 hours and 50 minutes past midnight, I broke the routine into which I had so comfortably fallen for the past two weeks: I got out of bed before 11 am. On purpose. And perhaps what is even more surprising, is that not only did I get out of bed on purpose…