Slap, Memory

The other day I asked for a kiss and instead received a slap. Though only a toddler, my daughter’s got a mean open hand, and I see no reason to interpret this exchange as anything but portentous. That very afternoon, coincidentally, I was passing out laptops for a reading level test, and asked a student […]

6th Grade Netherland

    Having thoroughly enjoyed Joseph O’Neill’s novel The Dog, I decided to re-read Netherland. This time round I was particularly smitten with the narrator’s description of his driver’s ed class. Let’s just say, at this point in the year, it’s hard to read without a certain wistfulness: …a compassionate understanding tacitly arose among the students […]

Help, I’m Stepping into the Twilight Zone

This sign inspired me to such witticisms as “Shouldn’t they block the road?” and “Ours was in a ballroom.” (Figuring you can’t go wrong with Wild Bill, I submitted this for Twitter’s consideration.) Then I thought: it’s like something you’d see on The Twilight Zone, but if the episode were directed by John Hughes. The PARCC (as we in […]

King & The Mighty I

  “I wanted every 50-minute class to feel like half an hour.” Stephen King’s instructional goal is a sterling standard for teachers and (scaled accordingly) songwriters. And while he and Noel Gallagher are two whose work I’ve regrettably stopped following (the former’s out of loss of habit, the latter’s due to disappointment), when I encounter an interview with either, I […]

Ooh La La

I’m sure Arne Duncan’s office is fine and all, but I bet it’s not lined with gold leaf. And in France the top education job is apparently “a prestigious position held by monumental figures,” too. Secretary Duncan may, alas, have better luck installing gold leaf in his office than commensurately elevating its status. More happily, I […]