Posts tagged "education"
Gradient

Gradient

This morning a man jumped his car over a curb and emerged—silent, stoic, a phantom, someone said, he was so ghostlike as he moved—to stab eleven people with a cleaver. The man I love more than any other sat in his Yiddish Literature classroom, one building over from the stabbings, where just a week before...
Everything is Relative

Everything is Relative

Earth in True Perspective, it promised. It was just another meme I clicked while eating breakfast, another instance in the history of fingertips finding meaning among unknown stars—Sirius and Pollux, Arcturus and Betelguese, Eta Carinae and Nebula—and with each click, the scale image of Earth was reduced to a gemstone, then a pinprick, then just...
Meme 11

Meme 11

I was cast as one of two narrators in the kindergarten play. Hutchison Elementary, 1983. The Tawny, Scrawny Lion, adapted from a Little Golden Book. The script was ditto’d in landscape format, and sent home weeks in advance; the lavender lettering Mrs. Bunting was careful to highlight for each student. Tiny Erica Kuzma was Narrator 2....
The Hard Part of Community College

The Hard Part of Community College

He rarely did homework on time, but really, the assignments weren’t  that great—predictable questions about essays in the textbook, the usual  Becoming Someone or Discovering Your Voice. Still, he wrote beautifully. He always apologized for the state  of his papers, telling me first that time was tight and then that computer  access was limited and...

That Counting Steps Nonsense

I’m planted on a cushioned wicker chair, on my grandparents’ South Jersey porch, the wind and gulls in my ears. But I’m all knuckles. Dad has come up from his latest state, Texas, with his new girlfriend to set me up at grad school. He wants me employable with benefits after seven years on the...

Darts

Davy has a scar on her forehead, just off center, as though it marks the edge of a third eye. All this third-grade year she has been telling us her history week by week. She’s been saying that soon she will get to the part where she acquires the scar. It’s Friday and we surround...

The Role of Fiction in Suicidal Ideations

I get ten new suicidal adolescents a week in my creative writing class at the psych hospital where I work. Their arms are mutilated. Their minds tortured with self-hate. Some are gothic, others only misfits who are picked on at school. They’ve been taken from their homes by DHR, betrayed by drug-addicted parents. It exposes...

Call Me Fritz

This is 1986, and I am seven in Seattle, and Miss Erika is French from Canada with a black leotard and a tight bun twisted like a seashell.  Miss Erika is French, and Edgars Kleppers is the only boy in ballet class, but I am still required to play Fritz, the only boy in the...

Choir

Courtney McDonell’s voice struck you; it slammed you right in the chest, and stayed there, in notes never pure or clear but throaty and rough and somehow resonant. That year I saw Mrs. Pritchard plead with her to use her diaphragm, said if she kept singing like that she was going to ruin her vocal...

Intro to Creative Writing

Professor Stevens dislikes donuts; the icing gets stuck in his beard. Fridays he breakfasts at Burger King before heading out to the lake, where he smokes cigarettes on the shore and ignores his wife’s phone calls. He idolizes James Dickey. He’s no good at fiction. The Department Chair’s out to get him. He strolls into...

Homeroom

We were the leftovers, assigned to Home Room in the Home Ec room, tucked away in an upper corner of the aging Horace Mann Junior High School. Inexplicably, our Home Room teacher, Mr. Roan, taught Shop. Every morning he climbed the flights of stairs from the noisy, oily machines of the basement, clutching his coffee...

Suspended

The locker room walls were painted puke green and lined like a cage with metal hooks, and red mesh equipment bags hung from the hooks like meat. One of the bags was swinging, and I was swinging in it, and Drew McKinnick slapped at it and did his punching, and the janitor got me down....