language
No image
On The Art of the Essay
On September 13, 2019 | 2 Comments

“You get the sense that it’s possible simply to go through life noticing things and writing them down and that this is OK, it’s worth doing. That the seemingly insignificant things that most of us spend our days noticing are really significant, have meaning, and tell us something.” ~Joan Didion Back in my teaching days, […]

Read more
Observed at a Restaurant off Fremont Street
On November 12, 2018 | 2 Comments

We arrive relieved and a little breathless from the din. We almost didn’t find it; I had considered giving up. But there it is on 6th Street, just past the tortilla place. Here is something different from the rest of Las Vegas: low ceiling, warm light, a host who enjoys the word “patio.” He invites […]

Read more
Of Teachers and Why We Love Them, My Favorite One, and Two Birthdays
On September 13, 2017 | 0 Comments

I think we’ve seen the last of them for this year: the first-day-of-school photos that spill down our social media screens. Darling children in their new clothes and unscuffed shoes, grinning for the camera and holding their signs: Amelia, second grade. Dylan, fourth. And the less-than-darling, I’m-too-old-for-this children, holding signs or not, wearing I-couldn’t-care clothes […]

Read more
No image
National Punctuation Day
On September 24, 2012 | 1 Comments

Today! Today is National Punctuation Day! I wouldn’t have known and hadn’t ever– before today– even heard of such a thing. But bing.com delivered to me this delightful news earlier this morning, and I just couldn’t let the day pass without a small celebration. Punctuation is Great. Really and truly Great. It’s fascinating in its […]

Read more
No image
Little Things
On August 23, 2009 | 4 Comments

Donuts and coffee at the kitchen table, the morning light streaming into the breakfast room, and another half hour remains before we have to leave for church. Bill has the latest issue of the Independent Weekly before him, and I see there in the table of contents that this issue holds a review of the […]

Read more
No image
Best Wishes
On May 14, 2009 | 0 Comments

It’s only Wednesday. I’m not all that tired. Not Yet. Maybe verbal blunders aren’t signs of fatigue. Maybe they’re just verbal blunders, or signs of old age. But when I talked with my Alaskan sister this afternoon, and when we ended our conversation, and when I expressed my love to her family, this is what […]

Read more
No image
Phone Call
On April 23, 2009 | 4 Comments

I call her because I’m in the car, and I’m alone, and I am thinking about the meaning of the word “a.” And I’m thinking about this especially because she realized a New Definition of the word “a,” and because she is an editor for Merriam-Webster, and because she is very smart. And because she […]

Read more
No image
Page-a-Day
On March 24, 2009 | 1 Comments

So my younger sister Emily (the one who is an editor for Merriam-Webster— yes, the dictionary), gave me a page-a-day calendar for Christmas. A page-a-day of words. What a great gift for me. I’m loving it on several levels, and the first is also the most base: I Love it when I already know the […]

Read more
No image
Shakespeare Update
On December 9, 2008 | 0 Comments

Sorry, folks. I’m much too tired to tell you anything that’s buzzing in my brain tonight. But it’s been Days since I posted, so here’s a little something from Bill, newly arranged with my Shakespeare magnetic poetry on the front of our refrigerator: I did belch with much vulgar vehemence. But it’s Shakespeare! Sort of. […]

Read more
No image
Chaucer, Anyone?
On December 4, 2008 | 3 Comments

Whan that Aprill with his shoures sooteThe droghte of March hath perced to the roote,And bathed every veyne in swich licourOf which vertu engendred is the flour…. My students are memorizing this. These and the other fourteen opening lines of the General Prologue to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. A few of them (small handful) actually like […]

Read more