Know Your Enemy

Don’t Look Now, but the 2020 Senate Map Is Brutal for Democrats (vice.com) Attempting to define the word “democracy” beyond its most abstract sense often proves incredibly difficult. The mechanisms we humans have devised to try to enact democracy, like all our other creations, are subject to imperfections and errors, some more glaring than others. When this country realized that its initial governing document, the Articles of Confederation, were working so poorly that civil war seemed imminent, our founders reunited to write the Constitution in…

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Number Numb

Roughly 80 Percent Of Americans Scared Political Incivility Will Lead To More Violence (wesa.fm) As the 2016 election taught us all, probability is not certainty. Maybe those of us who love crunching numbers (I know, I’m an English teacher, but I was drawn more to math when I was younger because the assholes who were “teaching” me back then couldn’t mess with my grades when they had to be calculated objectively), and follow along with the websites and television talking heads that do the most…

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Going On, Ongoing

Two years ago today, when Mom passed away, the world didn’t end. It just felt like it did to me. About eight and a half years earlier, on the day that my father died, I drove Mom home from the hospital. Neither of us cried after we got the news, probably because we knew that we had to be strong for each other at that moment. Mom broke later that afternoon when a Girl Scout, bringing the cookies that my father had ordered for us,…

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Tick Tock …

We have 12 years to save the world. What do we do now? (The Weather Network via msn.com) In one of my classes earlier this semester, my students and I spent a long time brainstorming the advantages and disadvantages of taking classes online. Although I’ve taught online before, and would welcome the chance to do so again, my teaching style is better suited to in-person classroom environments, and the discussion I had with my students that morning was a prime example of how some teaching…

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Before the Last Leaf Falls

For over half my life now, I’ve struggled with Seasonal Affective Disorder in early autumn. I don’t know if it was a series of painful life situations I had to deal with one particular summer when I was younger, or just my growing awareness of the metaphorical meaning of the seasons changing (and all the attendant cues around me), but even when I’ve had good things going on for me at the time, September has been a very painful month for me to get through.…

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