The Thaw

Although last month’s polar vortex wasn’t as difficult to get through as the spell of beyond-frigid weather we had here a couple of years ago, having to deal with a prolonged period of super-cold temperatures was still incredibly difficult. What makes matters worse is that because of the pandemic, I didn’t have to leave my apartment at all during that time, so the cold weather really wasn’t a burden to me on a practical level. Psychologically, though, I couldn’t wait for the polar vortex to…

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A Shot in the Arm

Months before the current semester started, I was asked to decide if I wanted to teach in-person or virtually this term. This was before any vaccines for COVID-19 had even been announced, let alone approved and rolled out, so I didn’t have much trouble deciding to do online learning for yet another semester. After I made that decision, that gave me a lot of room to work with, since I haven’t taught in-person classes over the summer here in Wisconsin yet, so by teaching online…

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The Devil: Himself

I was part of that generation of young people who arguably got to experience Bill Cosby at the best possible time; Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids was still in reruns when I was in my earliest years, and the first years of The Cosby Show started right when I got to watch prime time television on a regular basis. My parents already owned a couple of Cosby’s comedy albums on vinyl, and I kept picking up more of them on cassette tape when I…

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Hearing Alexis

Writing a screenplay for The Prostitutes of Lake Wiishkoban between the initial short story I came up with, and the novel it eventually became, was kind of a weird step to take, but one that was necessary for me. I’d taken a screenwriting class in undergrad, and while I’d never written a full-length screenplay before, I’d written an act of one, and a screenplay felt like a natural progression from the short story that I wrote, which felt like it was too compressed (probably because…

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Scholared and Kept

As I was finishing up my master’s degree in 2006, I had almost no interest in pursuing a doctorate. I’d enjoyed getting my BA in Creative Writing at the University of Toledo, and I’d definitely had a lot of good classes in graduate school there, but I’d only really stayed on because of the assistantship they’d offered me (I’d been accepted to an MFA programme in California, but they couldn’t offer me any financial assistance), and as soon as I got the opportunity to be…

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