My Name was Supposed to be Elizabeth Ann

— Stories from the Roads (Not) Taken

(second in a series on teaching media literacy in high schools) So I’m glad you’re here today. Have a seat. Cameras on, if you don’t mind. Thanks.   You may be wondering why I invited you here.  Good question. I’ll get to that.  But first I want to tell you a story: My daughter is an …

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(First in a series on teaching media literacy…) I’ve been told I’m weird. I love teaching writing. (Grading writing, not so much. But that’s a topic for another post.) I particularly love teaching research writing. Forget all the formatting and college prep stuff–though that’s part of it, yes, and important–what I love about it is …

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…And my feet are killing me. First thing I did when I got home was kick them off. Second thing, exchange my big girl clothes for sweatpants, a fat, fluffy sweatshirt and socks. Fuzzy socks. See, I’ve been teaching remotely since before Thanksgiving, meaning at home in my family room, thirteen steps and two hallways …

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Middleswarth potato chips are to central Pennsylvania what cheesesteaks are to Philly.  You can’t get them anywhere else, and nothing else compares.  After college, trips back home always included pit stops to the Sheetz or turnpike hubs to stock up on their BBQ barrels, tangy sweet deliciousness to which I introduced my husband and then …

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September 8, I returned to my classroom for only the second time since Covid closed my district mid-March. The first time occurred early June, when my colleagues and I returned to help empty student lockers and reunite their contents with the kids who’d been abruptly forced to abandon them. Administration allowed us a few minutes …

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(*WARNING: the following contains spoilers for Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner) By now you should have read through chapter twelve of The Kite Runner. And please don’t tell me you’ve read when you haven’t. I’ve been doing this a long time and I can tell, especially with this book which contains so many deftly plotted …

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My least favorite chore used to be  grocery shopping. All those hours spent moving items from the shelves to my cart to the belt to the bags to the car to the house to the kitchen, only to hear several hours later, There’s nothing to eat.  A minor thing to complain about, then. Not so …

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One of my all-time favorite novels is Khalid Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, which I believe contains one of the most engaging and efficient first chapters I’ve ever read. In it, 38-year-old Amir lives in San Francisco and reflects on an unexpected phone call from Rahim Khan, a family friend in Pakistan who offers Amir “a …

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I packed books when I left home mid-March, but I have not been able to read them. They require an emotional energy I cannot muster, so they remain unopened in my bag. However, I can still read poetry. Mornings as I drink my coffee, I read my daily poems from Poets.org and The Paris Review. …

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