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Showing posts from September, 2011

Having a little trouble with your metaphors? Is that what's bothering you, Bunky??

Announcing!   The Annual English Teachers' awards  for best student metaphors/analogies These gems were found in actual student papers!   Enjoy!  His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one havi

Nothing attractive about "mellow"

Have you ever been mellow? Olivia Newton John sang a song in the 1970s that drove me a little batty. The lyrics were something like, "Have you ever been mellow?    Have you ever let someone else be strong?" The words bug me because, no; I can't say I ever have.  Been "mellow," I mean.  We made a difference There came a time in the 1970s when the quest for "mellow"was endemic.  The previous decade left us exhausted.  We had tried for a decade to change everything about our world;  our families, our love-relationships, our racial relations. We wanted a world with clean air and water, trees and wildlife. And we made a difference.  Because of our protest, more women moved into the work force.  Because our brothers and friends burned their draft cards, the war in Vietnam was shortened and the draft eradicated.  Because we dared to instigate, Jim Crow laws dissolved into history. His administration hated dissent. But we did these things a

The bad mommy in us all

I'm writing a play about motherhood. All of my plays, in one way or another, are about my relationships with my two daughters. This play, in particular, is about the following; my biological and much-loved mother, the woman who mothered me with her friendship - and a serious critique of my own job as a mom. For the past twenty years I've taken credit for my kids' lives. For the past twenty-something years I have taken full credit for my daughters' wonderful, creative and excellent lives. I guess that's not a sin.  Lately, however, it occurred to me that most of the work raising these kids was done by the people we all hung around, and the messages they received from the media. Of course, I controlled most of the media when they were little binks. . . I don't know.  Maybe I was right in the first place.  Maybe I'm the main source of their success! My mother certainly thought the same thing of herself. Of course, I agreed with her.  There&#

For love or money

I found the chops to walk away. I used to think I needed a $60 thousand salary to make ends meet. I was terrified to leave my well-paid position as a curriculum writer for a here-unmentioned online university. Even so, on October of 2008, as the market crashed and the Great Recession terrified the nation, I found the chops to walk away from a job that made me sick. In those days, my "boss" was a thirty-something frustrated poet, trying to find her inner "tough-guy" at the workplace.  I liked her.  I really liked her. No matter.  For some odd reason, she chose to try out her new Nazi skills on me. Surrounded by people twenty, thirty years younger does not have to be a bad experience.  The harsh stuff happens when you are treated like a child by most of them, and ignored by the others. I remember the first time my staff went to "happy hour" - my entire staff, mind you - and didn't invite me. My feelings - - my poor, baby-tender hearted