Share Your Interests and Goals

March 9, 2015

Another attempt to revive this blog…after three years of inactivity. This time I’m depending on you to get it started again. Please write a brief description of your research interests, your field of study and your goals for the future, your hobbies, your pet peeves, or anything else you want to share about yourself or your experience studying in the US.

Your colleagues are encouraged to comment on your posts. Let’s get a discussion going!

Though Your Mother Never Told You So

November 14, 2012

Your innocent, tenuous attempts were met
By nervous nods and down-curved lips.
Exuberance quashed, sensuality squashed:
Just knitted brows and hands-on-hips.

A need, an ache, a wish, a hope:
Now steel-cold stance, accusing eyes.
A plea, a scream, a prayer, a curse:
Only pity-me cries and injured sighs.

You’re fifty now; you’ve learned the ropes.
The child you were you finally know.
She was beautiful and good and pure and sweet,
Though your mother never told you so.

Hate the Position, not the Person

June 13, 2011

I am a yellow-dog Democrat. As such, I watched the Republican debate tonight expecting to enjoy some comic relief from my currently-burdensome mundanities and frustrations. I found nothing to laugh about. First, I got mad – really mad about the attacks on President Obama and all the noises made about his being a one-term president.

But, as I listened, I relaxed a little and began to realize that most of these potential presidential candidates are smart and probably sincere. Take, for example, Michele Bachmann.

I really like her. She is a strong, intelligent woman. She is passionate about serving her country, believes that her policies are best for this nation, and is as patriotic as I am.  Though I am diametrically opposed to her political stances, I admire her as (to use Mark Levin’s mantra) a “great American.”  My confessing admiration for Michele Bachmann is surely anathema to my Democrat friends. So be it. I would remind them that, as Christ admonished us to hate the sin and not the sinner, we must hate the position and not the person.

If we cannot all grow up and take to heart Rodney King’s plea, then this great nation is doomed to mediocrity and discord. We are all more alike than we are diffent: Republicans and Democrats…rich and poor…young and old…black and white and Asian and Hispanic…homeowner and homeless…Christians and Jews and Hindus and Muslims. We all want the same things.

The tenor of public discourse is hateful and puerile and counterproductive. It is cruelly critical and unforgiving and precludes consensus. But come together we must. If not, we are lost. And the dream of a vital, open, inclusive, progressive, joyful America will be but a sad memory.

Pay It Forward

September 17, 2010

I bought a sweater at SteinMart, decided later I didn’t like it, went to return it today.  Although I paid about $25 for it, it was now on sale for $7 – which was all they would give me back because the return was after the 60-day deadline.  I didn’t question the policy and was in the process of docilely accepting my meager refund.

The woman waiting in line behind me felt really bad for me and reminded the clerk that I had my receipt and the policy seemed unfair.  After all, she added, I had paid full price for the sweater and the store would sell it again for an additional profit.

She made sense;  so I decided to keep the sweater, forfitting my $7.  “It’s such pretty sweater,” the woman commented.  “Yes,” added her young son.  “It’s beautiful.”  And so it was: a summery, white, crocheted work of art.

“Would you like to have the sweater?” I asked the woman.  “I will never wear it.”  She was incredulous, touched, and accepted my gift.

Before I could walk away she hugged me and said “God bless you.”

Her blessing meant far more to me than the price of that sweater.

Whaddaya Think?

February 9, 2010

For women, marriage certificates are like subordinating conjunctions.  Thoughts?

If Kids Are Awake, They’re Online

January 25, 2010

An article by Tamar Lewin published in the January 20 edition of The New York Times addresses a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation.  The study’s findings were astounding:  the average young American now spends practically every waking minute – except for the time in school – using a smart phone, computer, televsion or other electronic device.  Those ages 8 to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day with such devices.

Is this constant online connectivity good or bad for youth? Read the article and make a comment.

Letter to Pat Robertson from Satan

January 16, 2010

The letter below appeared in the StarTribune January 14, 2010.  It is a comment on evangelical Christian Pat Robertson’s remarks that a “pact to the devil” brought on the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Read the full story at

Dear Pat Robertson,
I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I’m all over that action. But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I’m no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished. Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth — glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven’t you seen “Crossroads”? Or “Damn Yankees”? If I had a thing going with Haiti, there’d be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox — that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it — I’m just saying: Not how I roll. You’re doing great work, Pat, and I don’t want to clip your wings — just, come on, you’re making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That’s working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.

Naysayers Seem So Yesterday

October 9, 2009

It is so sad that the French, Germans, and Canadians are more supportive of the US and our president than many of us are. For shame! Can US citizens not just once get past partisan political drivel and stand united in their pride in this country?

Of course President Obama deserves the Nobel Prize. He is the first leader we’ve had in a long time who understands the importance of, and advocates for, cross-cultural awareness, respect, appreciation, and sensitivity.

I am embarrassed that so many of my fellow Americans exhibit a narrow-minded, ignorant, even xenophobic mindset vis-a-vis both domestic and foreign policies.

August 17, 2009

Well, I started this blog two years ago as part of my exploration of using social networking technology for instruction.  Since then there has been no activity.  So I’m hoping to re-activate it, hopefully get some visitors, and use it as a venue for expressing my opinions on education and politics.  As if anyone cares 🙂

June 22, 2009

Check out the new issue of the ESL Globe: