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Blog Introduction


I’ve really resisted starting a blog. There are so many out there already. Who has time to read them all? I’m not an avid blog reader myself. We all spend so much time at the computer already, and I find myself eager to get done with my screen business so I can get back to reading my book. Truth to tell, I read only one blog regularly. Every morning when I fire up my computer, there is Diane...

The call of stories


               That lovely evocative title is not my creation. It belongs to a book by the eminent psychiatrist Robert Coles, celebrating his 90th birthday this year and, to my mind, insufficiently remembered and celebrated. Coles is one of the most prolific writers of his generation. I often joked that he seemed to write...

Kimberly: Portrait of a teacher


(Note: I know some of you are going to be intimidated by the length of this piece. I try to mix the lengths of my postings, but some stories need space to breathe. This one unfolds over twenty years, so it takes a while to tell. The good news is that it’s a story, not a scholarly study, and I’ve tried to tell it in the most engaging way I know how. After reading my earlier piece about...

Shadowing: A Modest Proposal


            The summer between high school graduation and my freshman year of college, back before teen-agers were casualties of unemployment like everyone else, I worked alongside my father in the Garment Center in Manhattan.  He had approached his boss in the women’s coat factory that had employed him for many years as a sewing machine...

The long scenic route: a teacher’s journey toward professional competence


Note: This is a radical departure from my previous entries, so it calls for some explanation. Alexandra (Alex) Krueger is a graduate of the Urban Teacher Education Program at the University of Chicago, where I served as Associate Director. We worked together during her two years in the program, and we’ve been fortunate enough to continue our collaboration, at different degrees of intensity...



Three times in my unadventurous life I’ve had brushes with death, real or imagined. I do not willingly participate in activities that I perceive as potentially life-threatening.  I don’t ski, ride motorcycles, rock climb, swim in large open bodies of water. Sometimes I think of myself as cowardly, but I don’t seem to need the adrenaline rush that dangerous exploits provide for others. Life...

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