AuthorMarv Hoffman

Loss Tempered by Privilege


Bear with me as I recount what may appear to be a trivial incident from last week. It will open out eventually to make a larger point. Raise your hand if something similar has happened to you. Last Thursday, we made a run to Costco, which happens once every couple of months. It was time to restock peanut butter. That meant two conjoined giant jars we’ll be lucky to live long enough to get through...

Views from Above and Below


In my three-week run of book recommendations, there was no mention of professional books. Many of you who are not educators would havetaken a pass on that list, as you may choose to today as well. I’m going to forego the pleasures of generating that list and will instead focus on two books that have a lot to say about the current state of teaching and learning in America’s schools How a City...

The S Word


During a recent visit to the Museum of Science and Industry here in Chicago, I spent a few minutes paying my respects to one of my favorite exhibits, the giant pendulum which greets you as you enter the weather pavilion. It’s hypnotic to watch that pendulum follow its unchanging course back and forth across the circular perimeter, knocking down pegs arrayed around the circle at regular intervals...

The Economics of Aging


Last week, Rosellen and I bought a couch. Our daughter and son-in-law have been after us for years to replace the disreputable piece in our TV room with visible staples holding the fabric together and an unsleepable pullout bed that is a chiropractor’s dream. When we sent Elana a picture of our purchase, she commented that it looked surprisingly like the old couch, minus the staples, which tells...

My Personal Canon Part 3 – Fiction


I should begin here with a list of disclaimers as long as the lists of books and authors themselves.  One’s reaction to literature has a strong element of personal taste that’s beyond argument. The same is true for judgments of movies, art and music. I was reminded of this recently when dear friends posted an impassioned attack on a movie they had just watched which they thought failed on...

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