I never asked my father if he believed in God. The question would have made no sense to him. It suggested that there was a choice in the matter. We went to synagogue together almost every Shabbat and once I was able to read Hebrew, I learned the order of the service, mostly from watching him – when to stand, when to sit, when to bend your knees, when to recite silently with feet together...

Stepping into a minefield


The morning after the tragic and devastating explosion in Beirut, a friend posted on Facebook an interview with Moshe Feiglin, a former member of the Israeli Knesset, once affiliated with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party. He said the explosion was a gift from God. He hoped that Israel had a hand in it and contended that “we” (Jews? Israelis?) were allowed to rejoice because it was Beirut...

Reflections on Decolonization


On a morning when we might normally be having breakfast at the Sweet Maple Café on Taylor Street, my friend Vickie Trinder and I were Zooming instead. It was a date we had made weeks ago when I contacted Vicki to let her know that, after endless delays – publisher? Post office? – her book Teaching Toward a Decolonizing Pedagogy: Critical Reflections Inside and Outside the Classroom by Victoria...

In two voices


In the fifth and sixth grade classroom that Lou Bradley and I shared, one of our favorite writing activities, adaptable to so many situations, was called Two Voice Poems. In alternating stanzas, two characters who were connected in some way shared their perspectives on the same situations or events – mothers and daughters, teachers and students, slaves and slave owners, immigrants and border...

Reel to reel


I’ve always been intrigued by the sci-fi inspired idea that every sound wave that’s ever been produced still exists somewhere out there in the ether, if we ever had the technological wherewithal to call it back home. So, imagine my astonishment when my wife and I came upon a recording of our 22-year-old selves which we assumed had left on its voyage to Alpha Centauri about 54 years earlier...

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