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MLK Day Thoughts: Jackson, Mississippi

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Returning to Jackson, Mississippi after fifty years to plan a conference of educators scheduled for the following year was a jarring experience. So much had changed – and too much hadn’t. The terror was gone. No more looking in the rear view mirror to see if the cops were coming up behind you. No fear of traveling in a “mixed” car or going to a movie or a restaurant in an integrated group. No...

Zooming out, Zooming in

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Note: My wife is always final commenter on the pieces I choose to post on my blog. When she looked at this one, she said it was too much like what so many others have been saying about our current state of affairs. At first, I agreed with her and put it aside in favor of the piece I posted last week, but it’s been nagging at me all week. I’ve finally decided that the way it reflected the current...

Curtain Calls

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What are the memories that stay with you about your school years? The research is pretty clear that it’s not likely to be an algebra class or a language arts lesson about main idea. Chances are it’s something outside the classroom, something that involves a real audience, whose judgmental presence immediately raises the stakes. Teachers’ memories are governed by the same law, so this is a partial...

“Exactly MY AGE”

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Note: This may seem a bit too dark for a posting on the eve of the New Year, but it’s intended to be just the opposite – an expression of gratitude for the privilege of being present to welcome in another circle around the sun. I wish you all a year of good health, love, productivity and a major shift in our political landscape.  There’s a famous New Yorker cartoon that shows someone peering...

the decline of daring

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Wisdom is an automatic by-product of age. At least that’s what most people believe, but my experience suggests otherwise. Although there may be some truth to the link between wisdom and age, there are also clear losses that make the validity of that relationship more difficult to assess. In particular, I mourn the loss of daring, the gutsy moves you can only make when you don’t know any better...

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