Growing Old, Staying Relevant

Three quarters of a century old. Who among us thought, when we were angsting over turning thirty, that we would face the challenges of being seventy-five or older? When I turned thirty I got a guitar (that I never learned to play), an expensive sports car (that my ex wanted as part of our divorceContinue reading “Growing Old, Staying Relevant”

A Hard Rain

The rain was coming down like a giant rippling curtain, greying out the color of the trees and forcing the birds to take shelter among their branches and the bushes. It wasn’t like a summer thunderstorm, menacing and loud, but more like an ocean of water pouring down in a steady, expansive stream with hardlyContinue reading “A Hard Rain”

Taking the Blackness out of Black

A close friend chided me for writing an editorial in which I referred to the lack of diversity and inclusion of women of color at a recent unveiling of a weaving commemorating Sojourner Truth’s “And Ain’t I a Woman?” speech in Akron, Ohio. Sojourner Truth may have been a woman of color but she wasContinue reading “Taking the Blackness out of Black”

Prejudice Against Starlings

You know them—raucous, noisy birds with insatiable appetites that can be seen chasing off larger aggressive woodpeckers and jays to take over a bird feeder or someone else’s nest. I remember my university would set off regular firecrackers to scare them out of the trees and off the campus. It became an annual event toContinue reading “Prejudice Against Starlings”

Machiavelli’s Disciple

President Trump is a textbook case of the old philosophical debate: If the outcome is good, does it matter if the means to achieve it are immoral? If anyone seems to embody Machiavelli’s maxim, “Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, because it belongs to everybody to see you, to fewContinue reading “Machiavelli’s Disciple”

Blogger’s Block

Life in the Trump era has resulted in my getting blogger’s block. You would think just the opposite, but no. Each hour—sometimes by-the-minute—there is an assault on my sense of decency, security, patriotism, and general well-being. My rheumatoid arthritis has flared up from stress, and the ten impossible things I thought I could do forContinue reading “Blogger’s Block”

Ain’t That Worth the Effort

Twenty-five years ago, a group of white academic feminists worked to bring Akron’s women’s history physically back to their community in the form of a plaque dedicated to Sojourner Truth’s 1851 “Ain’t I a Woman” speech. These activists were white because few, if any, African-American women were involved in the contemporary (second wave) feminist movementContinue reading “Ain’t That Worth the Effort”

Cycles of Life

The day was somber. Heavy clouds scudded across an oyster-gray sky, and a chill north wind blew as my neighbors, Todd and Kim, bid goodbye to their fifteen-year-old son. The service was held in one of those big box Baptist churches, since their little east side church was too small to accommodate the eleven hundredContinue reading “Cycles of Life”

Who’s Running the Classroom?

Are we using technology to work for us, or are we working for technology? Technology has changed, faster than curricula or teachers can keep up with it. Technology presents new challenges to how we process information and how we interact as social beings. As we hurtle after the ever-expanding uses for technology in schools, tryingContinue reading “Who’s Running the Classroom?”

Giving Up Sinning

Have you noticed that, increasingly over the past couple of years, characters in both movies and television series are smoking more, using marijuana, and snorting cocaine? It’s true! This trend hasn’t made its way into Disney animated features—yet. I guess the mantra for the “I just want to have fun” era is: if it’s mostlyContinue reading “Giving Up Sinning”