Everyone’s back in school now, including me. No, not as in TAKING classes to BECOME, say, a doctor, but as in TEACHING classes so that I can afford to GO to the doctor. I’m very excited to return to the classroom, though, especially to teaching middle and high school students, because I am totally out of the loop on what’s cool nowadays ... for example, it’s probably not cool to say “nowadays”.
As school begins, I always think of how my children as teenagers, gave up reading for pleasure because of coursework demands. Many of the books they were assigned were existential reads that they cared little about and didn’t care to discuss. I’ve been remembering this often as I’ve listened to some incredible new YA audios, many of which would engage adults as well.
We just returned from a much-needed weekend away and, as always, a house-sitter took care of things here. “Things” needing care are primarily animals, and they can be demanding -- requiring detailed instructions and a bit of finesse to keep some in and others out.
She was born five years ago today. She had lots of silky brown hair, tea-rosey cheeks, 10 fingers, 10 toes, tiny cherry lips, and a hefty set of lungs. She had her own ideas about things from the moment she was in the world, and she believed everyone needed to hear them immediately ... strongly ... loudly. She refused to open her eyes for quite a while, squeezing them shut throughout her howling disapproval as she was being weighed, cleaned and measured. In fact, the only thing that began to soothe that angry tirade was ... her grandmother’s voice.
I had a speaking engagement last week, before a group of wonderful, kind people...plus the men were hot. The topic of the meeting this month was Child Safety. I thought they were kidding. I’m a humor writer, I reminded them. Yes!, they answered delightedly...Funny!...about child safety.
Chapel Hill people live in the shadow of one of the world’s great universities, a place packed with faculty, staff, and students who are filled with knowledge and are enthusiastic about sharing it.
If you grew up in Hillsborough and spent some childhood time in the woods and down by the creeks, you might have spied an unusual child practicing preaching to any flora or fauna that would lend an ear.
So, there we were: Moving Day, 2014. Hotter than the basement of hell, with humidity that was flown here personally from the darkest tropical jungles on the African continent possibly by a swarm of tsetse flies, one of which had bitten or stung Kevin (one of the six hunky moving men) five or six times after becoming trapped inside his T-shirt ... or, it could have been a bee, but still ...
“A Course in Miracles” is a book that has given spiritual guidance to people since 1976. It contains many lessons.
John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” (Penguin Books, Brilliance Audio read by Kate Rudd; ages 13 and up) won fans of all ages when he courageously wrote about two teens dying of cancer who fall in love. Probably the factor that skyrocketed this book to fame (and into movie theaters) is that it provides equal measures of tears and laughter. It will undoubtedly send teens looking for another book that’s similar.
Moving Day is lots of fun, so much so that I’ve decided to capitalize it! This way I’ll never forget ... how much fun it is, I mean. Otherwise, I might make some silly pronouncement like I Will Never Move Again As Long As I Live, and miss out on all the big fun!!
Whenever we make a case for (or against) something we think is important, we’ll often cite a study. By referring to “studies,” we intend to use the best of the scientific method to help us make vital decisions -- often about our health.
For years I’ve sought out Native American books, mostly because they are some of the least-published children’s books of diversity. I’ve seen these books develop, and recently listened to two incredible coming-of-age stories by people from within the culture.
Thursday was September 11 – my daughter's wedding anniversary. They were married 15 years ago, on a hot September day in Charlotte ... a really happy day. Thirteen years ago, on their second anniversary, my daughter and her husband had taken off work at Wachovia Bank, and planned to spend the whole day together, starting with a romantic breakfast for two. They were just sitting down, watching "Good Morning, America," when that first plane hit the first tower.
In 1534, King Henry VIII declared himself to be the supreme head of the Church of England. That was a corrupt and dastardly decision. However, his political power was absolute, so the people of England were stuck with his decision.