"Have To" History: The Boring Parts

H2H Boring Parts CoverMany history aficionados get a bit touchy when “outsiders” label something from history “boring.” Like, anything. There’s so much we find fascinating or important or connected or just… weird that it’s easy to take it a bit personally when someone labels our interests “lame” (even when they soften such declarations with more moderate language).

Indiana SB 167 (Part Three)

I’ve been breaking down Indiana’s proposed Senate Bill 167 - the one that’s been in the news lately for all sorts of things, including the insistence of one of its authors that educators needed to stop criticizing Nazis for doing Nazi stuff and be more neutral about “-isms.” He had to dial that one back a bit - turns out even today’s GOP doesn’t like to come right out and admit how comfortable they’ve become with the trappings of fascism. 

Indiana Senate Bill 167 (Part One)

Angry MomsThere’s nothing wrong with public input in and of itself - community members already have the right to get involved in their local schools, run for positions on the board, etc. This new legislation, however, seems designed to encourage even those unwilling to engage in meaningful ways to jump in with the same thoughtfulness and expertise they demonstrate on Facebook or the “Comments” section on YouTube channel to derail or demonize anything they’re pretty sure Tucker Carlson mentioned several weeks ago as part of a liberal conspiracy to make white people feel bad.

Or maybe I'm just being paranoid.

Bring On 2022

I don’t know about you, but I’m not all that happy with how things have been going lately. Even worse, I’m not thrilled with how I’ve been responding. I’d hoped for better from my nation, many of my friends, and (as much as I hate to admit it) myself.

But if you’ll allow me to coopt a phrase from another genre… it’s a new day. At least, it has the potential to be.

How Teaching Is Like Blowing Leaves & Snow

As it turns out, however, leaf blowing and doing pretty much anything with snow are a mixture of art and science which take some time to master. Either can prove oddly fulfilling, but most of the time… well, it’s just frustrating and embarrassing how badly it sometimes goes. As someone who has embarrassed myself regularly throughout my life, I am certain I’ve rarely looked quite as foolish as I did the first half-dozen times I powered up either of these devices. Some days I still do. 

That’s the part that was somehow oddly familiar from day one.

Things I Heard This Week

Feeding the BirdsI teach in a district that’s had some struggles in recent years. We’re majority-minority and 100% of my kids are “free and reduced lunch” (mostly “free”). Add in eighteen months of not having real school and the fact that most of the schools feeding into mine are already under state “control” (an ironic term by any measure), and it’s easy to grow discouraged. There aren’t always those “breakthrough” moments you count on to stay motivated - personally or academically. 

All the more reason to build a few monuments to the encouraging or amusing episodes which do occur from time to time. Here are three from this past week.

Please Correct The Highlighted Sections

The App Says You SuckLike many people, I’ve been trying my hand at freelancing here and there for extra income over the past few years. In my case, it’s nothing glorious – just writing (or rewriting) web content explaining the benefits of regular eye exams, how a reverse mortgage works, or where Eddie Murphy’s net worth ranks him compared to other actors or comics.