The Teachers of JB 11

It’s a hot day, a last sort of school day. Really, it’s the second-to-last day we’re working with wet clay in Ceramics 3, where I’ve been filling in for a colleague on maternity leave for the last month or so. The seven students, mostly seniors, are buzzing about, putting finishing touches on their pieces. They…

#Vanlife, Real Life and Roads {Taken and Not}

Oh I kept the first for another day! But knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. Robert Frost, from “Road Not Taken” A few weeks ago I taught Robert Frost’s “Road Not Taken” to my class of juniors. It went predictably, a conversation that I’ve had every…

Jet Lag

Monday night, 11:00 PM, and Luci has decided it’s time to be awake. Only our third night back in Germany, it promises to be just as dramatic as the first two, when our one-year-old daughter wanted to roll around our bed for a few hours in the dead middle of the night, before falling sound asleep and…

Things That Made Life Better This Year: 2016 Edition

On to a new year! I took last year off of this list (something about having a six-week old made blogging difficult), but otherwise it’s become my personal tradition to look back on what made each year special in its own way, and reflect with a list of “objects” that symbolize it. While 2016 was…

Weary

The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough. Ralph Waldo Emerson Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galations 6:9 My students silently and gingerly tiptoe across…

Grateful Goodbyes

Here are the hard goodbyes Love you ’til the day I die Here’s where regrets all fade Into the light from which you’re made And here is the warm sand Sifting through your perfect hand Here’s where you laugh again In the memory of a friend And here’s where you find the truth It’s the…

All Here

What I Expect of You: 2. You’ll be Present. Come to class on time every day.       When you are here, be fully present with your body, mind and soul. Some of you know one another very well, but your social life belongs in the hall. In here, you are scholars, readers and…

Choosing Morning

Bless the Lord, O my soul,     and all that is within me,     bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul,     and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity,     who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit,     who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good     so that your youth is…

Hands and Voices

After the months of his pursuit of her, now they meet face to face. From the beginnings of the world his arrival and her welcome have been prepared. They have always known each other. Wendell Berry, from “Her First Calf” Needle-sharp stars in a black-ice sky. Snow crunching underfoot, clinging to branches that glow grey…

More

Halloween, 2011. On a clear and frigid evening in the city, we’d walked from the newer shopping district of Klein Basel across the Rhein River, and up narrow, cobblestoned streets to ancient Groß Basel, looking medieval with its cathedrals and leering timbered houses. At the top of the hill, in comical contrast to the severe flying…