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December 4, 2020: Assessing Writers

No one is born a writer. You must become a writer. In fact, you never cease becoming, because you never stop learning how to write. Even now, I am becoming...

November 20, 2020 Honoring Identity

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. —Roger Caras [Now you can listen to the Big Fresh podcast!] Over the Moon For nearly a year...

November 13, 2020 Are You Sure?

Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here. —Sue Monk Kidd [Now you can listen to...

November 6, 2020 The Magic of Reading Together

When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in...

October 30, 2020 Shark Attack

Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning. —Diane Ackerman “Eeeek! A shark!” Josue points to the page Dianna is working on in writing workshop.  Dianna keeps coloring with an...

October 23, 2020 Thank You, Mrs. Schroeder

Everyone looks so much better when they smile. Jimmy Fallon   [Now you can listen to the Big Fresh podcast!] “Your Jimmy Fallon–inspired thank-you notes took a turn I wasn’t...

October 16, 2020 Slightly Alive

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.  Henry Matisse One of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride, and my favorite character in The Princess Bride...

October 9, 2020 Coffee Shop Contemplation

I have measured out my life in coffee spoons.  T. S. Eliot My husband and I were sitting in the trendy cafe, enjoying our tea and coffee, savoring the cinnamon roll...

October 2, 2020 The Kind of Teacher Who Cares

It costs you nothing to err on the side of care.  Lindy West     Not long ago, I noticed my son was uncharacteristically quiet. After some prodding, waiting, and...

September 25, 2020 Pygmalion Syndrome

A makeover is the rebranding of a human being. Mokokoma Mokhonoana I decided that I was going to be one of those elegant, put-together women. I had a department store...

September 18, 2020 Going Rogue

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine...

September 11, 2020 Florence Genevieve Saperstein

Work hard in silence—let your success be your noise.                                                                    Frank Ocean Early this spring, I spent a couple of weeks hiking with my family in a remote patch of...

September 4, 2020 A Specific No

It takes effort to say no when our heart and brains and guts and, most important, pride are yearning to say yes. Practice.                                                                     Cole Harmonson One of my favorite...

August 28, 2020 Don’t Talk About My Writing Without Me

The way we behave, the way we treat others, the way we respond, the way we support, defines the work experience for everyone around us.                                              ...

August 21, 2020 Future Focused

It’s amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday.                                                           John Guare What will school look like this year?” It...

August 14, 2020 A Place for Wonder

The important thing is never to stop questioning.                                                                   Albert Einstein “What are you writing about today?” my daughter Hannah asked me on her way out the door. “I’m writing about...

August 7, 2020 Slow Down to Be Kind

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.                                                                            Henry James There...

July 31, 2020 The Importance of Routines

Good habits are worth being fanatical about.                                                      John Irving One night last winter, I read for a few minutes in bed before I fell asleep. This one small change in...

July 24, 2020 Christmas in July

What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.                                                   Johann Wolfgang von Goethe I love Christmas cards. They are one of my favorite things about the holiday season. We make...

July 17, 2020 Walking Tours

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.                                                                             Mark Twain My sister got me hooked last year...

July 10, 2020 When Your Glasses Fall Into the Lake

May we always see life through love-colored glasses.                                                                 ...