Look at Us

Jennifer Egan is one of my favorite contemporary authors. I loved A Visit from the Goon Squad and The Keep, and I think her short story in the form of tweets, “Black Box,” is one of the more brilliant feats of creative writing. After reading a recent article that captured a great conversation between Egan and George Saunders  (“Choose Your Own […]

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All Kinds of Minds

At the NAIS People of Color Conference in Tampa last week, I heard the amazing Dr. Mae Jemison talk to over 4000 teachers and students about 100 Year Starship, a project dedicated to making “the capability of human travel beyond our solar system a reality within the next 100 years.” Beyond the obvious challenges of distance and […]

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The Devil in the Details

One thing that teachers consistently tell student writers to do is to add details into their writing — details that paint a unique picture and effectively, sometimes even jarringly, communicate an author’s voice and perspective. Students rise to meet this challenge in varying degrees. But detail is, in the end, the fuel that propels words […]

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Sufjan, Salman & Me

I’m not the first and won’t be the last to say this: it’s different, and usually better, seeing an artist on stage than watching that same person on screen. This week, I was up close and personal with two virtuoso performers, Sufjan Stevens and Salman Rushdie, on back-to-back nights. Stevens took the stage shrouded in […]

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Get Proximate

Frank Bruni’s recent New York Times editorial, “An Ivy League Twist,” discussed a new initiative from more than 80 colleges, including all eight in the Ivy Leagues, to try to support candidates from diverse backgrounds in their college application processes. Students who may not have college advisors, like their more privileged peers usually do, will be able […]

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About Face

Sherry Turkle’s book, Alone Together, was important to me and my work on digital citizenship at my school. She made a strong argument for the power of face to face communication and the potential hazards for people steeped in digital media — most primarily the loss of empathy. I’m now waiting anxiously for Turkle’s new book, Reclaiming […]

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Second Grade Stories

As I child, I loved being read to and still love it today. When I’m too tired to read to myself but I want to hear more voices and stories than my eyes will allow, I ask my husband or daughter to read to me from whatever they are reading. To me, there’s nothing quite […]

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Reading and the Brain

This week, I have been absorbed in the world of Kent Haruf’s Plainsong, set in a fictional town in Colorado. My friend Anna gave the book to me for my birthday and told me I would love it. I really did. The writing is flawless and the stories of different people living in various states of abandonment […]

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Dialogue & Cultural Competency

This week, I heard Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee speak about what it means to be a culturally competent educator. She is an unusually dynamic teacher who doesn’t hold back or attenuate her message about the responsibility that adults who work with children have to create classrooms where difference is not just tolerated, but celebrated. One of […]

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