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Wishing Things into Being through Writing

Say the word poetry, and many cringe, connecting their aversion to school room experiences that required dissecting a poem for its hidden meaning.  But April, which is National Poetry Month, offers an opportunity to see poetry from another angle.  When I taught high school English, I often began a poetry unit by asking the question:…
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Beauty’s Purpose/Art’s Power

Although Jimi Hendrix proclaims: “Music doesn’t lie.  If there is something to be changed in the world, then it can only happen through music,” that transformational power is not unique to music, as readers will certainly attest.    Long ago, Plato outlined three castes in his Republic: Producers, Auxiliaries, and Guardians.  As members of the Guardian…
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Recipe for Writing Success

Around the holidays, I often think of food—perhaps because there is an abundance of food served to celebrate family gatherings or perhaps because holidays feature menu items that aren’t everyday fare—treats like cheesy potatoes, shrimp cocktail, and prime rib or peanut brittle, frosted cut-out cookies, and pecan pie.  Foods also connect us to culture, so…
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Honoring Identities

A social studies topic that has a place in every classroom, every day is cultural studies.  Culture isn't something separate from the self.  I can't park a piece of myself at the classroom door.  My whiteness, my hetero-femaleness, my German roots, my age--none of these can be separated from my identity.  My students are no…
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