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Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

Literacy Class: Learning the Language of Love 

By D.L. Mayfield February 8, 2017

This past week, I taught my last English class for quite some time. Three years ago, I moved to my new city in the Midwest. Almost right away, I started teaching literacy to people (mostly women, mostly older, all East African refugees) who have been denied access to education. The levels of trauma, displacement, oppression,…

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On the Front Lines

By Paul AndersonDecember 21, 2016

Seven months ago, I was teaching writing to high school seniors at a Christian school on the southwest side of Chicago, thirty minutes from my suburban hometown but essentially in another universe. I was three months away from finishing my MFA through Seattle Pacific University, and I wasn’t sure that I was going to make…

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Of Cookbooks and Lynchings

By Richard ChessSeptember 6, 2016

“Men and women in automobiles stood up to watch him die.” That’s the sentence one student recalled when I asked the class what was memorable in Eula Biss’s essay “Time and Distance Overcome.” The man who died was a black man “accused of attacking a white woman.” For his alleged behavior, he was “tied to…

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Lucia Berlin: A Master of Catholic Fiction, Part 1

By Jenny ShankOctober 12, 2015

In September, Lucia Berlin’s posthumous collection of selected short stories A Manual for Cleaning Women hit the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover fiction. Vice called Lucia Berlin “the greatest American writer you’ve never heard of.” Marie Claire predicted that this “highly semiautobiographical collection will catapult [Berlin] into a household name.” And John…

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Beauty Will Save the Seventh Grade

By Callie FeyenSeptember 30, 2015

The school administrator wants to know when my students will experience beauty in my classroom. He asks this question while going over our teaching contracts. A copy of what I signed back in April is magnified on a screen in Covenant Hall, a giant room that serves as a cafeteria and also a chapel. Last…

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A Lottery for Barbarians

By A.G. HarmonSeptember 10, 2015

From time to time in my unorthodox career, I’ve found myself teaching a class—be it in ethics or literature or law—which includes a reading of Shirley Jackson’s horror story, The Lottery, first introduced in eighth grade English (or it was back in the day) and having the singular distinction of being the one story most…

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What Is the Future?

By Richard ChessAugust 10, 2015

It’s the end of summer in the academic South, and I’m working on syllabi for my fall courses: Spiritual Autobiographies and Beginning Poetry Writing Workshop. I’m creating the schedule, weeks 1 through 16. I’m filling in the dates, 8/17, 8/19, 8/24…11/23. I’m sequencing the assigned texts: Darling to Dharma Punx; Incarnadine to Night of the…

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The Mystery and Terror of Retirement

By Richard ChessJuly 27, 2015

The day after I let my wife know that we had enough money to pay for our son’s college education—he was a sophomore at Carolina at the time—, she let me know she had decided to retire in the fall. Our daughter was pregnant. The baby was due in November. After retiring at the end of October, my wife would head to New York to be with our daughter for the final weeks of the pregnancy and the first weeks in the life of our first grandchild.

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Prayers in the River

By Tony WoodliefJune 11, 2015

I am not the kind of man who routinely stands hip-deep in anything, but the kids are still asleep, and I need to pray somewhere—God knows—so here I stand. The water is frigid and it soothes my feet, sore from stumbling over stones to rescue my lure. All I’ve caught in this damned river are rocks.

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