What face do you post on Facebook?

Recently my granddaughter mused that her college friends, when consuming too much alcohol, often lamented their woes, going on and on about their less-than-idyllic childhood or other problems they do not normally discuss when sober. She attributed this to the fact that most people in her generation communicate through social media where they must put on a happy face; therefore they do not have an opportunity to talk about what troubles them. Whether her assessment was correct or not, is not central to this post. What intrigues me is what “face” people chose to reveal on social media. Continue reading


At first all he saw were shoes strewn on the street, an elaborate joke, someone playing with the word “cobbled”; but then he looked around noting the empty buildings with broken widow panes that had once been homes, and the dilapidated cyclone fencing now laying in the weeds where once there had been gardens and children playing, and he felt the weight of eminent domain and urban renewal, terms too often associated with “new” and “improved” and not “displacement.”

Did I write that?!?!

Cleaning out files and more files of papers I wrote when earning my degrees in English (B.A. and M.A.) had me exclaiming over and over again—”Did I write that?” I guess expressing surprise at my abilities is better than being disappointed. However, I do wonder where that analytical mind is that compared Gertrude Stein’s “The Gentle Lena” and T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land,” in regard to how the authors use structure, language and diction to disrupt the conventional illusion of female/male romantic love, illustrating instead relationships where there is coupling like that of boxcars forming a train, separate units pushed together by forces greater than themselves, resulting in a union without a meaningful connection. Yes, I, the student wrote that once upon a time, and more. . . . . Continue reading

Measuring Time

My granddaughter Ashlynne recently noted how time as we measure it is a human construct. Why a second, why do 60 seconds equal a minute, why do 24 hours equal a day? Those chosen measurements that rule length of time were what she was questioning, and I don’t think she was looking for scientific answers; although, I do not know for sure. She was off to the beach, off to spend time with friends before returning to college. Continue reading

An Assignment for our Public Servants

For eight years I taught a college critical thinking class where students were required to employ the Foundation for Critical Thinking’s Valuable Intellectual Traits to analyze situations as well as behaviors and opinions of literary characters. I now am giving the assignment to all public servants, in particular the president, senators, and members of congress who make decisions that directly affect the lives of billions of people: employ the list of valuable intellectual traits noted below when analyzing any situation or any proposal that affects the nation, or other nations. Successfully completing the assignment will serve our nation (and the world) who will benefit from your new found ability to critically think. Continue reading

Summary: Facts & Opinions

There are 59 National Parks in the United States and 39 National Parks in Canada, land set aside for us and hopefully future generations as well, because of their natural beauty, unique geological features, and unusual ecosystems. Go see them! Go hike their trails, float down their rivers, paddle their lakes, and photograph their spectacular beauty! They will amaze you; they will recharge your senses, and they will connect you with nature, the most inspiring force of all. Continue reading

The Last Stop

We have had an amazing vacation and are ending it with a short stay with my sister Roberta, her daughter Corie, and granddaughter Amelia. My sister welcomed us with a lovely lunch,  which included a tasty peach and blueberry crisp with home made vanilla ice cream, and candles to celebrate my birthday. Amelia gave me a lovely fan decorated with pictures of the two of us that she made at day care, which she wrapped inside of a box that was inside of a box that was inside of a box. How special is that!! Continue reading