It was my first real teaching job. I was fresh out of grad school with an M.A. in English, when I landed a full-time tenured-track position teaching English at a little community college in Harrisburg, IL, about 6 hours downstate from Chicago. Harrisburg has a population of about 10,000 and a small-town vibe to match. I once ate in a restaurant there where I oohed and aaahed over the peanut butter pie, and the next day the same waitress hand-delivered a piece of that incredible pie right to … [Read more...] about Thanks for the Feedback–NOT! (Well, maybe.)
Have you ever had that naked dream? You know, for some reason you’re suddenly in the middle of a store and you’re stark naked and you’re desperately trying to hide? Well, that’s how I felt one night in the summer of 1987, only, it wasn’t a dream. I was in grad school and had landed a piano bar job on the weekends at the Holidome in Skokie. No doubt some of you remember that place on Touhy. Now one of the things you need to know about me is that I. LOVE. SHOW TUNES!!! So naturally, that’s what … [Read more...] about Take the Extra Step
Confession: I am very judgmental. Let me set the stage for you. I was on the tennis court recently taking a lesson on my forehand. Even though I’m actually a pretty good tennis player, I CAN get a little obsessive about trying to do things the RIGHT way. I can get really frustrated with myself and think, “What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I get it?” Greg, my tennis guy, kind of chuckles when I send him a frantic text about how I’ve GOT to have a lesson on my forehand because it’s just not working. … [Read more...] about Don’t Strike a Pose
Confession. I’m a neighbor ignorer. You know, I’m on my way out the door, and sometimes I pretend I don’t see Neighbor John or Neighbor Alice. I kind of look straight ahead and and make a beeline for my car door. I’m not proud of it, but there you have it. My husband, Bill, on the other hand, always has a kind word for everyone. No. Matter. What. Sometimes I think he’s left the building, and thirty minutes later I’ll see him out in the front yard chattin’ it up with someone. He’s a neighbor … [Read more...] about Face to Face
Today marked my third spin class ever. Wow. I can honestly say that I hadn’t really “SPUN” until TODAY. Lynn, the five-foot dynamo leading the class, my first time with her, had us spinning at 8 a.m. sharp and didn’t stop until 9 a.m., 60 grueling minutes like none I have ever experienced. Sweat poured profusely down my face, legs, and arms. I had to keep wiping myself with my washcloth (note to self: bring a bath towel next time). I usually don’t even bring a towel when I exercise ‘cause I … [Read more...] about A Teacher Can Make All the Difference!