Half a lifetime ago, I lived in Greece, on a small island not far from the coast of Turkey. In the process of furnishing a house on the cheap, I traveled a couple of times a year to coastal Turkish towns and bought old woven kilim rugs.Read More.
"I look at [the tape], and I'm like, 'That is not me.' I have so much regret. I can't believe I did that. I let myself and my character not live up to what I should live up to and what I can live up to."Read More.
I have a foolproof way of getting out of boring party conversations. This method either reinvigorates the conversation, or brings it to a mercifully swift end. The only requirement for this ploy is that the person with whom I'm talking has to be the parent of a student at a public secondary...Read More.
May I now lead three boisterous cheers for Spanish, French, Japanese, Arabic, Italian, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Latin, Farsi, German, and Urdu as a second language. And any other of the scores of global languages you'd like to include.Read More.
There comes a time in every parent's life -- and in most teachers' lives, too -- when we discover that those we are raising and teaching are better at certain things than we are.Read More.
And now a few words about the book, that ancient medium we've all encountered, with ink on paper pages, a front and back cover, and pleasure, or knowledge, or provocation, or even a certain necessary tedium stored within.Read More.
An excellent essay by Damon Darlin some Sundays back in the New York Times, "Serendipity: Lost in the Digital Deluge," got me thinking -- not for the first time -- about the joys of accidental learning.Read More.
Not long ago, while reading an article about political life in the time of England's King Henry VIII that quoted various letters and documents, I was struck once again by the free-form inconsistency of English spelling in those days.Read More.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's great American novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne's letter was, of course, an accusatory A. Damning for her, but I'd have been very happy had I received more of those when I was in secondary school.Read More.
With the fear that I might be labeled an Andy Rooney wannabe, cranky about things I can't do anything about, I am hesitant to mention the twinge of sadness I felt at the news recently that public schools have, for the most part...Read More.