In all its forms, I value family immensely.  Nuclear family, extended family, cousins adopting children or marrying to take on step-children, mixed families with step-siblings, and even marrying into a family of in-laws and gaining nieces and nephews–I have experienced all of this and have felt a true connection with people who are related to [...]

Holy Week

Faith makes so much possible; it keeps despair at bay and allows hope to thrive.  We all do well to have something to believe in. I grew up Catholic, then lapsed, then returned, then took up permanent residence at a distance.  I remember with fondness today my earlier days of devout worship.  I also accept [...]

Black and White

Milkshakes at the ice-cream parlor, Remnants in a metal cup, Served alongside the frilly glass. My crossword puzzle on Saturday, With coffee at my desk, And all other matters set aside. Truth and falsehood In my innocent days, Starkly setting each other off and apart. A plate of sandwich cookies– Pulling them apart, Scraping the [...]

My Two Most Meaningful Poems

In fourth grade, Mr. Alsop at Switlik School in Jackson, New Jersey assigned me and my classmates the task of writing an original poem.  He suggested various possible topics, among which was a grand sailing ship, the one that I chose for my verse. The resulting masterpiece ran thus:       Look at that [...]

Call to Action: Ban Baby Oil

With all of the awareness brought to injustice and harm in our society, I wish to bring up today a product that remains in our medicine cabinets and on our pharmacy shelves, whose global sales sustain a barbaric and inhuman industry worth billions of dollars. I’m talking about baby oil. With all of the sources [...]

From Where I Write

Many of us today are thanking the Two Writing Teachers team for hosting the March Slice of Life Challenge each year.  I am deeply grateful for this forum and for the opportunity to have participated. Also, I wish to thank all of my teaching and writing colleagues for their eloquent posts, their willingness to read [...]


My mother often jokes that I was born an old man.  She tells me I never babbled as a baby but simply started speaking.  Full words, then sentences, then paragraphs.  She recalls walking into the living room one day to find me reading the paper–I was three years old. I remember that moment, incidentally.  Sesame [...]

My Connecticut Aunties

It was only a matter of time. I have to write about my aunts in Connecticut. I thought I only had two, but little did I know that I would have three. I grew up with strong women in my life–darn strong women!–and they may just have succeeded in beating the patriarchy out of me. [...]

My Morning Commute

The picture will mislead.  While there are cars and traffic backups, I am completely unaffected by the hassle and stress that could come from my morning commute. On all days that weather allows, I walk to my place of employment. I’ve referred to this briefly in earlier posts, but my daily walks are vital to [...]

Opera: La Traviata

Using a libretto written by Francesco Maria Piave, a frequent collaborator, Giuseppe Verdi composed the score for this tragic opera in the months before its premiere in Venice in 1853.  The story comes from a play by Alexandre Dumas. I had the privilege to see a production of this opera during the summer of 2007 [...]