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  • On being 71

    On being 71

    A few weeks from my 71st birthday, here are some thoughts. Everybody has arthritis. Dr. Gerard Malanga, an outstanding doctor who advised me on a painful shoulder, said, “Everybody has arthritis after a certain age. The question is, ‘Does it hurt?’” My arthritis hurts only occasionally, and for that… Read More
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  • Bless Marilyn Marlowe

    Bless Marilyn Marlowe

    A long time ago, while I was married to my first husband, Ernest Coates, I mixed up being married to a writer with being a writer myself. Ernest churned out thousands of pages of writing but never got around to submitting them anywhere, while I supported the family. Not a… Read More
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  • Who does the dusting?

    Who does the dusting?

    I love Joli’s comment to my earlier post that “if behind every great man is a woman, then behind every great woman is not a man who steps up to dust, but a housekeeper.” “Equality” in housekeeping has been, in my experience, an empty word. Just looking around me,… Read More
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  • Domesticated men

    Domesticated men

    I have been watching two men take over the domestic life of their families — my son and my husband.  My son has to take care of two children by himself for extended periods of time.  He irons their school clothes and makes their lunches at night, figures out methods… Read More
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  • Writing and activism

    Writing and activism

    Some people march in demonstrations, or knock on their neighbors’ doors, or serve in soup kitchens; I write. I believe I should use some part of my abilities for the good of a larger community, and why not use my best developed talent? My blog Linguistics in the Writing Classroom is… Read More
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  • The Real World of Guns in the Classroom

    The Real World of Guns in the Classroom

    I’ve imagined a gun in my classroom.  Maybe held by the depressed student, or by the belligerent one who thinks I have graded him unfairly. Because I teach freshman writing, and students write their own stories in my class, I know better than other professors just how unstable freshmen are. Read More
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  • Husbands and crutches

    Husbands and crutches

    I just hobbled to my desk, hugging two crutches under my left arm so I could carry a mug of hot tea in my right hand.  I broke tiny bones in my foot and this is what I am reduced to. Fifteen years ago I badly sprained my ankle… Read More
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  • Commission a portrait?

    Commission a portrait?

    My playwright great great grandfather whose portrait hangs above my desk. Shall I commission a portrait? Who am I?  The Queen of England?   Meeting Mia, what she said.  I loved seeing her process, and it was fun. Meet my great great grandfather, Charles Gayler, a successful and… Read More
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  • Stories from the nursing home

    Stories from the nursing home

    I have to stop writing about the nursing home. People don’t want to read about them. Do they? I can’t promise this will be my last story from the nursing home,  but I can’t resist. I have been visiting my aunt in a spacious, sunny, clean, pleasant, friendly place… Read More
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