History teacher, writer, storyteller
"So he yelled out to death, he leaned his head way back and cupped hands over his mouth and the noise started out right under his belly and rolled around gathering strength. The noise climbed slow, up and up, not holding back at all but rather building momentum and power until it blasted out of his throat nearly dragging his lungs out behind it in the sheer power of the expelled air. He said:
Mayflies By David Bulley Jerry had to remind himself over and over to be careful with her. After ten years of marriage and three kids and more love and more crap than anyone should have to endure, this was the first time ever that Mary had come to the stream. He reached back a hand.
In Defence of the Online Bully
One of the most powerful rhetorical devices ever accidentally developed is the epistle. A message ostensibly intended for one audience, but read by another makes the other feel like an eavesdropper, as if they are accessing secret knowledge, not intended for them and therefore more true, more real than the direct approach. A person might lie to you, but we assume they would not lie to that other person or that other group. We are the spy, learning secrets. This approach bypasses our normal social filters and we learn often more than we intended by its use.
The Abject Cowardice of Concealed Carry
I grew up in what would now correctly be considered a toxically masculine culture. Casual homophobia and racism were part of my cultural landscape, as was fighting, bragging, guns, and hunting. To a sixteen-year-old me, there was no greater insult than to be accused of acting feminine, and no greater show of weakness than to back down from a physical confrontation. Almost as bad as the ultimate cowardice of running away from a physical confrontation, however, was to over-prepare: The euphemism of bringing a gun to a knife fight. By the honor code I lived by, this was unthinkable. In fact, most of the teen boys my age wore a belt knife every day, even to school. We engaged in serious fistfights without ever considering drawing the deadly weapon from our own belt.
An Open Letter to Louis C.K.
Dear Louis, This is about you, so bear with me while I extend a metaphor. When I was coaching high school sports, it was a laughably open secret that the sports teams who cheated the most, had the poorest sports, and were the most likely to intentionally hurt players on the opposite team were the Christian schools. I puzzled over this for a long time and resolved to solve this mystery. I observed carefully for a long time and eventually came to two conclusions:
Use the Storyteller Method for Conflict Resolution
Andrea and Yolanda sit in my office deliberately not looking at each other. Their arms are crossed, their knees are pointing away. It would be impossible to sit further away from each other in my office. They were brought because they were just in a fight. Punches were thrown, hair was pulled, and perhaps even more damaging, horrible names were called.
This Ten-Minute Survey Will Change How You Teach Forever
Every day for one week I handed my 10th grade history class a form, marked in ten-minute increments. It asked two questions: Are you on task or off right now? And: What did you learn in the last ten minutes?
If You Say in Public That You “Don’t Trust the Media” You Are a Special Kind of Stupid
Every once in awhile I run into a man at a party who brags that he carries his tire iron under the driver’s seat of his car (always a man) just in case of trouble. Knowing nothing else about this person than this one statement, I can safely assume that they are cowardly and a douchebag and cruel. Perhaps in other aspects of their life they are somewhat normal, but this statement gives them away. The same is true of people who claim to “not trust the media.” Particularly, if they say it in a way that is meant to come off as sage, and worldly. When a person says that, I, and many others, understand deep down that the speaker is a very special kind of stupid.