Whatever you do, don’t look at your phone, instead…

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“My mind echoes a chant: Don’t look at your phone. Whatever you do, don’t look at your phone. I sit alone on the bench, outside of a café as I wait for a friend. The lines on each passing face, … Continue reading

And finally, because we ask this in every interview: why write? 

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  Write because you want to communicate with yourself. Write because you want to communicate with someone else. Write because life is weird and tragic and amazing. Write because talking is difficult. Write because it polishes the heart. Write because … Continue reading

Love between a man and his cat

A man and his cat“I LIVED with the same cat for 19 years — by far the longest relationship of my adult life. Under common law, this cat was my wife. I fell asleep at night with the warm, pleasant weight of the cat on my chest. The first thing I saw on most mornings was the foreshortened paw of the cat retreating slowly from my face and her baleful crescent glare informing me that it was Cat Food Time. As I often told her, in a mellow, resonant, Barry White voice: “There is no luuve … like the luuve that exists … between a man … and his cat.”


“I never meant to become this person. My own cat turned up as a stray at my cabin on the Chesapeake Bay when I was sitting out on the deck eating leftover crabs. She was only a couple of months old then, small enough that my friend Kevin could fit her whole head in his mouth. She appeared from underneath the porch, piteously mewling, and I gave her some cold white crab meat. I did not know then that feeding a stray cat is effectively adopting that cat.”

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“We don’t know what goes on inside an animal’s head; we may doubt whether they have anything we’d call consciousness, and we can’t know how much they understand or what their emotions feel like. I will never know what, if anything, the cat thought of me. But I can tell you this: A man who is in a room with a cat — whatever else we might say about that man — is not alone.”

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A Man and His Cat By TIM KREIDER.  A most enjoyable and delightful read published at New York Times. Read the whole article here.

This piece of exquisite literature has attracted positive comments even if a reader is not cat lover.

on being a teacher

Teacher

I mean, you’re a teacher, Taylor.
Be honest. What do you make?

And I wish he hadn’t done that— asked me to be honest—
because, you see, I have this policy about honesty and ass-­‐kicking:
if you ask for it, then I have to let you have it.
You want to know what I make?
I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional Medal of Honor
and an A-­‐ feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time
with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won’t I let you go to the bathroom?
Because you’re bored.
And you don’t really have to go to the bathroom, do you?

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
Hi. This is Mr. Mali. I hope I haven’t called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something your son said today.
To the biggest bully in the grade, he said,
“Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don’t you?
It’s no big deal.”
And that was noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.

You want to know what I make?
I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write.
I make them read, read, read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math
and hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you’ve got this,
then you follow this,
and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this.

Here, let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
Teachers make a goddamn difference! Now what about you?

 

 

Image by Leader  and essay by Taylor Mali