Office: Miller Hall 206
Word Astronomer (see Random Stuff below)
I was a former centerfielder who played on the East Braintree, Massachusetts Little League All Star baseball team in 1963.
“Words are like stars,” my sixth-grade teacher, Miss Madden, would tell us, “and you should always reach for them.” She believed that words led to ideas that often led to questions. She’d lower her voice to almost a whisper and follow with, “It’s the answers to these questions that lead to new ways of thinking and that’s something for which you should strive.” And wouldn’t you know, she made ‘strive’ a look-up word almost every week until everyone had made it their own.
For the past six years, the words I’ve been reaching for have led me to deeper contemplation of such topics as teaching, learning, and social work. I’ve been asking questions… lots of them. They clock in during my lesson plan prep time. “How will I teach this?” Then, “Why should I teach it this way?” The questions pop up in the classroom. I’ll ask a student, “How did you learn that?” To another, “How do you know you’ve learned it?” In my social work classes, I ask about the challenges of diversity, fairness, and social justice.
My work in words is an examination of the answers to these questions, heartfelt reflections in a series of poems, essays, and memoirs. Words lead to writing- my way of learning, my way of thinking in fresh perspective. Inspiring my students to think in new ways is what I strive for, a lofty endeavor sparked by a sixth-grade teacher who believed in stars and the glitter of words…
It is a confident yes to equality.
It's small steps and small victories.
It's about speaking up for someone who can't.
It is a second-chance language
that helps one realize possibilities.
It’s about taking a stand, going to bat for someone else.
It is blackening the eye of social injustice.
It's an inner voice, a compass, a chance to get the world right.
It is a way of leaning into life.