My First Day Teaching

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5:40. I get up. One of my housemates is already hogging the only bathroom. Cheap cigarette smoke blankets the air. I am going to choke.

6:40. Just learned that I have to make a paper star to give out to my “star pupil of the week.” Since I haven’t even started teaching yet, I’m not sure what to do. If I draw a blue star with stripes, little eyeballs, and a smiling mouth, that should make a fifth grader happy, right?

7:15. School assembly begins. Two little girls bring a large flag of Honduras to the center of the stage. Everyone else starts singing the national anthem.

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Get to Know the Artist: Chris Riffle

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Meet Chris Riffle, a folk artist originally from Washington and now based in New York. Chris has an incredibly honest voice, mesmerizing listeners with its quiet, rhythmic appeal. Chris has recently teamed up with Alesia Exum to produce a music video for his single “Nothing But the Waves.” This song is delicate and alluring – the perfect soundtrack to unwind, relax, or maybe contemplate the grand meaning of things. With its wonderfully cinematic, surrealist qualities, this video captures art and creativity at its finest. Get to know Chris and his artistic vision in our exclusive interview below.

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Battlefield America: The War on the American People

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“A government which will turn its tanks upon its people, for any reason, is a government with a taste of blood and a thirst for power and must either be smartly rebuked, or blindly obeyed in deadly fear.”—John Salter We have entered into a particularly dismal chapter in the American narrative, one that shifts us from a swashbuckling tale of adventure into a bone-chilling horror story. As I document in …continue…

Hire Steve

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Steven Miller asked me to write this letter recommending him as a middle school English teacher, so here it is. I have known Steve since high school. We sat next to each other in Jim Freeman’s European History class and I made wise cracks and Steve laughed at them. Steve had an enormous head and looked a lot like Dave Letterman to me. Others disputed the resemblance, but they disputed nearly everything. They had what you might call a perverse contrarian streak. Of course, this is a matter you will be able to judge at the interview, provided you know who David Letterman is.

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A Tale of Samarkand

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“It’s so dark, where am I?” came her words of distress
Miriam wasn’t supposed to be blind
It was a weather stricken condition she’d learned to detest
The gods of the Kyzyl Kum desert were to blame for it
going out into oblivion to escape invading hordes was dangerous
The hottest day of the year took her vision & strangled it
Heat exhaustion caused a stroke, even fleas were coughing, comatose
when she whispered pleas, walls erected -
the green Earth shut its contents… armaments of darkness flowed
Exiled to the shadows; the muted springs of nowhere
while her husband was busy stargazing, she’d sit in her oak chair
Every ounce of the visual spectrum so bare it blacked out Samarkand

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No Matter Who Wins the White House, the New Boss Will Be the Same as the Old Boss

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“What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It’s not good at much else.”—Author Tom Clancy The American people remain eager to be persuaded that a new president in the White House can solve the problems that plague us. Yet no matter who wins this next presidential election, you can rest assured that the new boss will be the same as the …continue…

Get to Know the Artist: Jessica Domingo

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Jessica Domingo has a large following despite never competing on a nationally broadcasted show like America Idol, a popular path for many artists (like formerly featured artist, Paul McDonald). Instead, she has diverged on a different path that many artists today have taken instead of the now out-of-date television series. Posting her first covers on Youtube in 2011, Domingo has now reached more than two million people, thanks in large part to a Frank Ocean cover you can watch here. In addition, her channel regularly reaches more than 40,000 subscribers.

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War of My World

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Pieces of earth turned into a cloud of dirt. Another blast quickly followed in its footsteps. The sky was thick with smoke, raining down tears of mud. Voices were lost in all the confusion. The world continued to vibrate and shake as two men ran for cover.

“How the hell did we walk into this?” “We just did, Sam.” The soldier looked over his shoulder as another explosion rocked the earth. “We just did.” All he could see were giant holes laid out before him. There was no sign of life except for him and his friend.

“They definitely caught us off-guard, John.” The other soldier slid into a foxhole and started to reload his rifle.

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