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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The Silent War We Wage

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I don’t like to call myself a Road Rager. I would rather the open road. I prefer the white, fluffy clouds and bright blue sky. Empty pavement. Instead, I get the blaring headlights and the cars swerving into the opposite lane just to cut me off. All I want is to get from Point A to Point B. That’s it. No headaches. But I seem to dance at least with one, if not two, on my way to work and on my way home.

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Wanting to Be a Cool Kid

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The television set was black. The remote rested in the teacher’s hand. The project was simple. The students went to work, and most of the footage shown was humorous. Some of it was stupid. Nobody would remember it. They would only remember her.

She had walked down the hallway with the boy and girl. The girl called the shots. The heavy camera rested on her shoulder. The boy was eager, awaiting direction, and she poked her head into the passing classrooms, looking for the perfect spot.

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An Ode to Extreme Midget Wrestling

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It was Saturday night and it was, literally, the best thing going on in the beat-up, dusty, old town. The girls that dragged us there all wore their fancy dresses, and they made sure we wore nice collared shirts. It was what almost everyone in the venue would refer to as “Sunday attire.” The marquee in front read, “Extreme Midget Wrestling”, and by god, it was in every facet or sense of the word. However, I thought the term would be offensive—I asked if they’d rather I call it something more politically correct. They said it was a sanctioned event.

The sponsors chose to hold the event in a gnarled skating rink. The place had seen its hey-day during my childhood.

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Footprints in Sand

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The sunlight tapped gently on the glass window. A soft breeze slipped through underneath. Clouds decorated sky, a portrait of life compared to the dark, dismal walls inside. A murmur of traffic hummed with rhythm, and vibrations fell quiet against smooth, pale floors. And the world continued on without a second thought, leaving this place, leaving me behind.

Time had become a dream. Days were counted into nights, and nights were spent waiting for days. Whispers of the wind told of the seasons to come, and another end to another year passed by. Yet, I remain.

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Extra, Extra and D.T.A.

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Hollywood is my Emerald City. Beyond its golden gates lies beauty, imagination, and inspiration. The yellow brick road lies at my feet, but my ruby slippers have not found home yet. The journey still lies far out of reach, and there are no lions and tigers and bears at my side. I walk alone, and the skies darken under doubt, despair. But this is where I want to go, and the first step I take may be my last. Or it may be the door opening upon a great adventure.

I step forward. It is 2007, a year after Silent Dreams was born. I was one of those poets cyber shy in sharing my work. I’ve had my writing stolen from me before, and the internet was unknown territory.

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Frankfurt in Ponyville

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Harry Frankfurt, an American philosopher who has taught at Princeton Yale and Rockefeller Universities, explores in his lectures the idea that what one loves reflects what he or she values and their own self conception. Frankfurt believes that what we love and care about is a part of our psychic raw material and cannot be changed without intense personal examination.

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Will’s True Quill Pt. 2

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Because Shakespeare dedicated “Venus and Adonis” in 1593 and “The Rape of Lucrece” in 1594 to Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton, and addressed him intimately in several of the sonnets, the Stratfordians inferred that the Earl was Shakespeare’s patron and possibly even his lover. But if Oxford was Shakespeare, then the relationship between the two peers takes on an entirely different significance. Wriosthesley was engaged to Oxford’s daughter Elizabeth from 1592 to 94, and though the betrothed couple didn’t marry, Oxford and Southampton remained friends and shared a mutual interest in the theatre (Looney 177-86).

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Will’s True Quill Pt.1

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Although skepticism regarding the authorship of Shakespeare’s poetry and plays may well have been expressed as soon as William Shakspere (as the family name is spelled in the Holy Trinity Church Register of Stratford-on-Avon) was publicly acknowledged as the illustrious “Bard of Avon,” the first writer to voice his suspicion was James Wilmot, a retired London cleric who in the early 1780′s settled in Warwickshire and proceeded to gather material for a proposed biography of Shakespeare. When he learned that the most famous inhabitant of those parts may well have been the unschooled son of a local tradesman who left not a shred of evidence that he had ever owned a book or written so much as a letter, Wilmot gave up the project and discarded his notes.

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Don’t Forget to Tip Your Cows

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I used to love eating cold cereal. I used to love Cocoa Krispies, Count Chocula, Trix, and especially Lucky Charms. Fiber was never a thought when I drowned my bowl in cereal and milk and dug in, enjoying the sugar rush. It was all so magically delicious until the ride in to school.

Homeroom. I was either late, running to the bathroom or stuck behind a desk, clutching the small, wooden structure. Sometimes, after the bell rung, I would escape back into the bathroom, trying to relieve those harsh, stomach pains.

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