For Binky

        For Binky perched atop a tiny ladder each holds fast to her balloon oblivious to the children, the party, the camera it’s my birthday–I’m five– just visible above the antique dining table my hair stuck into a wiry rat that itches and...

A Power Greater Than Ourselves

Every morning, unless it’s way below zero, I begin my day by walking about a mile and a half in my neighborhood.  That means I meet the same people walking their dogs, the same children on the way to or standing in line to board the school bus.  It also means in...

What If the Dog Really Did Eat the Homework?

When I began teaching at the University of Minnesota, I was in my late 20s and my students were often in their early 20s or late teens.  As one way of establishing myself as their “professor,” I set up strict deadlines for handing in papers.  Of course a...

Uriah Heeps Everywhere

Anyone who’s read Charles Dickens’ novel David Copperfield remembers the oleaginous character Uriah Heep.  Described by Dickens as unusually tall and wraithlike, Heep ingratiates himself into David’s world, wringing his hands in false supplication. ...

I’m Back

In the 1970’s, the university where I was teaching hosted a program for several summers that was designed to bring bright black students who would be seniors sand who were interested in graduate study to our campus.  They would conduct research with faculty...