Author Archives: admin

Syncing Passions

I call it “syncing passions,” combining activities I love, increasing both the effectiveness and enjoyment of each. Like hanging out with students and climbing mountains. In the last four years, I’ve summited at least a half-dozen times with my favorite … Continue reading

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Eschatology

Eschatology—it’s a theologian’s word meaning “last things.” Eschatologists study the events surrounding the end of the world. Preretirement has its eschatology, its list of last things. Just this week I took a class to the Writers Corner for the last … Continue reading

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I Wish Life Had First Drafts

I wish life had first drafts. My students will bring theirs tomorrow. They’ll work in groups to make their compositions better before the teacher sees them. Wish I could do the same in life—have several practice runs at something (like … Continue reading

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Her Best Friend Fred

We were talking about conclusions, and I told them that the last paragraph needs to be the climax of their essay, that it’s a good place for a well chosen quote, or an epiphany, or a surprise (all epiphanies are … Continue reading

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Wish I’d Tried Harder

“Don’t open it,” I warned myself. Online student evaluations are not reliable because few students complete them. So what you get is outliers, folks who either hate you or love you. She hated me. I was “unclear,” “unhelpful” and “uncaring.” … Continue reading

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Takes Faith to Write (and teach)

Takes faith to write. Also, to teach. Facing a blank legal pad or computer screen, writers must see what isn’t there: the could be, might be, will be. This morning I’m throwing words at the page hoping something will stick. … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Sis!

Today would have been her 65th birthday. Would have been. My little sister left this world 12 years ago. Next to Charlotte, D’Lynne was my best friend. It wasn’t always that way. As teens we fought constantly (my fault, not … Continue reading

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14 More Mondays

So I’m still at the beginning of my last semester, but already have some perceptions of retirement. The first is relief (OK, and maybe some pride) in getting the job done. Like a climber who has the peak in view … Continue reading

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Thou Shall Not Bore Thy Teacher: Paula’s Story

“Thou shall not bore thy teacher. It’s Dr. Bellah’s first law of essay writing.” These words, spoken to my Thursday morning class, were met with a collective groan, one which said “But you don’t understand, Dr. B.; I’m a boring … Continue reading

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Blogging through My Last Semester

It’s what I intend to do on my way to retirement this May. Because I want to remember what it was like to be an Amarillo College English teacher. Because I want my grandkids’ grandkids to know that sometimes life’s … Continue reading

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