Doing Too Much

My primary task in Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa in the late 1980s was to help farmers establish a plowing regime using oxen. I ran a small training center and traveled to… Continue reading

July 24, 1968: Hitchhiking, Europe ’68

Originally posted on 1968: Nothing Is Revealed:
By Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1990-1210-001 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, Somewhere around this day in July of 1968–maybe a day or two later, I don’t…

Traitor? Call Him Out, But Not His Supporters

Yes, today has been one of the most troubling days for Americans since the Second World War, assassinations aside. We have seen our elected leader give the keys to the kingdom to the… Continue reading

Fighting Fire with Fire: Reinvigorating the Language of American Universities

These are the first paragraphs of an article I wrote for the Planning in Higher Education Journal, V 46, N 3, April-June 2018. The entire article can be found here The beliefs and even… Continue reading

What Immigrants Add to the Army

My father’s college roommate, after he returned home from the South Pacific in 1946, was another WWII veteran, a man named Mike Block. No, let me correct that: until he joined the US… Continue reading

‘Unhand Me, Grey-Beard Loon!’

The power of language, of writing: “The Wedding-Guest stood still.” Every semester, I use this example with my writing students. “‘There was a ship,’ quoth” the mariner. And the Wedding-Guest listens to the… Continue reading

Trumpism = Fascism = Death

Aurel Kolnai’s 1938 book The War Against the West contains elements that leave me cold, most certainly, but also elements that bring on an immense chill far beyond mere cold. Among these are the… Continue reading

Black Lives Mattering

Cobble Hill, Brooklyn had gentrified over the 1980s and I took advantage, opening Shakespeare’s Sister, a café and gift store across from the Cobble Hill Cinema in 1994. The neighborhood, now less Italian… Continue reading

The Callowness of Assumed Guilt

The only lights in the room were a desk lamp pointed downward on the long table in front of my chair and an even smaller lamp over someone’s–I couldn’t see his face–notepad. I… Continue reading

Skip a Rope

When my father returned from service in the Pacific in January of 1946 (he had been gone for three years and had seen action on Leyte Island), he found that his mother had… Continue reading