Ellisue

by Michael Neal Morris


 

I spent a lot of afternoons with my grandparents as small boy, especially in the years between my mother’s divorce and the beginning of her marriage to my step-father. They often took care of my brothers and me while my mother worked double-shifts at a nearby Kip’s. They even dropped us off and picked us up from catechism classes, where I was preparing for my first communion. At their house, I spent most of my time with my grandmother. She, of course, made and served the requisite cookies and helped us with homework. But she also kept us busy with things to draw and color on, or she took us outside to show us her marvelous backyard garden. I loved playing in that backyard, especially when play really meant sitting under the bushes with a book, smelling honeysuckle while watching a lizard’s throat change colors on the fence, or watching my grandmother in her big sun hat prune the flowers she had coaxed to grow in the odd mix of soil found at Dallas residences. It was here she showed me how to peel and eat a pomegranate from a tree she had taken care of. Continue reading

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How to Raise an Autodidact

by Rufel Ramos


 

“Are all of your family like you?” a student asked me.

“What do you mean?”

“Do they all like reading and writing like you do?”

After much laughter I replied, “No. I’m the black sheep in the family – I turned out being a nerd.”

“How did that happen?”

“Well,” I said, “that’s sort of a long story.”

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Can a man be a feminist?

by Matt Hinckley


It was early morning on Christmas Eve. My wife filed for divorce nine days earlier. My kids were angry and confused. I had to euthanize my cat in November. My life was collapsing. Then the phone rang. My mom was calling. My dad’s mom, Mimi, had died just after midnight. She was 97. She had broken her hip six months earlier, and after a lifetime of stubborn independence in which she spent more years as a widow than a wife, she had willed herself to death once it became clear she would never leave the nursing home. She outlived all of her siblings and all but one of her friends.

Some say a man cannot be a feminist. I understand that point of view but ultimately still proudly wear the label. My commitment to social justice comes from study of history but perhaps more importantly from the influence of two strong women: my mother and Mimi.

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Fireflies

By Judith C. Dumont


 

Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals who are not the author.

Tuesday afternoons usually find me huddled down in meetings and this Tuesday was no different. In the suite of my workspace, I was processing a program launch when the door suddenly opened.

“Ms. Dumo—“ she stammered. “Oh, I will come back. I didn’t know…”

It was P, a former student. She had just graduated the previous term and was now working part-time at the college while taking her last few pre-requisites for nursing school. It wasn’t like her to barge in—her nature was always respectful and humble, especially when it came to my time. She was rare that way.

“Hey! I’m in the middle of…”

“Yeah, I can go. I can…” Her eyes darted to the floor. She pulled at her long braid, wrapping it around her neck like a scarf.

“P, you okay?”

“I’ll come back…” Her eyes darted as she backed out of the room.

My co-worker made eye contact with me. “It’s okay,” she said. “We can stop for a bit.”

“Thanks.” I stood up. “P. Come in. Come in.”

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