The Holocaust Lady

I remember her words like it happened yesterday. March 2004, San Francisco, California: the Northern California Forum on Holocaust Education. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum had brought me in as a team member to run one of five classroom sessions, accommodating more than 200 attendees, including survivors. We had just finished a few days […]

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In Memoriam: Henry Greenbaum, a Photo Essay

With love for Chuna Grynbaum/ Henry Greenbaum/ My Henry, 1928-2018 I will write about my Henry and his story soon, I promise. *A majority of these photos were taken by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on a very special day for me. Henry spoke at First Person,  which was also moderated by my dear […]

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Seven Ways to Create the Perfect Classroom Environment

1. Plants, lighting, smells, and sounds: all important. Plants feel “homey” and provide oxygen, which is necessary for breathing, right? The more natural light the better—lift those blinds. Doesn’t matter what age student you have, no one likes a stinky room. Your olfactory senses are tied to memories, you know, so don’t make your classroom […]

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Time (Clock of the Heart)

Why does life seem to be happening so quickly these days? Little Layla is now four and a half months old, Natalie and Ryan have officially tied the knot (and are home from their Dominican Republic honeymoon with a nice mystery rash), it’s already October, and school has been in full force for six weeks […]

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Holding on While Letting Go

Sunday night, 8:45’ish p.m. Jackson and I hop into my white CRV for a quick drive into town. I take the back roads fast in the mid-August evening air, both of our windows down so he can smoke. As I breathe in the woodsy, laced-with-cigarette countryside, nostalgia takes over, and for a brief moment, I […]

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Real Life Lessons from the Classroom

I like to bring the real world into my classroom—at least as much as I can—and when it was time for me to get down to writing a keynote address for the ASJA conference in NYC mid-May, I panicked. What would I tell this group of writers, who undoubtedly had more profound writing credentials than […]

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The Beginner’s Guide to Aging Gracefully

Tomorrow, June 9, my beautiful daughters Jerrica and Natalie will turn 26 and 24 years old, respectively. When I was their age(s), I was in my first three years of marriage (and teaching) with a toddler and a baby, and my world revolved around changing diapers, finding where formula was the cheapest in the area, […]

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We(b Log) #52: By the Numbers

Today: May 31, 2018. I am 49 years, 4 months, 25 days, and 11 (and a 1/2) hours old. I just completed my twenty-sixth year of teaching high school English. I’ve almost been married to my second husband, Jackson, for four years now. Wow, that was fast. I have three children with my first husband, […]

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The Adventures of Mimi and Layla

I only got one look at that teeny, tiny, perfect little girl with ten fingers and ten toes and an angelic face before my world stopped. Just twelve hours ago, I met her: my firstborn daughter’s born-too-early daughter, Layla. With a middle name just like mine, Lorraine. Sigh. I can’t concentrate, I can’t read, I […]

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Writing out into the World

In just four days, Permanent Marker: A Memoir, will have its two-month anniversary of being out there in the world. I’m happy to report that, overall, it has gotten rave reviews, and if you don’t believe me—but you should—just check out Goodreads or Amazon (where we finally made it past the 50 mark—wahoo!). The most […]

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