Category Archive: Oakland

Dentists, razor blades, and new friends

I didn’t know yet that another layer of institutional bureaucratic chicanery was going to keep me from getting my teeth cleaned yesterday afternoon, so I sat in the waiting room with the other… Continue reading

Seeking dental advice

They were remarkably consistent. From the two receptionists who didn’t seem to know how to check me in (“Isn’t this kinda what you do all day?” I resisted asking), to the x-ray “technician”… Continue reading

Everybody hates Shimla

The expats and wealthier Indians I talked to were unanimous. From a bewildered “Shimla? Why are you going there? Just on your way to someplace better, right?” to the more succinct “Shimla sucks”… Continue reading

I miss my friends

Well, the good news is, almost everybody got a job. I’m trying to focus on that. The woman in her early 40s with the big smile, and the shy younger woman (who swears… Continue reading

Friends

Tall and dark, their food was spiced differently and they spoke of a place called Yugoslavia that sounded exotic and sad. But it was all just texture for the aunt, uncle, and two… Continue reading

How many lawyers does it take to change an Islamophobic lightbulb?

No. Today is too beautiful for what I wrote last night about the plotlines of a dystopian novel are running off the page and into the headlines. (When Homeland Security wants to require visitors… Continue reading

My experience with refugees

Refugees don’t come to America for a handout. They don’t come to take anyone’s job. They come because they are like you and me.

Lucy

You always know it’s coming. But that doesn’t make it any easier. Yes, she’d been slowing down lately, showing her age, but that just meant she’d take short breaks while playing full-bore fetch… Continue reading

Hands Around Lake Merritt

Was election night as bad as it gets, or is the worst still to come? That sick feeling of disappointment, of alienation from your nation, of watching a big part of my demographic… Continue reading

Gratitude for refugees

Eritrea, Myanmar, Iraq, Senegal, Afghanistan, Syria. It’s not my Travel List (well, that too) it’s a sampling of my students. Refugees all, they came from backgrounds I cannot imagine, experiences I want to… Continue reading