Category Archive: people

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.

The Dutch woman in Macedonia who helps me with Trump

The Dutch lady was barely paying attention to our conversation. “It’s Bitola, not Bitola” she said, putting the stress on the first syllable instead of the second. BEET-ola. Grateful for the correction, I… Continue reading

Something unexpected and normal happened just now

I was well into my lineup of questions and answers, ordinal numbers and time sequences in class today, blue marker and red marker, hoping my students were getting something out of my antics… 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

Salvation and interference on a bus into Macedonia

We’d been like followers of some not very popular religions sect, gathering off-hours to worship in someone else’s oversized church. That’s how Thessaloniki’s train station felt during a rail strike, but a few… Continue reading

The Wizard of Oz and I

“When I was a boy, I knew what I wanted to be.” My assumption was beginning when he filled in the answer. “A cowboy!”

Happy Thanksgiving Mr R!

Happy Thanksgiving Mr R! It was a pleasure to meet you a few months ago, and I dearly hope that your first American Thanksgiving is a happy day, when you can join me,… Continue reading

Earthquake in Nepal, inevitable and unexpected, national and personal

Everyone knew an earthquake like this would happen and devastate Nepal. The geography and history made it obvious, inevitable. Who could look at those fault lines and think otherwise? . . During my… Continue reading

Happy new year! From a crotchety and grateful old man.

I don’t automatically care all that much about New Year’s Eve. I’m not much of a drinker, and I get queasy if I’m not in bed by about 3:00 AM, so not a… Continue reading

Protest Part Five: weary, wary, and working together

I was guilty of the thing I loathe: letting the misbehavior of a few drown out the positive actions of the many, but when I got home from another night of protest last… Continue reading