Learning from failure

The teacher walked up and down the aisle handing out magic markers and brightly colored folders like you might find at an office supply store. I got a red one, the girl in front of me got an orange one. It was the first day of school, I was starting the sixth grade, and, of …

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It is what it is

I put my phone down in anger. I find anymore that one quick scroll or skim of social media or the day's news headlines can bring on the bitter taste of anger and sadness. I get frustrated that others can be so close-minded and selfish. I was still seething with anger when my wife, sitting …

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The best laid plans of mice and men

Folk singer and songwriter John Prine had been planning to play several live shows in Kentucky, Calgary, and at the famed Apollo Theater in New York City in a few weeks in May and June. He had shows booked well into the Fall and even had a couple of events planned for next February. Prine …

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Paying homage to All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

When life hits back, and as we're finding out right now, it can pack a powerful punch, I find that I return to a few favorite things: God, my wife, my family, and my core belief system that goodness, kindness and hard work, and other related common everyday virtues, will win out. I may be …

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We’re in this together

When terrorists struck the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Northern Virginia., and a third jet that crashed in a small field in Somerset County on September 11, 2001, first responders, firemen, and police rushed to help the survivors. In the days that followed, we …

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Sticking up for myself

I stormed up to my bigger and stronger teammate and told him that he may have had an out-of-this-world batting swing and ranked as one of the best players on our baseball team, but he should stop bullying everyone. The rest of us didn’t appreciate his behavior. My teammates, seeing my bravery and courage, of …

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The Ice Queen

The woman stood in the middle of the ice rink, one toe up on the edge of the skate, and watched over the rink like a queen inspecting her staff or a hardened general watching over a battlefield. The woman wore a matching blue jacket and pants and a white headband that kept her hair …

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Whatever happened to Shop Class?

The whirling jigsaw cut through the wood like a sharp knife slicing through butter, sending dust and wood chips through the air. The shop teacher watched me closely with a blank stare, but he left me in control of everything. My father had a similar saw at home, but he didn’t like us kids using …

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