Ode to Harpeth Hall

You students, you plaid, you dress uniforms
You Souby lawn grass, you magnolia shine
You red bricks, you Ann Scott Carell library
You Wallace, you Massey, you Bullard 
You green hills, and rain, and snow sometimes
You cardinals darting from tree to tree
You middle school girls skipping and free
You AP scholars, you Harkness discussions
You United States history, your voices so bright
I sing your praise for days now past
Though some may say he’s a California lad
The truth is, he’s really quite sad
Harpeth Hall you have made your mark
And hark, you who I taught, I may be gone
but you still have my heart

Remembering Mr. DeLong: 1946-2023

I attended Taylor Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia during the late 1970’s into the mid-1980’s. I had some incredible teachers at Taylor. Very high on that list was Mr. DeLong (Mr. D). He was my physical education teacher and had played college basketball and baseball at George Washington University. His approach to PE was methodical; he was so dedicated to the Presidential Fitness Test, Field Day competitions, and all of the details that went into games like dodgeball and earth ball. I remember his deep love of basketball and can still picture his smooth jump shot. After I graduated from college, I came back to visit with Mr. D. We shot hoops for part of an afternoon and I enjoyed just being near his calm energy. A couple of years later I taught my very first class of students at Malcolm X Elementary School in San Francisco. With those 4th graders I went by Mr. D, in honor of Mr. DeLong.

You can read his obituary here: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/arlington-va/jeffery-delong-11255200?utm_source=obit_alerts&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=obit_detail&utm_content=decedent_name

Amigos de las Americas

Amigos de las Americas had a tremendous impact on my life. I worked with the nonprofit as a Volunteer in Azuay, Ecuador (1990), in Lempira, Honduras as a Field Supervisor (1993), as an Assistant Project Director in El Oro, Ecuador (1996), and as a Project Director in Villarrica, Paraguay (1998).


My 9/11/01

the second tower went down
when I was in the car
heard disbelief, NPR like me
unable to stay calm, explaining
the before of white shirts waving for help
specks of humanity jumping out of windows
their hail hit while
I was eating my cereal flakes

at school, televisions on in every room
sirens rushing sound all over screens
the towers falling over and over again
repetition, it happened, it happened

“what does this mean?” I asked my students
as if they knew
“we are going to war,” one said
he wasn’t wrong

I put my classroom flag out in the hall
duct taped it up for all to see
half-staff in my mind
everything in disarray
some TVs stayed on the whole day

kids asked the one teacher from Manhattan
who she knew there
almost excited to hear loss firsthand
like watching people on CNN
holding photos of sisters, mothers, dads
the missing
the forever gone