Lying to the young is wrong.
Proving to them that lies are true is wrong.
Telling them
that God’s in his heaven
and all’s well with the world
is wrong.
They know what you mean.
They are people too.
Tell them the difficulties
can’t be counted,
and let them see
not only
what will be
but see
with clarity
these present times.
Say obstacles exist they must encounter,
sorrow comes,
hardship happens.
The hell with it.
Who never knew
the price of happiness
will not be happy.
Forgive no error
you recognize,
it will repeat itself,
a hundredfold
and afterward
our pupils
will not forgive in us
what we forgave.

-Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Translated by Robin Milner-Gulland and Peter Levi (revised)

This poem hangs on the side of my bookcase in my office at school. I’d almost forgotten about it until I went to get some magnets during class today.

My Drug of Choice

Like many teachers, I am an addict.

Of caffeine.


At least I hope that it was obvious.

In my lexicon caffeine = tea. Here’s a picture of my at home tea station:


So you can see the enormity of my problem.

Or rather, you could, if you could see how little counter-space my kitchen actually has.

Life Reading List

Every year the staff and faculty at my school put together a list of books we recommend to the graduating seniors. Our librarian curates the list. She just sent out the annual update email, inviting us to revise our lists from last year. The list is a lovely tradition and it was really fun to put together my list last year (the first time I submitted). I didn’t make many changes this year.

In case anyone’s interested, here’s my list:


  • The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
  • Animal Dreams, Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  • Imperfect Birds, Anne Lamott
  • Range of Ghosts, Elizabeth Bear
  • The Temple of My Familiar, Alice Walker
  • The Things a Brother Knows, Dana Reinhardt
  • Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
  • Watership Down, Richard Adams
  • The Wind-Up Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Ursula K. Le Guin’s Powers and EarthSea series
  • Also, anything by: John Green, Madeline L’Engle, Tom Robbins


  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  • I’m a Stranger Here Myself, Bill Bryson
  • Listening Is an Act of Love (StoryCorps Project), Dave Isay
  • The Man Who Ate Everything, Jeffrey Steingarten
  • Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs, Smith & Fershleiser, eds.
  • Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg

I also like our librarian’s “professional librarian advice”:

Don’t read any books you don’t want to unless you have to.

What books are on your “life list”?