What scares me about Trump? The numbers.

The compiled video * of lunch counter civil rights protesters being assaulted in North Carolina and Mississippi in the 1960s, now “narrated” by actual audio of Donald Trump speaking about protests at his own rallies, has almost certainly cleared 10 million views by now, and the responses are predictable:

  • Many of those who are already outraged by Trump find reinforcement for their outrage.
  • Many of those who endorse what Trump says find the video amusing.

We are entrenched.

We are beyond any point of return or compromise.

Unlike the lead-up to most elections, there is very little element of “undecided” about how we approach the Republican soon-to-be-nominee. **

Continue reading “What scares me about Trump? The numbers.”

“Lift off.”

An address from, to, for the Class of 2016 in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, by Donovan Livingston, Ed.M. ’16 – which phrasing sells way short what you will experience if you play this brief and inspiring video.

[Some very brief biographical information: Mr. Livingston is a 2009 graduate of UNC Chapel Hill (BA History), earned an MA from Teachers College in 2011, and became a member of Phi Beta Sigma in 2008.]

And here, for posterity, is the transcript of Mr. Livingston’s address, as provided by the Harvard website:

Continue reading ““Lift off.””

Memorial Day


(Above photo by Todd Heisler / Rocky Mountain News)

Monday, May 30, 2016, is this year’s Memorial Day – a federal holiday set aside to honor Americans who died while serving in our nation’s military.

Officially, the day has been noted in some manner since 1868, when it was called Decoration Day. It is not to be confused with Veterans Day – Nov. 11 – which honors all of our nation’s veterans.

Monday – Memorial Day – is a time to honor the more than 1.3 million Americans who have perished during their service over the 241 years of our wars and conflicts and operations, from the beginning of the Revolution that brought us our independence, through Operation Inherent Resolve.

Lily Burana’s extraordinary post from the May 2012 New York Times, along with Todd Heisler’s image of love, heartbreak, dedication, tell a story that echoes across all those years.


In my own family, we will be honoring my Great-Great-Great-Uncle August Heller …

Continue reading “Memorial Day”

And to all a good night …

On a Christmas Eve more than 50 years ago, my parents got me out of bed and took me to the window nearest the head of my bed.

“Can you hear that?” my father asked. “I think I hear bells!” he said. “Look up there! Does that look like a sleigh?”

He was pointing up through the pine boughs, and yes, I believed that I could hear bells, and that I could see a distant sleigh coursing across the sky.

I learned many years later that our kind and generous neighbor Charlie Finnegan had been hiding behind a tree, shaking a set of sleigh bells – creating the perfect fantasy for a young boy who hoped Santa might be on his way.

Tonight, on this particular Christmas Eve, my wish for you is that you can feel what I felt those many years ago – what I still feel every year.

I hope you have trust in the revitalizing power of magic and community, whatever that means in your life. In mine, it means that Charlie Finnegan is still ringing the bells from behind the tree.


Meet Lauren Rousseau

These are links to stories and commentary about Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau, of Danbury, a teacher who died Dec. 14, 2012, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School.

From Lauren’s mother, a year after the tragedy.

A year of grief and gratitude

Commentary, which includes a poem by Lauren’s sister, Emily.
From Emily

From The Hartford Courant, Dec. 31, 2012.
“It Could Have Been …”

A photo of her memorial service in Danbury.
First Congregational Church

A story about her memorial service (with photographs).
“An Angel …”

From The News-Times, where Lauren’s mother works.
“The Best Year …”