Lessons Learned From Teaching College Freshmen

1. “My printer broke” has now replaced “The dog ate it” as the top excuse for homework not turned in on time.

2. English composition (“English Comp”) may now be called communication (“COM”).

3. COM employs more communication theory and less actual writing, thereby stimulating (in this observer’s estimation) less powerful communication than did English […]

A Contemporary Fable: Looking Ahead to Days Gone By

In the city at the center of the civilized world lived a boy who was born into all the privileges and pleasures appointed to a certain class of people. Namely, educated, wealthy individuals. Families, really. And associations of families. It was an orderly, prescribed, and proscribed system that seemed to be working well—at least for […]

Frames for Quilting

Quilting is often a group activity, but the process of teaming up on a quilt often starts as a lone endeavor. The design has to be decided and pieced together, and one person—the quilt’s owner—often does that beforehand. The style is her decision. A Double Wedding Ring, often given as a wedding gift. A Log […]

Drinks, Food, and Friends at db Bistro Moderne

Chef Daniel Boulud, owner of db Bistro Moderne, with Lynne Ryan, owner of Chefs to Dine For (All photos by Rodney Bedsole Photography)

One might expect the best thing about the experience of Chefs to Dine For would be the incredible food. Chefs to Dine For is the name of Lynne Ryan’s Manhattan […]

The Majesty of Words, the Joy of Writing

Last week I learned that Sarah Lawrence College has accepted my application for admittance this fall into their Master of Fine Arts Writing Program. While I’m certain this will be a rewarding journey, it won’t be an easy one. I will still be writing and editing full time at the headquarters of a global bank, […]

A Tribute to Peter Richards

He was born Jerry Leon Richards, on January XX, 19XX. He came up out of Lyles, a hardscrabble hamlet in Hickman County, Tennessee. But forget all that. He chose to forget it, or at least to put it behind him, and so I do too, out of respect for his conviction of who he really […]

Gardening and the Cycle of Life

I’m sitting in my home office gazing out the window onto a small backyard made lush by raised flower and vegetable beds. Down South, we’d call this converted porch lacking heat and air conditioning a Florida room. Florida rooms aren’t ideal for the winters we get here in New Rochelle, New York, but they are […]

What Abraham Lincoln Can Teach Us About Life and Writing

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the battle that led to Lincoln’s now-revered Gettysburg Address, which he delivered on November 19, 1863. It wasn’t well received. Here is a sample of the news of the day:

The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and […]

Carl Roosevelt Garland: A Common Life, Uncommon Fortitude

Carl Roosevelt Garland was born June 24, 1926, in Lawrence County, Tennessee, and died February 24, 2013, six weeks after a debilitating stroke. His official education was limited to eight years of schooling. A few years later, in July of 1950, he decided he needed to go where the jobs were, Detroit, finding work with […]

A Perfect Pairing: Redeye Grill & Chaplin

One of the great things about Chefs to Dine For dinners is that each event is so different. I’ve attended a number of these feasts and all have been relaxed evenings—until this one. The September 2012 occasion was an action-packed, delicious feast for the eyes and ears as well the nose and palate, but […]