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21 to 30 of 128 columns
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21. online education
teaching, and learning, without a classroom
writing - improvement
7.11.08 : feature column!

Earlier this week, for the fourteenth time, I began a new semester of teaching. Like thirteen times before, I experienced the usual amounts of excitement, anticipation, nervousness, and about 37 hundred other emotions –- many of them conflicting -- that the start of a new class entails. But unlike most of those other times, I didn’t walk into a classroom full of new faces who would become very familiar to me as we spent hours together, puzzling through the wonders of the English lang...
22. how not to run a baseball team
learning from the nationals' mistakes
sports - criticism
6.11.08 : feature column!

First, take a city that’s been teased with the possibility of baseball happiness for literally decades, and promise them a team. The city’s been used before; it's been the Other Woman for franchises from Houston to San Diego, a pawn in a blackmail game in order to gain large and modern stadiums full of luxury boxes funded with taxpayer money. To this city, add a franchise that’s been picked dry of its talent, names like Pedro Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero, Moises Alou, Larry Walker, Orlando Cabr...
23. i want my wb
classic tv network lives again
television - appreciation
5.9.08 : feature column!

For a brief few weeks between my first two real post-college jobs, I took a temp position at a new television station. It was an exciting time for the WB: the network had just gone national, consolidating local stations that had been purveyors of fine television like the "Creature Double Feature" and kept a new generation engrossed in the trials of the Brady kids. The WB, and its counterpart, UPN, hoped to follow in FOX’s wildly successful footsteps by becoming the fifth and sixth national net...
24. globetrotting
the pleasures of a hometown paper
news - appreciation
4.14.08 : feature column!

As far back as I can remember, mornings in the house where I grew up always focused around the Boston Globe. We were a newspaper family; whether it was Mike Barnicle or Will McDonough or Jim Davis or James Carroll or Bella English or Anne Landers, we were always reading somebody over our Cheerios and orange juice. It was one of the absolutes of my childhood: we’d wake to find the Globe on the front steps (or later, after my dad befriended the delivery man, folded neatly on the table inside t...
25. love, actually
how two modern movies got it right
film - appreciation
3.12.08 : feature column!

The great Hollywood love stories rarely had happy endings. Would we still be talking about Casablanca if Ilsa didn’t get on that plane? Would anyone care that love means never having to say you’re sorry if Ali MacGraw didn’t die in the end? Would we believe it if pinko Barbra Streisand and straight-laced Robert Redford actually stayed together? Our romantic tales spring from the roots of Romeo and Juliet, and we all know how well that ended. But the predominance of the romantic comedy chang...
26. beware the blues of february
the shortest month is short on inspiration
writing - process
2.11.08 : feature column!

Is there a month worse than February? Every other month that graces the calendar has something to recommend it: March Madness, the start of baseball season, Memorial Day weekend, all the way through the sultry days of summer, the crisp weekends of fall, the cold nights of the winter holidays, culminating in January, a month packed full of long weekends, birthday celebrations, and good football. And with them? Good column topics. Just last February I complained about the overabundance of ...
27. the perfect column
why it won't ever happen
general - improvement
1.11.08 : feature column!

There’s a word I removed from my vocabulary a long time ago that’s now creeping its way back into my life. The word is “perfect.” I decided a long time ago that there’s no such thing as the perfect job, the perfect marriage, the perfect life, and I wasn’t doing myself any favors by striving for some idealistic unreachable goal that allowed no room for human error, and by definition, was unachievable. It may be possible that I banned the word from my vocabulary in the several months before my ...
28. how to win
when football is life
sports - lifestyle
12.12.07 : feature column!

As your team moves forward on the cold green field in front of you, you realize you have a decision to make. You fold your gray sweatshirt-encased arms across your body, and study the situation in front of you. Tuning out the angry swell of the Buffalo crowd, tuning out the noise and chaos and the chatter that permanently encrusts your life, you face the situation at hand. Once, twice, three times your men have failed at the task in front of them, and this is what you consider -– not the broa...
29. write now
why the strike that hurts tv hurts us
television - criticism
11.12.07 : feature column!

After I’d temporarily neglected my Netflix queue, two unexpected discs recently showed up in my mailbox: one, the first four episodes of a highly recommended television show; one a ten-year-old movie that I’m still not sure exactly how it made its way onto my list at all. The TV show was “Friday Night Lights,” and after ignoring it for several days, I finally popped in the pilot, and was utterly transfixed by a near-perfect composition of beauty, drama, pathos, and representation of the human s...
30. i'm just spit-balling here
baseball in the moment
sports - criticism
10.12.07 : feature column!

It is Monday night, and I’m cheering for a man named Pronk. Pronk. I cannot even tell you where that nickname came from, or why, and as soon as the sludge of consonants leaves my mouth, I’m already regretting it, because there’s a very good chance I’ll be cursing that same name in five days, because that’s what the playoffs do to you. I only have two rules for the postseason. If Boston’s there, then it’s go Sox. And if the Yankees are there, it’s go anyone but New York. Which means I’m lus...
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re: william wants a doll

Great question, and great response -- still figuring it out as you go along, as we all do, but I appreciate how thoughtful and honest you are about it.

re: baby without the maybe

Wow. Just lovely.

re: baby without the maybe


re: baby without the maybe


re: whose concept of conception?

There are lots of other things you should question about the RC Church.

re: open mind, closed marriage

Thoughtful and challenging--walking towards oncoming traffic and I'm walking with you!

re: winning isn't everything

The nice thing about a bad season is there's always next year. The bad thing about a winning season is there's always next year.

re: welcome to hollywoodn't

Good work.

re: my mother's daughter

A beautiful tribute.

re: my mother's daughter

Simply gorgeous, and lovely, and warm, and wonderful.

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