How My Daughter Succeeded Where Marie Kondo Failed

I’m a dinosaur.  In this age of smart phones and online dictionaries, I own two physical dictionaries.  You know, dictionaries.  Big, heavy books filled with definitions. About as up-to-date as telephones that plug into the wall, sit on a shelf and stay inside when you leave the house. I have carted them across the United… Continue reading How My Daughter Succeeded Where Marie Kondo Failed

The American Dream Costs You Your Life

I went to Guatemala to study Spanish. Guatemala City is home to no fewer than three statues of Christopher Columbus. All three show him standing atop the globe. Riding buses and reading newspapers, I saw pictures of presidents, vice presidents, and ambassadors who looked like the man atop the globe. Most Guatemalans are of Mayan descent.… Continue reading The American Dream Costs You Your Life

Dusty Around the Eyes

Names change colors when you are dusty around the eyes. Watch a gerenuk at sunset while listening to a Walkman. These two odd sentences are mnemonics I constructed to remind myself of chains of thought that occurred to me while learning to do anthropological fieldwork in East Africa. Searching the forests of the Semliki Valley… Continue reading Dusty Around the Eyes

Dad 2.0

My daughter says my stories seem fake because my characters don’t use cell phones.  There’s no email either, I tell her. Nor Insta, TikTok, or Twitter. She rolls her eyes and says, Cell phones are mandatory, Dad. Man-da-tory. Maybe she’s right. She’s 17 after all.  I tell her, I think technology peaked with the invention… Continue reading Dad 2.0

Not Quite Canadian

I couldn’t figure it out. Was there something on my face? Was my fly open? I hadn’t made it halfway across campus from the bus stop and three friends had already stopped me to ask how I was doing.  I was fine, as far as I knew.  But I was starting to wonder. It was… Continue reading Not Quite Canadian