My Night with an Omaha Prostitute

The Snoop Dog music started seeping under the door connecting our hotel rooms, and I found myself straining to recognize the songs.  Linda and Tavi were in bed before 10 p.m., but I laid there awake, unable to sleep. When one song ended, the room would be silent momentarily, and I would think, “Hmmm… They […]

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Apologizing

1. Start by saying, “Sorry if anyone was offended.”   2. Later, show added contrition and personal growth by reading a prepared statement straight from a teleprompter. Be sure to show how angry you are for being forced to do this.   3. Use the apology as an opportunity to go on the offensive to attack someone […]

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“Can You Two Play Nice?”

Americans complain a lot about the negativity in politics. At the same time, no one doubts that negativity works. It’s easier to drag down your opponent than it is to build yourself up. The way that the media covers the two campaigns doesn’t help; neither does the way people interact with one another about politics […]

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15 Minutes

I often tell my students that if they have 15 minutes to write, then they have an opportunity. That’s why we do freewrites each and every class. It’s part of the routine that I help them establish, and if they don’t do any writing other than what they do for my class, at least I […]

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Top 10 Memories of Being 10

Top 10 Memories of Being 10 10. Throwing the Nerf football with my mom. 9. Having Justin or Lance sleep over. 8. Spending the summer looking for a new house. –> I loathed the idea of moving from Casey to Mattoon, but I enjoyed the house-hunting aspect. 7. Riding my bike down the country hills […]

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When I Was 10…

When I was ten, I liked football. Most of my friends liked the Chicago Bears, but my favorite team was the Philadelphia Eagles. We played a form of free-for-all football at recess called “Smear the Q—-” (the early 1980s were not very politically correct, to say the least, at least not by 2016 standards).   […]

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No One Taught Me Motivation

No one ever taught me proper running posture. I quickly learned from smirks and points that I was probably doing it wrong. Instead of running perpendicular to the ground, I ran as though I wanted to be parallel to the ground, leaning about as far forward as I could. After a while, I observed that […]

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Persons of Interest

I still remember a time from Junior High that stung my ego. Heckle and Jeckle* and I shared a lunch hour. Often after lunch, they would sit on the bleachers, talk and joke, and watch the other kids playing basketball. I thought Heckle and Jeckle were a couple of swell guys, and so I tried […]

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The Chosen One

He exited the orthodontist’s office as I was entering. “Hey, Full-errrrrr,” he said. He always called me by my last name, and he liked to emphasize the “errrrrr.”  I liked the kid, but he was certainly “the chosen one.” Looks, athletic ability, teeth. He had it all. When I sat down in the chair, the […]

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Would You Make Different Choices?

Maybe the question is simply too theoretical for most people. We understand that we are the culmination of our choices, and for better or for worse, if we had the ability to change anything from our past, we would not be the people we are today. We understand the practical certainty (who we are), and […]

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