Cool Lesson for Today

I teach a course on short stories. It’s probably one of my favorite things to teach because I love short stories myself. Recently in class, we’ve been looking at popular fiction and the various genres. This week we’re focusing on Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Yesterday, while working on my plan for the week I had wanted a short sci-fi film that I could show in one class period that would be interesting enough to keep my students’ attention and that would have the obvious elements of sci-fi. At the time I was working on my plan I couldn’t come up with one, but while eating dinner with my husband an idea hit me, and I thought to myself – I know, an episode of Star Trek!  – which like much of what goes through my mind, I apparently verbalized this thought, much to the confusion of my husband who then said, “what about an episode of Star Trek?” 

I proceeded to explain my prior quandary, and he then reminded me of another wonderful something…The Twilight Zone! Oh, yes, that would be even better!

In seeking out the perfect episode to show today, I landed quite fortuitously upon “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.”

This was beyond perfect! Not just for the purposes of my lesson, but also perfect amidst our recent political climate change. It was the perfect message for my students to hear, and perhaps myself as well.

Quite in awe of how beautifully this all came together, I couldn’t wait to write this post because I wanted to share just a small reminder to all about the dangers of mass hysteria/the mob effect and how we often let our fears control us to the point of chewing off our own tails. Fear of the unknown and different is not an excuse for bigotry.

Enjoy, My Friends, Enjoy!



What I Know of Leaves

As a child, I loved autumn – the fallen leaves raked in piles on my lawn with their musty scent always thrilled me. I remember my Dad and I raked the leaves from around the entire yard to create the largest mound possible before plunging into the mountainous pile.

I still find great pleasure in the autumn leaves, but I haven’t jumped into a pile of them in quite some time. Perhaps I need to do that again. But these days I find myself admiring the colors and shapes of leaves. I enjoy the crunch of dried leaves beneath my feet as I cross the lawn and I still love their earthy scent. I enjoy watching the squirrels scamper through them as they seek to hide their treasures.

I think the leaves are my favorite part of the season. They seem to pair nicely with jeans, hooded sweatshirts, and hiking boots.

Upon the wind, they gather and play
dancing and swirling as though
they were a sign of youth and vigor
instead of the dying of another season.

Laying one upon the other
Shifting and stirring,
rustling with
each footfall and breath of the Earth.

Hues changing, ripening
with intense beauty and fading
into the background with age.