March 15, 2018

After rereading John LeCarre's espionage thriller The Spy Who Came in from the Cold to great

satisfaction, I decided to pick up my favorite of his works Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and read it

for perhaps the fifth time.  It's a pretty much once-per-decade pleasure I beque...

March 2, 2018

I grew up in the world of comic books, what today to collectors has come to be known

as the Silver Age.  Comic books really began in the 1930s (the Golden Age), when such classic

titles as Action Comics (featuring Superman) and Detective Comics (featuring Batman) caught

t...

February 8, 2018

I've gone back a few times over the decades to Herman Melville's masterpiece, Moby Dick,

but it's been a while, and I'm not getting any younger, so I thought I would revisit an old

friend. I wondered whether the book--possibly the Great American Novel--would stand up

to s...

February 2, 2018

Academy Award season is upon us, and I thought I'd pay tribute to someone who has been
criminally overlooked for a quarter of a century!  Oh, it's not as bad as the Oscar snubs given
to people like Cary Grant, Peter O'Toole, Richard Burton, or Alfred Hitchcock, but it'...

December 9, 2017

As my loyal readers know, I am a big fan of jazz music during the Christmas/New Year's

season. Part of the reason is that Christmas is a sad time for many. You feel the excitement

and promise of the holidays that you knew as a child, but when you are an adult you

are burd...

November 22, 2017

It's still hard for me to believe that I was fortunate enough to see the dance company

of the legendary Martha Graham. I don't know if I recall correctly, but I was forced to

stay at college during Thanksgiving and the young woman, Janet, who became my wife's

maid-of-hono...

November 11, 2017

Joe Papp was a New York City icon.  In many ways, he still

is because his legacy thrives.  It was Joe, the son of Jewish

immigrants from Russia, who convinced NYC to approve

the creation of the New York Shakespeare Festival.  In the

early 60s, Joe introduced free Shakespea...

September 16, 2017

Last piece on the Summer of Love, but it's been fun. Just so you don't think I'm viewing that period as those halcyon days of yore, I was inspired by a recent article on NJ.com to print some of the advertising from the era of the Summer of Love, just to give you a sens...

August 1, 2017

Now that I am squarely in my dotage, I thought it would be interesting to revisit some

of the books I loved in my younger days.  Perhaps I would experience the same rapture I

once knew.  Or maybe I would give myself a forehead slap and ask, "What was I thinking?!"  

...

June 30, 2017

Like many young people who are diagnosed with bone cancer, Canadian Terry Fox faced

a heart-wrenching choice: lose the leg or dramatically increase the odds of losing your life.

When the spread of metastatic osteosarcoma made the decision to amputate necessary in 1977,

Te...

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September 14, 2018

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April 23, 2018

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Back in 2011, a school administrator asked me if I'd like to start a blog.  I thought it was an intriguing offer that would give me the opportunity to discuss cultural questions that I couldn't necessarily work into class discussions.  Plus, it offered me the chance to discuss many of the wonderful experiences I've had in more than forty years in and out of the field of education.  I have enjoyed sharing my views with my students and have learned from their responses.

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