What Should We Talk About?

My favorite part of teaching was sharing evocative passages, affecting scenes, meaningful lyrics and innovative ideas with my students. We’d read, watch and listen to them, then think, talk and write about them.


It kept me from the curriculum. But then I’d think, Why isn’t this the curriculum? This is what kids need to learn! For example, after watching the scene where Tom Hanks scolds Geena Davis in A League of Their Own,


“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!”


I’d share it with students and explain why I showed it to them. And now I’m sharing passages, scenes, lyrics and ideas with you with the goal of getting a thought-provoking, life-enhancing conversations started.

Aya, the 1% (or less) club and why we're dependent on a tiny percentage of people to save us. (t

Recently, one of my former students, Aya Kusumoto, who went on to earn a BFA in Fashion Design from The California College of the Arts in San Francisco, updated me on her life. Aya She wrote, "I was able to figure out what I wanted to do as a career: material design. It involves sustainability, and being from the Bay Area I was able to incorporate technology and science into my work by figuring out how to create food waste materials and agar bioplastic. If you're interested in seeing my work, my website (is here)...Because I had this big focus on bringing sustainability into fashion and material design, Nike recruiters..." Nike offered Aya an internship in Oregon, where she is now. But that'