Mar 292011
 
The N-Word We Should Explicitly Teach to Our Students

“What’s that “N” word we were talking about last week?” I asked my students today.

“Networking!” shouted a flock simultaneously.

“Right!” I exclaimed, thrilled at how well the ongoing training was progressing. “And what does ‘Networking’ mean?”

“Meeting other people to connect ideas and opportunities,” one 8th grader offered. “Seeing how you can help someone with their project and goals,” added another, “and how they can help you on yours.” I nearly fainted in happiness. My Campaign [...Read More!]

Mar 182011
 
Why Liminal, In-between Spaces Between Cities are Great

I’m on the train now, zipping southward from Boston, driving the passenger next to me crazy by snapping photo after photo out the window.

Sorry, sir, but the light is golden-perfect, and these photos are going to illustrate something I’ve been longing to sing to the world for a long time: the liminal spaces between cities are AMAZING!

A “liminal space” is defined as the threshold between two places, states of being, or [...Read More!]

Mar 092011
 
Join This Discussion to Uncover the Heart of Bullying!

This article is dedicated to the 150 eighth and tenth grade Boston Public Schools students I have the pleasure of teaching this year.

I figure the odds are pretty good that some of my sweet students sometimes experience the stress that comes with the middle and high school social scene… and so it’s time at last to start unearthing the photos and stories of my OWN skinny self in 8th grade, to [...Read More!]

Feb 222011
 
What We Can Learn from the Hubris of Teenage Boys

I began to write this article in my head as I bounced around the back seat of a car careening down Commonwealth Avenue during rush hour.

“What’s that woman’s problem?” scoffed the young man behind the wheel as I held on for dear life. “Sheesh, learn to drive, lady!” he hollered out the window as our car lurched around the lane.

I had just finished my own one-hour driving lesson (yes, I’m 29 [...Read More!]

Feb 092011
 
Teaching Traveling Inspiration Night in Boston, March 31!

Why should we care if teachers follow their travel dreams or not?

Here’s one reason: if we teachers are telling students they can and should follow their dreams… shouldn’t WE do what it takes to follow our own travel dreams as well?

Speaking for myself, I was ready to leave teaching altogether when I left the country in August of 2009 after six years teaching in Boston Public Schools. I felt exhausted, in [...Read More!]

Feb 032011
 
From Hot Ghana Sweat to Giant Snow Banks, a Year Apart

It is difficult to write this because the heat has been broken in my apartment for five hours, and my bones (finger-bones included) are now ice-encrusted.

Maybe you’ve heard: we’ve had a liiiittle bit of winter weather here in Boston lately! What has it been: 6 giant blizzards in 6 weeks? 8 feet of snow total? Who knows. All I do know for sure is that we’ve had 5 Snow Days which [...Read More!]

Jan 232011
 
A Former Student's Against-the-Odds Egypt Travel

It was late at night last month, and I was power-walking through the tunnel between the Red Line and the Orange Line in Boston’s Downtown Crossing. Suddenly a radiant grin appeared in front of me.

“Ms. Marshall!” my former student, ShiSha, hollered, and we fell into an embrace.

“How have you been?” I asked, breathless from the coincidence.

“I’m still working at Artists for Humanity,” ShiSha replied, referring to an amazing urban youth art [...Read More!]

Jan 182011
 
Big Dig and Waterfire: We're ALL Developing Countries

What magic, the advancements that have occurred within the past few years in our “Developed” country!  I’m astounded at the changes that have taken place in the United States within my lifetime.

We in America like to prance around and declare ourselves “Developed,” while we proclaim poorer countries “Developing” or “Less Developed.”

But terms like “The Developed World” make us seem fixed, finished, and all set.  In fact, no, we sure aren’t!  From [...Read More!]

Jan 132011
 
Sparkling Photos from our Double Snow Day in Boston

There’s at least one moment every few days when I think to myself: “Teaching really is the best career in the world.” Sometimes this thought is spurred on when a student finally understands a concept.  Other days it’s activated by the zing of a vibrant classroom discussion.  Sometimes it comes from the intellectual buzz of making a tough text like Shakespeare accessible.  But, in the case of this week… my [...Read More!]

Jan 112011
 
8 Great Cities of RTW Travel to Actually Move To and Live

I had a lot of reasons for leaving my career and home to travel around the world in August of 2009, and one of them was a vision of starting a new life abroad.  For the first eight months of my voyage, I was convinced that (after rockin’ out Asia and Africa) I would find the endpoint of my dreams in Barcelona, Spain.

When I arrived in Spain, however, I realized Barcelona [...Read More!]