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Author Archive | greg


I looked down on the playground from the second floor.  Below, I saw  fifth grade Tyler, long bangs, green eyes, chipped tooth and a big mouth which Melody – light skinned girl with thick arms – offered to shut, no charge: “Shut it now so I don’t have to pop a hole in your head.” […]

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Kyrie’s thin frame floats inside his oversized blue jeans the way a butterfly might hover above a canvas sack. He has no connection to the ground. Long rows of black hair waft over his head, possessed by an electricity that he cannot constrain. And who would want to hold him back? He wants to be […]

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Voting Day arrived! A rowdy wrap to a raucous school-wide election.  I stood that morning in a huddle with an anxious election committee, Jasmyne and Jermaine (twins), Maddie and Dwayne, and two second graders who loved being out of class. The bunch bickered about who should have done what. When Jasmyne shouted down her brother – “Be quiet […]

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School had yet to start. Already, I found myself stepping through the back gate and walking up the hill. Jessica, a fourth grader with long lashes and a sassy mouth had left through that gate, and my job was to find her before I had to call police and her grandmother. I just wanted to have […]

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My visit to Principal Bronson’s school started in the quietest way. I arrived by way of a gate at the far north side of the yard. Soft soled shoes. Sweet breeze. Seagulls circling. Empty, peaceful playground. Then, as I crossed a set of four-square courts – a passing delivery truck banged over a speed bump as the door to […]

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When I look at my notes about that mid-September day, I see details of a child who went missing. My notations show that we followed the usual procedure: We did not wait to act. We divided up and went into our search pattern – one to the east yard, another to the west, a third […]

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If I tell you a story about a particular kind of pitch – a slow rollie – and if I tell you about the kick that followed, I am not telling you what I saw. I am re-telling a nine year-old’s tale. I will admit that I had my back turned at the time. You […]

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This morning I received three bits of news on my way from the office to the playground. One, two, three, wham! The information proved a bit more than I could manage and I found myself drifting toward ’tilt’ even before the first bell. I held long enough to say good morning to the school and I sent the […]

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Each school day, when the day ends, twenty or thirty folks gather outside the back gate. I come to the playground, open the gate and parents step onto the yard to pick up their children.  They mingle and chat. Friendly almost always. Connections and reunions abound. One Friday, however, I got a call on the […]

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Saturday afternoon, I went into school to catch up on paperwork. Always quiet on a weekend, I thought. Then, around sunset, I heard a tremendous racket from up the hill. Multiple male voices shouting. What the heck? I padded down the main stairs toward the back of the building. As I got to the big […]

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