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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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Hours ago, I found Shannon O’Neil, a small-boned fifth grader, sitting in a rumple of hoodie and big blue jeans, outside the door of his classroom. Kicked out, it seemed. Ms. Glenda Jackson, twenty-seven year veteran teacher with a short fuse, often kicked out that which made no sense to her. Shannon today fit that […]

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When Karina and Grace got into it yesterday morning, they did not know that I stood near enough to hear every word. It started with a typical litany of grievances, infractions, betrayals, and spite delivered with a hiss. The first barrage came from Karina. Then, with a stammer, from Grace. Then back to the top. […]

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You have to walk down two flights of stairs to get to the playground. This path leads out through battered metal doors propped open by two ancient trashcans – one can on each side. Monday morning, Felicia hid just outside and to the right. When I reached the doorway, she popped out in front of […]

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I am standing on a playground that resembles my school’s yard  – a flat asphalt square, wet, divided by the painted lines of play spaces. The blacktop sits adjacent to streets that pour downhill into alleys, apartments and a gathering mist. I can’t see the bay, but I feel it out there, beyond the fog. I say […]

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