Where Shall We Meet

Fourteen Lines

paul-laurence-dunbar Paul Lawrence Dunbar

On An Old Book With Uncut Leaves

by Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872 – 1906)

Emblem of blasted hope and lost desire,
No finger ever traced thy yellow page
Save Time’s. Thou hast not wrought to noble rage
The hearts thou wouldst have stirred. Not any fire
Save sad flames set to light a funeral pyre
Dost thou suggest. Nay,–impotent in age,
Unsought, thou holdst a corner of the stage
And ceasest even dumbly to aspire.

How different was the thought of him that writ.
What promised he to love of ease and wealth,
When men should read and kindle at his wit.
But here decay eats up the book by stealth,
While it, like some old maiden, solemnly,
Hugs its incongruous virginity


I wonder if you have to be a writer to understand the sadness of this poem?  Only writers think about such things as whether the…

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A Short Analysis of Sylvia Plath’s ‘Elm’

Interesting Literature

Like many of her poems, including her mature poems from her late period, ‘Elm’ is an obscure Sylvia Plath poem which resists straightforward analysis. Plath’s complex and ambiguous use of symbolism renders ‘Elm’, if not impenetrable, then at the very least, challenging. You can read ‘Elm’ here before proceeding to our analysis of the poem below.

The elm tree is a tree associated with rebirth. Unlike the yew tree – which, in Plath’s ‘The Moon and the Yew Tree’, is associated with masculinity, Christianity, and death – the elm tree offers hope of revival and resurrection. Like another Sylvia Plath poem which has attracted a good deal of analysis and commentary, ‘Lady Lazarus’, ‘Elm’ is about rebirth, but with the knowledge that in order to be reborn there must first be death.

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Whirling Fantastic

Love this!!!!

Fourteen Lines

Luminary Loppet Luminary Loppet Minneapolis, MN

The Snow Fairy

by Claude McKay

I

Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,
Whirling fantastic in the misty air,
Contending fierce for space supremacy.
And they flew down a mightier force at night,
As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,
And they, frail things had taken panic flight
Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.
I went to bed and rose at early dawn
To see them huddled together in a heap,
Each merged into the other upon the lawn,
Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.
The sun shone brightly on them half the day,
By night they stealthily had stol’n away.


We have had not one but two significant snow storms this week.  We have surpassed the monthly average total for snow fall in Minneapolis and here it is only barely the…

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Birth of a New Brain: Review

Medicated Mommy

It’s time for all of us with mood disorders to achieve our goals, whether it’s getting out of bed at 6:00 a.m., taking on a volunteer job, or being present with our family. It’s time to surround ourselves with people who love us.

Dyane Harwood

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Dyane Harwood, author of Birth of a New Brain. She offered me a free copy of her book in exchange for a review on my blog. I was touched, especially considering my blog is brand new. I agreed because I knew that her story would be a perfect fit here. Dyane’s book is about her experience with Post Partum Bipolar Disorder. It also chronicles her struggle with chronic depression.

Dyane’s story reached into my soul and connected to me in a way I didn’t think was possible. I didn’t think I would enjoy this book, as…

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Statum & Pecunia (Answering Seth Godin)

At a recent business meeting, a business owner who handles mortgages talked about helping her clients and her family with the Debit Card Challenge. She discussed how people don’t realize how much money they are going through and where and when they are spending it because the debit card makes it invisible, one can’t see it. It isn’t until people actually hold a $50 bill in their hand and think about breaking it for a $4 cup of coffee that it becomes “real”.

Why this story? Because Seth Godin asks: How will it change their status?

Money is a universal language. When teaching someone English, money is a great place to begin because everyone needs money. Usually when students are learning on their own, they begin with the pecunia, the money.

Pecunia = statum.

Money = status. Money=status= survival.

The difficult part is convincing the adolescent or youngster of the whole money=status= survival and that for this equation to work, they need to complete certain classes and the chain reaction begins that they have to pass tests. We all have to do this.

So back to Seth. Convincing people not to spend money on fast food or any triviality versus your services is often an uphill battle. Sacrifice your Starbucks for a week to get help with that class you’re failing, help with the license exam you can’t pass, get that new resume. Starbucks and fast food places makes enough money from enough people.

I love, said with irony here, sitting in Starbucks and seeing people buying $10 or more worth of products on repeated days. Many of these same people have told me they can’t afford my services yet giving up a week for a better life seems like a win-win in the long run.

Shoot for the statum, my friends.

Are you Maya Vargas? (Answering Seth Godin)

What change are you seeking to make?

A lot of people find it difficult to understand what I do. I don’t like being called a “tutor”, even though on a basic level that is what I do. People have given me other names (not sharing them, yet). Can I have a moment and just say “tutor” is too banal for the areas I cover?

Yesterday I saw the movie “Second Act” with Jennifer Lopez. A very formulaic movie, yes, but Lopez’s character Maya Vargas is the epitome and screams of my answer to the question “who’s it for?” and phrase “ideal client”. First, I never, never, never, never, and never have clients lie. I’ve caught them in the act and told them straight out they need to be truthful because they will be found out. Second, I don’t want to be part of it. If I’m helping someone, it reflects poorly on me if they cheat.

Maya Vargas is a person everyone can identify with on some level. The woman who works for 15 years and is passed over because she doesn’t have a piece of paper. The woman who has her “past” and must make a choice between her partner that she loves and what she wants and needs to do to “get ahead”. Maya is the down-to-earth, girl-next-door who has built her relationships and has friends looking out for her and having them try to help gets in the way of the person she is trying to be. Maya wants to “fit in” and be “the One” but like everyone else, has her detractors. We’ve all had those work “enemies”, the jackass bosses, and people who just hate us from the word “go”. Maya is our dream because she rises to the occasion for all of them and overcomes.

I want to give people like Maya a first chance, a second chance, and a third chance. I want to give people chances they may never have had before. I want to give people the chance to showcase the skills and knowledge they have accumulated and earned. I want people to shine in their own spotlight. I want people to take what they have and run with it. I want people to succeed where they never thought possible.

I always tell my clients that if someone won’t take them seriously on their skills, they may not want to be working for that person. In the end, Maya goes out and manages to combine everything she has learned for her own venture. I know for many people this may not be possible at whatever point they are in their lives. However, opportunities abound. Fear is the only “thing” holding you back. Small steps. One at a time.

What change am I seeking to make? That first step, those first few steps, small or large, or that large leap with someone like Maya. Take my metaphoric hand and let’s do this together.

Answering Seth Godin: What Are They Afraid Of?

What do people fear the most?  Public speaking? Death? Failure? Losing? Dark streets?  The dark? The unknown?

The greatest fear I’ve seen is people not wanting to admit they need help and/ or they don’t know something.

How many times I get the “I-don’t-want-to-be-here” attitude with the shaking table because the person is so nervous.

People don’t want to admit to strangers that they fear and that they don’t know.

The social media therapy memes that seem to be shared the most, besides cats, are the ones that talk about conquering fear.

Yes, there are things I fear and things and opportunities I haven’t taken advantage of due to fear.  I have tried to tackle one thing at a time.