Category Archives: Teaching/Mentoring


Please feel free to provide constructive feedback to any of the pieces I post— both myself and the young writers I try to encourage are always aiming to improve, and we love to hear from you.

Related to that– feel free to check out our website, register for an account if you’d like..

And– if any of you are on Facebook, Twitter, or tumblr, please look for the Young Writers Project (@ywpvt,, and give them your support. The more readership they get, the more motivated they are to become the next generation of fantastic writers for us all to read!


This Worries Me

One of the teachers I work with has now signed off two separate emails with, “thanks for any help or advise you can give.”

I gave her the benefit of the doubt once…

Along the same lines… when I asked another teacher if she could email me her class roster in a spreadsheet rather than giving me a paper copy (seriously, what good is a paper copy anymore?) she replied, “you’re asking too much.”

If this doesn’t warm your heart, you might not have one

Sometimes it’s not the original piece of writing that is so awe-inspiring, but the reaction of the community. This is one of those examples. A young lady posted the following poem a few days ago:


Peripheral Perfection

I see her in my peripheral vision. 

Her hair is long and brown and its seems red in the sunlight.

Her eyes are dark and her face is light.

Her figure is soft and beautiful.

She is perfect.

She sees me without looking.

I look down.

My hair is not dark enough. Its brown with light youth.

Not long enough either.

My eyes are green and my face is hiding behind freckles.

Like tiny dots of mud splattered on my face.

My figure is no bigger than hers but no one could make me see that.

Not small enough.

Not pretty enough.

Not perfect enough.

Not for her peripheral vision.


She found this comment within a half hour.


Ah, but Q,

your hair glows with bright amber-brown leaf-in-autumn light,

and it teases the nape of your neck and your collarbone enough to bring her attention to the details.

in the sunlight your eyes glow like the greatest life-force green of the earth,

and the freckles bring contrast to the rest of your skin, highlighting your face, your shoulders.

your figure is perfect in her eyes.

she sees you without looking – you are caught in her peripheral vision – because of all this, and in all likelyhood,

she feels the same way you do

about her own body.

(sorry, i couldn’t resist.

alas, i had to guess some of your appearance, but that aside.

don’t doubt yourself, my dear!

even though the sad truth of the matter is that everyone does, 

it’s a difficult part of growing up, finding confidence. i struggle with it myself.

and if being in her peripherals is not enough, stand 

and meet her face to face.

you may be surprised.)


also i love the concept of this piece. it reminds me of many instances in my life 🙂 wonderful work, keep it up, and chin up ❤


Nelson Mandela Celebrates his 94th Birthday

Nelson Mandela Celebrates his 94th Birthday

“Education is the most powerful tool which you can use to change the world.”

Universities Reshaping Education on the Web

Universities Reshaping Education on the Web

New York Times article about Coursera, and similar platforms for massive open online courses (MOOCs). This revolution in the field of higher education is the best thing that has happened to the American education landscape since the Space Race. Bringing education to the people is going to save this country from the route that many fear that it is going down. Low- or no-cost education is the way to breach the gaps between the wealthy and the middle and lower classes. This idea genuinely excites me, and makes me look forward to where our higher education system can go. Institutional learning never made me feel that way. 

Smart People Are So Stupid

Smart People Are So Stupid

Thinking about your biases is important; but it might not help you break them.

Feel-Good Writing Exercise

Feel-Good Writing Exercise

Here’s a link to a selection of interesting and inspiring thank-you notes; the exercise is simple–write one yourself. Fictional, hypothetical, real. What are you thankful for?

“The secret to life is waking up excited about what you’re going to do, and going to bed proud of what you did.”

-Anonymous (borrowed from a post on

“The secret to life is w…

Technology Transforms Teachers into Master Chefs of the Classroom

Technology Transforms Teachers into Master Chefs of the Classroom

An article on the importance of utilizing all of the technologies at your disposal, to create the most beneficial learning environment. Written by Jean Tower; a brilliant proponent of digital education, and (more importantly) my aunt.

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Tips for Critiquing Others’ Writing

Tips for Critiquing Others’ Writing

Here’s an article originally posted by Melissa Donovan of, a great resource for aspiring writers. She hits on nearly every point that I’ve learned through years of mentoring, tutoring, and critiquing.

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