Sneaking into the Pool

(re-run) While student teaching in Venezuela, we learned how to have fun with not much money. One of the American teachers had stolen a couple of striped beach towels from an upscale hotel, and she had been sneaking into the hotel pool for years. “Just carry the towel and act like you belong,” Linda said.… Continue reading Sneaking into the Pool

Romance Coast to Coast

Nicky went back to Connecticut to see his mother. “You’ve got to meet this cute Italian girl working in my office,” a friend said. “I’m only here for a week,” Nicky said. “My wife is in night class with a cute Italian girl,” another friend said. “You two should meet.” “I’m only here for a… Continue reading Romance Coast to Coast

The Day We Were the Minority

I’ve told the story before. I may have even written it, but that’s the downside of being old. You forget. It was 2014. My youngest was in college on the East Coast. For spring break, she proposed that her older brother and I fly across the country to meet her in DC for ten days.… Continue reading The Day We Were the Minority

Blind Date in a Castle

(re-run) Lynne was studying abroad at a university in Sweden. One of her friends convinced her plus another young woman to be blind dates. The friend’s boyfriend’s military school was hosting a fancy dinner and ball at a castle in Stockholm. The Swedish school was inviting guys from Denmark and Norway for the event, and… Continue reading Blind Date in a Castle

Grizzly Bear!

(re-run) An Amazon robot punctured a can of Bear Mace, sending 80 employees to the hospital before Christmas. It reminded me of this true account told to me at a holiday party. In 2008 you take your wife, Liza, and your teen-aged kids to Alaska. You stay near the Princess Lodge in a fishing cabin… Continue reading Grizzly Bear!

Peace Corps Fail

(re-run) It was in the spring of my first year of teaching when the call came. I was at Greenwood Elementary in Greenwood, Nebraska. I had applied to the Peace Corps the year before. They had just seen my application. They wanted to fly me to Chicago for an interview that weekend. They gave me… Continue reading Peace Corps Fail

Loneliest Study Abroad Ever

After three months in South America and six weeks of student teaching Catholic high school girls, I headed to Burgos, Spain, with 30 students and a handful of professors from Iowa State and the University of Iowa. It would be my way of earning the final credits of my dual degree. Linda, a high school… Continue reading Loneliest Study Abroad Ever

Almost Toast

(re-run) Marlene and her friend Beth came out to California from New Hampshire after college to work for Bank of America. They each made a new friend, and each new friend brought another friend to the party (plus one more) until they were a group of seven recent college graduates, living in the city of… Continue reading Almost Toast

T is for Trusting your Gut

The news the other night reported how many people have died taking selfies. At Yosemite, by the ocean, in a college bell tower, anywhere and everywhere. What I don’t get is, didn’t they know how stupid they were being? Did they think they had a guardian angel? Did the selfie arm in the air throw… Continue reading T is for Trusting your Gut

The Princeton Ploy

(re-run) It was her third day as a freshman at Temple University in Philadelphia. Sue was riding the elevator with her friends between Hardwick and Johnson Hall when he got on. He had all of his stuff. He was moving in. “School started already,” one of her friends said. “I was in San Diego,” he… Continue reading The Princeton Ploy