Monthly Archives: September 2013


I have battled insomnia all my life. The kind where you wake at 3 or 4 a.m. and lie there, thinking you will never get back to sleep and the day ahead will be awful, when you’ll be fighting to stay awake and may not be able to take a nap (especially if you have […]

How to Keep Students from Thinking for Themselves

I have long been in awe of how one of our major political parties can be extraordinarily clever. I don’t agree with most of their principles and non-principled actions, but I have to admire how they twist language and history for their purposes. For example, by renaming estate taxes “death taxes.” For a while, it […]

Me as Dentist

Filmed just three days ago, this comedy video (co-starring young comic Josh Rabinowitz) gave me a chance to play a dentist, which in fact was not a dream of mine. But work is work. After a year at Upright Citizens Brigade (in a play that was on just once or twice a month), I […]

Two Oboe Performances

One of the great pieces for oboe is a concerto by Alessandro Marcello (1684-1750). The soloist has fun with the original and klezmerizes it. Same soloist and here the transposition is from a movie theme to a classical piece:

Why everyone was late for their appointments at the OCD clinic

Sign on door.


Someone recently reminded me of this poem, which I wrote a long time ago. It’s a response to a Yiddish lullaby, which I first heard on a record by Martha Schlamme. The song tells of a pure white little goat (“klor veis tzigele”) which sleeps under your crib. When you grow up, he’ll help you […]

Back-to-School Special – Writings on Teaching and Schools

EMPATHY When I taught English in a small-town high school, one tenth-grade class included three tough girls. Theresa was bright and literate but she hung out with Laura, who was attractive, hard as nails, and totally uninterested in anything I had to say. The third member of the trio, Charlene, had neither Theresa’s intellect nor […]