Nov 03, 2018

I've been watching the reaction to one group of teachers at Middleton Elementary School dressing up in red, white and blue (and one as the Statue of Liberty!) standing behind a cardboard "wall" that says Make America Great Again, and another group at the same school who dressed in cringeworthy stereotypical Mexican costumes. As a fellow teacher, I can't fully express my horror and disappointment at the behavior of these elementary school teachers. I hardly know where to start. ...  
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Oct 13, 2018

When I was about 26, I played my first open mic. We spelled it “open mike” back then. I lived in Brooklyn and had a job selling futon furniture in Soho. A friend pretty much forced me to perform something at an open mike at Speak Easy, a small basement folk club on Macdougal St. in the village. She’d known me in Honolulu, where I had performed some spoken word stuff. But I could tell this was a music club, so I brought my guitar and sang a couple of songs I’d written. It w...  
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May 27, 2018

Some of my students think of myths merely as wild, entertaining stories, like ancient horror movies. They’re shocked and titillated at incestuous unions (siblings Zeus and Hera), parents devouring their children (Cronos), children dismembering their grandparents (Marduk and Tiamat), dead wives appearing to living husbands in a horrifying state of maggoty decomposition (Izanami and Izanagi). “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” has nothing—nothing—on ancient mythology. ...  
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Apr 11, 2018

At the ripe old age of 52, I discovered that although I may be lazy and careless in many aspects of my life (e.g. my lawn and desk), I wasn’t at fault in one particular way I’d always believed I was. I figured out that I have a learning disability and have apparently felt its effects for my entire life. I’d always known that I was bad at numbers, but three years ago, while sitting around waiting for a staff meeting to begin, I asked Juan, a colleague in Special Ed, if the...  
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Feb 15, 2018  |  1 Comment

My truth right now is that I’m getting depressed as hell at all the shit my students have gone through in just the first semester of school. In the schools where I taught before, there were suicides, arrests, and students being abused at home, but they were few and far between. This year, it’s been an avalanche and it’s making my life feel really heavy and sad. A kid was murdered; Cristobal and Lisa were arrested and are going to be tried in adult court. More than one studen...  
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Sep 01, 2017

Students text memes to each other under the table during your class. Instead of doing their schoolwork, they laugh at Facebook videos making fun of hipsters or old people (you know, people over 25). They watch Saturday Night Live. They watch South Park re-runs and streaming series like The Tick. They laugh and they laugh. They’re enjoying satire. They just don’t know that’s what it’s called. That...  
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Apr 14, 2017  |  1 Comment

My wife and I love to eat out. It’s our favorite thing to do on a Friday night. But eating out is expensive, and I’m not one of those guys who doesn’t have to look at the prices when he orders. When I get a coupon for a restaurant I want to try, it always seems like there are restrictions that make it so I can’t actually use it. It doesn’t apply on Fridays or Saturdays. Or it applies only to a prix fixe menu that doesn’t include the dish the restaurant is known for. An...  
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Feb 23, 2017

My characterization video makes a statement that some people will think is incorrect. I say that the protagonist is “the good guy,” as opposed to the antagonist, who is “the bad guy.” This is an oversimplification of the sort that teachers often use when introducing complex concepts to young people. The kids get the gist quickly and can be taught the finer points as they try to use the terms. I go on in the video to say that not all ...  
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© Daniel Sato