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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 7, Number 4, December 2013


Peter Newton
Winchendon, Massachusetts, USA


Jen’s back teaching again. She does it in her sleep, she says. Four classes in twelve weeks. Things like: Issues of Technology in New Journalism. Doing exercises like: How to Form a Sentence that Matters, Write Your Own Obit, or: Now Let’s Text with Our Toes. She gets a little loopy by the end of the semester. The students love her high-energy, full-tilt approach. And her long hippie hair.

The winter break usually comes right about the time she’s ready to. A month off to walk the outer beaches. Nest awhile. “The purity of birds,” she wrote once on the back of a postcard, and I never forgot it.

On the phone the other night, Jen says she doesn’t care about tenure. “The kids I teach don’t care about tenure. Half of ‘em can’t even spell it.” I can tell she’s revitalized from her time outside the classroom. Hopeful again.

“Teaching is a calling,” she says. “Imagine, every day, trying to come up with new ways of coaxing the mind out of one shell—a few awkward, uncertain steps— and into a bigger one.”

nothing ever as planned Christmas cactus



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