Tag Archives: news

A Cause Worth Supporting

Late last year, in early November, I did something I proclaimed throughout my teaching career I would never do: I resigned and departed from my teaching post during the school year. I won’t bore you with the details of my resignation from the High School of Economics & Finance (HSE&F) in Lower Manhattan other than to say that working in the New York City Department of Education in general and in this school in particular had simply become untenable. That said, I paraphrase what I told my excellent students as my last day approached: I didn’t leave because I had any problems with the kids in this building, but because I had problems with the other adults.

The situation was dismal, redeemed only by the students in whose service I worked. Otherwise, the last couple of years in that school were for me routinely miserable.

Fortunately, some of my best students have stayed in touch. Now I’ve learned that a group of them are making plans to travel to Europe this summer with Pace University’s Liberty Partnership Program. One of the students I served at HSE&F (she’s in the banner photograph under the link below), as a global studies teacher, contacted me with news of the Go Fund Me campaign (which you will find right under this hyperlink) she and the rest of this group has started to underwrite their trip.

I donated this morning.

This is a really great group of kids who have come a long way as students and deserve whatever financial support they garner. If for some reason the link above fails, you can find these kids’ page by bringing up Go Fund Me and searching Travel Abroad Experience for High School Students.

Please consider supporting these richly deserving inner-city high school students.

Happy New Year, Little Fears!

There aren’t many days during the year when I don’t get something new posted on this blog. And now there aren’t many days in the year when a blogger who publishes under the name Little Fears doesn’t take the time to like one of my posts. As the year came to an end, it finally occurred to me how this small act of kindness really made my day–and had done so consistently over the course of 2018. Since I write at the beginning of each day, that is no small thing.

Here are a couple things I know about Little Fears: he or she apparently took his or her name from a role-playing game of the same name (although I cannot make even that claim with any certainty). Also, he or she may be British, although I don’t want to infer too much from the “UK” in his or her domain name. And that’s it. If a blogger’s role (I mostly agree with this) is to efface him- or herself with the content of his or her site, then Little Fears is a master blogger.

So Happy New Year, Little Fears! May you have many more!

One More Thing on This Saturday Morning….

If you haven’t already, please consider giving today to the Hampshire Fund. Whether your an alum or a philanthropist who seeks a worthy educational charity, Hampshire College is a worthy recipient of your charity.

Please Consider Giving to the Hampshire Fund

My check, I hope, for my gift to the Hampshire Fund has already arrived at the College. However, yesterday a card from the Hampshire Development Office came in over the transom with this news:

“…If 1,800 alums give a gift–of any amount–by December 31, a generous 75F donor will give an additional $100,000.”

If you give to Hampshire regularly, please consider meeting the December 31 deadline to assist Hampshire in securing this substantial gift; if you have never given, please, please consider doing so now. If you are not an alum, and want to support a singular academic institution, please consider giving to Hampshire.

And alums, please nota bene the “of any amount” qualifier: if you send Hampshire a dollar, you contribute to our alma mater gaining this generous gift. Please consider giving to the Hampshire Fund–you can do so here–this year.

Please Give to the Hampshire Fund

It was my good fortune to attend Hampshire College between 1991 and 1995. The college helped me afford tuition, as it does with many of its students. For that reason–as well as the fact that I am an educator myself now, which helps me to appreciate Hampshire even more–I give to the Hampshire Fund every year. In fact, I’ve just drafted a check to the Fund this morning.

If you’re an alum of Hampshire, please support our alma mater; if your charitable tendencies lean to education and the institutions that provide it, please consider supporting this outstanding school.

To My Esteemed Colleagues and Students at the High School of Economics & Finance in Manhattan

After a month of preparing my departure, I am exhausted. Which is why I can’t think of anything to say to all of you than the trite “You’re the best!” The deeper truth is that without you, I would be leaving our school with a very bitter taste in my mouth indeed. The last three or four years were tolerable for me at HSE&F only because of you.

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful parting gifts. As soon as I can measure the width of the windows in my new apartment, I’ll use my gift card to order (among other things) some curtain rods. The brownies last week from my third period English Language Arts were outrageous.

And remember this: without all of you, there is no school–just a dismal, windowless building with three inept clerks at the top of the organizational pyramid. You are what makes a culture of inquiry happen in that bunker, and you should all take pride in that–even if pride goeth before a fall and all that.

If you are so inclined, please stay in touch. You can leave contact information on this blog in the comments forum. Every comment left here requires my approval; I’ll grab your particulars and then delete the comment so they will never reach the open internet. I’d love to hear from you guys. And if you ever get to Springfield, Massachusetts, look me up. We’ll grab something somewhere.

Best Wishes,


Springfield, Massachusetts!

Mark’s Text Terminal is moving to Springfield, Massachusetts. This small, New England City, which is near my alma mater, is home to Merriam-Webster, one of this nation’s great old publishing houses. Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) is a Springfield native. One of my musical idols from my high school years, Taj Mahal, although born in Harlem, hails from from Springfield as well. Milton Bradley started his board game company there; fittingly, the city has honored him (he was an early proponent of Friedrich Frobel’s ideas about kindergarten) by naming a school for him.

The Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership has hired me to work as a literacy specialist in one of the high schools that comprise it. I am excited to make this change, and look forward to joining a talented and dedicated group of professionals in the service of Springfield’s families.

I start this Monday, November 5. See you all there!