I think I figured out what happened to my parents. In metaphorical terms anyway, but this imagery of reflection is mirrored elsewhere, in others.

I grew up in the second hand smoke of their war experience. The shrapnel did not reveal itself to me until my teen years when it burst through their taut, white, stiff-upper-lipped British skin and shattered the smooth surface of my daily life. She left, he stayed, and I thought I was okay with it all.

My beautiful dark-haired, olive-skinned mother carried inner land mines of her own which exploded periodically whenever I stepped near her…

I am trying to live the practices that I learned this summer. I’m trying to be very precise and persistent in holding true to what pedagogical practice and research has shown to be most effective with students, and I’m trying to practice in front of my students.

I gave my grade 11 students an article, “Just Mom” by an Indigenous author, Kahente Horn-Miller in which she spoke of a “bundle of knowledge” gained from her mother, the Mohawk Warrior Princess. I asked students to speak with an elder or coach or someone in their life who had provided them with…

Melanie White

High school English and Media Studies teacher, Department Head, blogger, addict and trafficker of books, and conscious of privilege.

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