Middle School Band Holiday Concert, a Proud Parent’s Review

Miles Davis. Wynton Marsalis. Louis Armstrong. Great trumpet players, all. You know their work. Less familiar, perhaps, the sonic stylings of Emersey Benson, 5th grade trumpet player for Robertsville Middle School band. You can be forgiven for not yet knowing the impressive oeuvre of this young talent. She started playing trumpet three months ago and […]

My No-Longer-Secret Shame

I need to tell you a shocking secret, but you must promise not to tell anyone. If you tell even one other person, it will ruin my professional reputation and call my credentials as a friend of culture and the written word into question. Okay. Here goes. I, Robert Benson, have never read Of Mice […]

Snippet | Flash Fiction

He wakes up in the litter of last night’s bender. His head pounding, eyes swimming in and out of focus. Sheaves of crumpled paper. Too many empty bottles. There is something he is trying to remember. The bed sheets are all twisted up on her side of the bed. He scratches himself impolitely, listening for […]

A Sense of It

Depression is another planet. A planet that looks mostly like your own with the same basic physics and sometimes the same weather. The people here look like people you know, except they are all very far away and getting farther. Maybe you no longer speak the same language and no matter how very hard you […]

Recipe Not Written

Take out the recipe index card, the one typed up and laminated, rescued from the handwritten scrap of paper in the back of an old spiral notebook. Look over the ingredients. Preheat to 350. Measure out the proper dose of mayonnaise. Two cans of cream of mushroom soup. Whisk four eggs. Dump in a bag […]

A Quick Word to Men

You don’t need me to mansplain sexual harassment for you. You don’t need me to opine about how the broken power structures of race and gender still warp opportunity for far too many. I do want to say this one thing. If the #metoo conversation and the ensuing cascade of women finally coming forward to […]

Get Smaller Goals

Thursday night my library team partnered with the learning center to host Roane State’s first ever Long Night Against Procrastination. Our goal was to encourage students to get strong starts on those impossible-seeming papers and projects that loom at the end of term. It was a great success. Nearly 200 students checked in to take […]