Lessons from a Temporary Disability?


Five more weeks to go. Seven weeks ago, after the orthopedic surgeon repaired the crushed plateau of my tibia, he wrote in giant letters for the nurses, “NWB left leg.” For those of you who don’t get the hospital shorthand, that means NON-WEIGHT BEARING…and not just for the time I was in the hospital. Dr. Golden and his residents reiterated it every time they came to my bedside, as they listened with infinite patience to my questions while I tried to absorb the fact that it would be months before I’d be able to log 10,000 steps a day on my pedometer again.  Somehow they seemed to find a balance between talking to me as if I were an intelligent person and reminding me of the magnitude of the injury, as if I might forget the brace that went from an inch above my ankle to within an inch or so of my crotch. “No weight on this leg for twelve weeks,” they repeated to me again and again. Continue reading Lessons from a Temporary Disability?

What Do We Do When the Rioting Ends?

Today I repeat a post from November 2014. Instead of forgetting our children each time a crisis like the one in Baltimore fades from the news cycle, we must find a way to make our nation’s children–and particularly our poor children and children of color–believe again that the American Dream is possible. We can only do that by accepting the reality we have created for them and working to change their circumstances and give them hope.

Is the American Dream Just a Dream?

College Graduation

“You’ll git the education I didn’t git, so you can have a better life than I’ve had.” This was my father’s mantra. He quit school in fifth grade, and he began working in a coal mine when he was only fifteen. He was functionally illiterate, and my mother read every important document to him in the privacy of their bedroom. He went to such great lengths to hide his illiteracy that even his five children didn’t know for years that he couldn’t read.

Continue reading What Do We Do When the Rioting Ends?