Famous Folks Who Share My Homeland

When I visited my ancestral homeland of Moneygall, Ireland, in 2019, I was interested in finding out about famous people from the area. I learned they include two former U.S. presidents and a movie star (or, as he sometimes refers to himself, the husband of a leading international human rights attorney). President Obama An Irish… Read more »

Irish Letters of Lamentation

Ever since I discovered them, a pair of letters my great-great-grandfather received from his mother has haunted me. Written more than a century ago, these sorrowful letters have made me want to know more about the author’s plight and about my Gilfoil–originally Guilfoyle–heritage. It’s not entirely clear when H. Stapleton was born, but it was… Read more »

Students & Random Ideas: What I’ll Miss

As the school year draws to a close I’ll miss not only the students but also Geoffrey Chaucer’s Wife of Bath, Robert Burns’s “tim’rous beastie,” and the opportunity to see science jokes. For me, one of the greatest pleasures of substituting is the exposure to random new ideas and renewed acquaintance with old ones. Literature… Read more »

“Write Drunk; Edit Sober”

Ernest Hemingway is credited with saying, “write drunk, edit sober,” or words along those lines. Whether the source is accurate or not, this expression captures the tremendous difference between writing and editing. Writing is a rapturous activity where ideas and feelings are flowing into a river of expression. In their excitement to tell their stories,… Read more »

Darlings killed for AFib piece

Heart Insight Magazine, which is produced by the American Heart Association, published an article I wrote about my experience with atrial fibrillation in their Spring 2019 edition. “Through Thick & Thin: One Patient’s Journey to Regular Heartbeat” is the second autobiographical article on this website. “On the Trail of Calamity” tells about my experiences travelling… Read more »

DYL: A good book and more

Designing Your Life Designing Your Life is a movement that transformed my life. I learned of it just as my hard-fought campaign for a full-time job was giving way to a tentative return, with feelings of defeat and trepidation, to freelancing.   I ordered the book Designing Your Life: How to build a well-lived, joyful lifewith hopes… Read more »

Zoo comprises animals

“Comprise” is among the terms listed in the chapter of The Elements of Style entitled “Words and Expressions Commonly Misused.” The authors explain that the word literally means “embrace.” They provide the example of a zoo, which comprises many animals while animals constitute a zoo. “One Man’s Passion for the English Language,” a segment on… Read more »