Lessons from J-School

Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph, and the signs of sorrow are still in the air.—Henry Anatole Grumwald The first time I heard about Twitter was in 2008. I was in Texas… Read more »

Telling Stories

“…I’ve had nothing to do but think these last few weeks – about our bloody history, about the mistakes we’ve made. What unites people? Armies, gold, flags, stories? There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it. …” Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones, David… Read more »

A Session With Dead Architects

Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble. —William Shakespeare, Macbeth With Halloween just around the corner, I jumped on the chance to take a tour of Fairmount Cemetery. Even though the burial ground is close enough to home that I drive past it often, I had never explored it. Organized by the… Read more »

Incubate, Focus, Write, Revise

Since we live two time zones apart, I seldom meet face-to-face with Caitlin Geier, the user experience designer for my website. But once when we were in the same air space our conversation turned to the processes we use to create our blog posts. Incubate  We found that both of us keep lists of our… Read more »

Don’t Shun Me, Please!

Writing this post makes me feel a little awkward because it’s about me. I usually don’t like writing about myself, but someone needs to stand up for me. In some instances, it’s best to forget about me. As children, we’re told not to say, “Me and Mick brainstormed our report” or “Mick and me brainstormed… Read more »

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 »