• A Reunion of Sorts

    John Rember returns to Boise Weekly
      Once again, I'm writing for Boise Weekly, but not about a misspent adolescence. This time it's a misspent adulthood.
  • Teaching Women to Write

    A dangerous meditation
      A hazard of teaching writing to undergraduates is you end up thinking people shouldn't be allowed to go to college until their neocortexes are developed enough to understand the subtleties of history, literature and human nature.
  • Impossibly Old

    Aging's outtakes
      I know people who are much older than 75 who still have their wits, who still brighten the world and the lives of the people around them. But I like the idea of letting God and grace choose the manner and time of my own exit.
  • If I Knew Then

    Reflections on education past
      All of those teachers, good and bad, were struggling in jobs that paid little and demanded long hours, tedious faculty meetings and forced re-education in hot summer classrooms at Idaho State. I believe that even the bad ones had gone into the profession in order to help people, but they had entered into a system that was--and is--hard on free human intelligence.
  • Teaching Anxiety

    The real education nightmare
      You can use standardized tests and online classes to fake it, but real education doesn't happen without an engaged, intelligent teacher dealing with 10 or 15 or at most 20 students in the same room. That's a hard fact but a true fact.
  • None of the Above

    The learned helplessness civics lesson
      Any Democrats in Idaho who haven't achieved Learned Helplessness are slow learners.
  • Rites of Passage

    Defining our own mile markers
      We live in a culture where rites of passage have lost meaning and permanence.
  • Me and My Arrows

    Hunting season in Stanley
  • Good Joke/Bad Joke News

    Writing with the blinders off
      Teaching writing was the dark slot at the bottom of my Pinball Machine of Life.
  • Flunking the Test

    The ethics of disgust
      You might not have been a decent human being when you were yelling, and apologies were no doubt in order, and you may want to examine your abuse of people who can't fight back.
  • Pushing the Boulder-White Clouds Monument

    Privatization, commodification and sacrifice zones
      Magical thinking underlies the arguments for a Boulder-White Clouds monument just as much as it underlies the arguments of sagebrush rebels. In both cases, wishes overwhelm reality.
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  • Diamond in the Back

    Connecting the dots for anti-NIMBYs
      NIMBY is a term of scorn, but I wear it proudly. If NIMBYs had been listened to when the Snake River dams were proposed, we'd still have wild salmon in the Boise River.
  • Didactically Instructive

    And curiously destructive
      "Education is too often an exercise in closing off possibilities."
  • Indicator Species

    Lessons learned from the road
      You can tell a lot about the weather and the economy in Southern Idaho and Utah from the sorts of people migrating by these days.
  • When Tears are Right

    How 9/11 really changed us
      We are at war, and we'll be at war as long as someone somewhere on the planet can be accused of terrorism.
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  • Civics Lesson

    Or a reincarnation horror story
      If Christ can forgive Dick Cheney for sending young Americans off to die for oil, He probably can forgive your college loans and the remainder of what you owe on that no-money-down home furnishings package--and maybe your mortgage and whatever it's been leveraged into, unto the seventh generation of leverage.

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