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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
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My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Saturday, November 14


Thought for the day: Isn't it sad that some people can turn on tv and not find a single program that insults their intelligence?

I wrote this little essay a long time ago, for a Halloween in my past. And even though we're now two weeks past that time (my least favorite), I thought I'd include it here for any reader's amusement.


As an English teacher, now retired, I’ve long admired the word “pedagogue,” even though I’d rather not be called one. It originally meant a teacher, a leader (agogos) of children (paidos or ped), but has now come to mean a bad teacher. The joy in the etymology remains, though, and the possibilities for creating new words are nearly limitless.

For example, I often thought of my classes as “pedagroups” and their attempts to understand the intricacies of the English language as “pedagropes.” But then, they have their own kind of “pedagrammar.” Some female students too often engage in “pedagiggles,” and a group of them would be a “pedagaggle” indulging in “pedagab.” Oh, how often I wanted to be able to use “pedagags!” An especially childish student was a “pedagoogoo.” The quiet, unobtrusive student at the back of the room was a “pedagoodie” who usually wore “pedagoggles.” The class clown was a “pedagrin,” the class Scrooge was a “pedagrump,” and the class dummy was a “pedagoon” whose writing was often “pedagarble.” Those stomach noises just before lunch were “pedagurgles,” and at lunchtime the cafeteria abounded in “pedagobblers” and “pedagorgers.” An absent student was a “pedagone.” An absent teacher was a “pedagogueagone.” A retired teacher, such as I, is a “pedagogueago.” The bell dismissing class is a “pedagong.”

And, as befits October 31, the little creatures out trick-or-treating this year in their “pedagarb” are “pedaghosts” and “pedagoblins” and “pedaghouls.” And when we hear their “pedagroans,” we all pretend to be “pedaghast.”

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