A Degree of Mischief at University of Vermont

The college admissions scandal has highlighted what some have referred to as “affirmative action for the wealthy.” As I mention on my “about” page, I grew up in subsidized housing but went to an Upper East Side prep school with the aid of a scholarship. My freshman year of college was spent at Bennington College, also via scholarship before transferring to the University of Maine in Orono. It was too painful for me to be the kid from the wrong side of the tracks in places where the vast majority of students came from very wealthy homes. 

Then, once at grad school at UVM I lived in a tiny house in the woods complete with big spiders* (steel-toed Doc Martens are a form of organic pest control) and was fortunate to have been awarded an assistantship for two years which paid my tuition in full and gave me a small stipend. However, that also meant my days began at 5:00 a.m. and I didn’t get home sometimes until 10 at night. Even so, my most valuable life lesson learned wasn’t a part of my curriculum, but in a playground.

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When Wishes Come True

One day Wishy wasn’t his usual “chipper” self.

“Are you sad, Wishy?” the teacher asked.

“Yes. I wish that summer would last all winter long!”

Summer in Maine is a beautiful season. The teacher wished it would last longer, too. She knew not all wishes can come true even though they are nice to have.

Excerpted from Wishy the Bookworm Chipmunk.

Although Maine will not become an endless summer, one of my dear wishes has magically come true!

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My new friend, Rocky!

Rocky lives behind my house and began visiting shortly after Chippie passed away, likely because she could no longer chase him away from her deck. I chose his name after I saw an incredible feat he accomplished last week: The day after we had heavy downpours he did some admirable excavating from his burrow–there was a pile of dirt with large rocks mixed in, some of which were almost half his size! Can you hear the theme to Rocky playing right now? He and all the chipmunks have free rein. They are like the Queen’s corgis–they do as they please without any admonishment. The mounds of love and joy they bring us can’t compete with a little mess.

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