A Student-Centered Approach to Improving Performance in Cognitive and Affective Domains

While hiding from bullies behind a school-ground bush, Evie found the old ball. Dusty and abandoned, it was one of those early smart models, the annoying talky kind, and soon she was huddled with the thing, whispering, all hours. We considered confiscation—no toys allowed—but having a friend seemed to improve her test scores.

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Last Contact

My story, “Last Contact,” appeared in Nature Magazine in September, back before I really committed to this site. As a result, it never got announced in these pages. Nonetheless, I recommend it. It’s an elegiac piece about a gorilla lost in a large city and about personal connections. I remain rather proud of it.

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Lawn Cares

He lunches, daily, on the same graveyard bench. Sees, daily, the same woman, with careful steps and reverent gestures, lay origami flowers before neighboring headstones. Wonders, today, what she’ll make of a laughing boy and girl, tossing Frisbees among angels and crosses. Warms when she smiles and sits to watch.

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Like others around the bungalow, it had been purchased for decoration alone. Never was it used as an aid to sleep, for sitting. Perhaps once a relative had leaned against it, unsure where else to put the thing. Tonight, used finally and improvisationally to muffle reports, it provided its owner no comfort whatsoever.

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Changeable Natures

After the strange cow—on our land that night, yet unbranded—nipped Pete, we watched him close for a month, and, this proving wise, every full moon thereafter, until Ma, Mellie, and I returned from vacation to find Pa’s dementia had deepened, and over a mouthful of burger, Mellie asked, “Where’s Pete?”

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In-Flight Movie

In the video, the move is smooth, practiced: As Tiffany slides past the wheelchair, she reaches down and swipes half the girl’s sandwich.  Grinning at a friend around a bite, Tiffany joins the line to board. The girl stares, slack-jawed.

On Twitter, Tiffany’s first post after landing reads, “What the—?”

Her second, “Oh God.”

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Amor Fraternal

Summer. Jack plays computer soccer. Finn studies the older boy’s fourth-grade math books, face crinkled with concentration, almost crying. We’re perplexed: the kindergartner’s torture is self-imposed. [….]

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