13. June 2015 · 5 comments · Categories: News

LOVE YOURSELF PLEASE

Sorry I haven’t been here in a while, but it’s been a crazy past couple of months. Mostly because of working as a substitute K5 teacher in the inner city since February, doing all it takes to run a decent classroom, then wrapping it all up at the end of the academic year.

It about killed me. Physically and mentally, it’s a younger person’s game. But now that it’s over I can say that it was a good experience. I’m really glad I did it. I learned a lot about myself, specifically the depths of my impatience and love. I had the good fortune to work with the most congenial faculty ever, talented educators I have a great deal of respect for. I was the third teacher my kindergarteners had this year, not a good situation by any means; they did not want to listen or buy anything I had to offer, and who could blame them? I found out I’m a firm teacher who can be mouthy, who likes to use pop culture examples to make points, who is capable of showing love. Eventually, first thing every morning I was greeted with lots of hugs from six-year-olds, a wonderful way to start the day. Somehow we muddled our way through. They graduated on June 4.

An especially sad moment in the four-plus months I spent at this school was the sudden death of the father of one of my students. One of the last bits of writing I did was an essay about his funeral for OnMilwaukee.com. It was one of the saddest and most beautiful events I’d ever attended.

Very soon I am off to Europe with my father to visit the place where I was born. It is a trip whose planning has been in the works for some time now; the place has been part of my mental landscape forever, and it will be mind-blowing to finally see and experience it.

When I come back I will be writing a lot for clients and about the trip, beginning work on a book, and starting a new series of essays on growing up in Cleveland. I will also resume writing Living Commentary essays for OnMilwaukee.com, who’s been very understanding about my recent two-month absence from their pages.

I hope your summer is off to a great start. See you again soon!

Love,
Robin

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Starting with the one at my elementary school and the one in the center of Strongsville, Ohio, where I grew up, I have loved libraries for a long, long time.

My latest essay on OnMilwaukee.com is dedicated to them and other libraries I’ve loved over the years. My current favorite is the Central Branch of the Milwaukee Public Library, located downtown on Wisconsin Avenue between 8th and 9th Streets, It is a gorgeous building, and I can’t go long without visiting it and its used bookstore. The picture you see above is the dome that sits atop the building, which you can also see in the exterior shot below.

One of these days I want to grab John and take a train down to the Newberry Library in Chicago. That one’s been on my list for a long time.

As always, many thanks to OnMilwaukee.com, especially Matt. It’s been brought to my attention that the Strongsville Library I write about in the essay was located in the old town hall, not merely an old house. Mea culpa.

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DSC_0300_resized_2Happy to let you know that award-winning daily magazine OnMilwaukee.com published another one of my essays on their site this past Thursday. This one’s about moving from one of Milwaukee’s urban neighborhoods to one of its near-South Side suburbs, titled “Moving from the East Side to the West Allis.”

For my Cleveland readers: West Allis is two parts Parma to one part Lakewood. I can’t really think of an exact Cleveland equivalent to Milwaukee’s East Side – so picture one part Gold Coast to one part Coventry Village.

Thank you to everyone at OnMilwaukee.com, and to my husband John, who is incriminated in many of my essays and my second eyes on everything I write. It’s a joy to work with you all.

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A day or two after I published “A love letter to Milwaukee” here, award-winning daily magazine OnMilwaukee.com said, “Hey. We’d like to publish this. OK with you?”

Of course it was OK with me. I’ve long been an admirer of the online publication and its top-notch writers, and have enjoyed receiving its daily notifications in my inbox for years since it launched in 1998.

When managing editor Bobby Tanzilo asked me to continue writing for OnMilwaukee.com, I said yes again. My first official essay for them, “Bradford Beach in the wintertime,” ran this past Friday, along with one of my photos. Which, I must say, is unretouched; I used only a polarizing lens. Mother Nature is that beautiful au naturale during our cold-weather months.

As the magazine continues to publish more of my work, I’ll let you know here. I will also, of course, keep publishing my own essays here. The next one taking shape will be about my ex-husband, with whom I was friends and who died unexpectedly last year, so stay tuned.

Thanks to all of you for your support. It means the world to me.

Read “Bradford Beach in the wintertime” on OnMilwaukee.com

 

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