Category Archives: people

The Many Gifts of Music

Preferring the feel and the smell and the fillable margins of real books, I had never listened to an audio book until I received one as a Christmas gift from a dear friend seeking to relieve the tedium I experience on … Continue reading

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Waiting for God

Several days ago, I found a box taped up when we moved here seven years ago and never opened since. Amongst the knickknacks, costume jewelry, and small-appliance instructions I found there was this photo. Two friends hamming it up in over-the-top seasonal regalia sweaters … Continue reading

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Not Exactly Epiphanies

At the age of 36, I decided to get a master’s degree in English. I have elsewhere–well, everywhere, including in the introductory lecture of nearly every class I teach–suggested that I was standing in a bookstore, staring at the American literature selection, when … Continue reading

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Master, Mentor, Friend

This is the last installment of my reminiscences about my decades-long and life-altering relationship with Professor John V. Mering, 1931-2009. Vicki/Victoria I spent hours during the summer of ’74 in the office of the history graduate students. We discussed history as … Continue reading

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The Mering Chronicles (cont. from 6/11)

Hang-ups, hanging out, and hanging on I visited Dr. Mering’s office often to receive assistance with my writing, to ask for suggestions for outside reading, or simply to satisfy his curiosity about how “this girl from a little mining town in the West” … Continue reading

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Rites of Passage Part III: John V., Il Miglior Fabbro

Learning at the feet of the master  In furtherance of my naïve but exuberant efforts to learn how to think, my history T.A.-cum-guru John Hosmer suggested that I take a class with his Ph.D. advisor, John V. Mering. It was the … Continue reading

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Rites of Passage Part II: My Endless Summer of Thomas Wolfe

A naïve and sheltered twenty-year-old baby boomer from a copper-mining town in Arizona who asked her revered teacher/guru for a list of books to teach her how to think, I probably didn’t expect the internal cataclysm that ensued. But I … Continue reading

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Rites of Passage Part I: A Motley Pentateuch

Spring 1973: As an overachieving, overprotected, overweight college sophomore, I approached the end of the spring semester with the dread of impending loss. In addition to my accustomed success in school that year, I had incrementally begun the process—equally exhilarating and … Continue reading

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