Seasons / The Schoolyard

BTUs, Student Age, and Academic Subjects: Notes towards a new theory of elementary school heating.

The school building is cold—again.  That is, the rest of the building is cold. My office and Mrs. Thomas’s office are saunas.  But Bill McWeeny’s room is glacial (yesterday it was a sauna); so is the art room. We’ve come to expect the lobby to be cold, given the constant traipsing in and out during … Continue reading


Fishin’ Blues

For my family, last summer was the summer of mackerel. On the second evening of our vacation in Castine, Maine my son Spencer caught his first fish, a shimmering black, green and silver mackerel of between 12 and 20 inches in length, depending on the time at which Spencer regaled us with the story. The … Continue reading

Off Neck / Seasons / The Natural World / Thoreauvian Pursuits

Between summer and fall, time to pause

John Keats never climbed Maine’s Mount Wallamatogus, the rusty mound of scuffed granite that slopes down to the Northern Bay of the Bagaduce. But had he been with Lesley and me yesterday, it definitely would have inspired an ode to autumn. Surely we were wandering in the romantic poet’s “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” … Continue reading