Category: Growing Up

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College Parties and Riots

Back when I was freshman at Michigan State University, the Princeton Review ranked my school as the number three party school in the country. It was all the talk around campus, as people debated...

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The Mystery Bottle

Many years ago, my dad and I were walking along a sandbar in the Mississippi River. The river was unusually low, and there was quite a bit of detritus washed upon the sandy shoals....

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My Favorite Birthdays

Today I turn 20, at least in hexadecimal numbers. And to celebrate my 0x20 birthday, I’d like to take a look back. Like Christmas, birthdays provide a landmark in the memories of life. I...

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Gifted and Talented

Back in grade school, I got admitted to the “gifted and talented” class. Once a week, I went off to the school library for an enrichment session. It was supposed to give us a...

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Penmanship and the Palmer Method

The Palmer Method still strikes fear in my heart. No other curriculum ever did so much to stifle my interest in a topic I found fascinating. I spent a good chunk of the third...

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Playground Nazis

In the fifth and sixth grade, I went to school in East Carondelet, Illinois. It was a small town of 600 sandwiched between the Mississippi Levee and the MoPac Railroad. I loved my teachers...

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Graduation Ceremonies

My little sister recently graduated from college. As I sat through the ceremony in a campus gymnasium, a few different thoughts crossed my mind. Pomp & Circumstance It’s funny how the same song is...

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Holy Triangle

Back in college I had what I called the “Holy Triangle”: the three places I spent the bulk of my day. There was Espresso Royale Coffee, Berkey Hall and a bar called the Peanut...

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Slippery Slope

It was an odd winter. Every day above freezing. Every night below. The sleet and freezing rain came, melted a little, and refroze. Soon the whole St. Louis area was covered with three or...

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Radio Prizes

As a teenager in the late 1990s, I got all my music from the local alt rock station: 92.1 The Edge. Like every other radio station, The Edge had a lot of contests and...