Essays

Working Cattle

When I was a high school FFAer, one handy way to make money every fall was to take a shift at the local feeder calf sale. It wasn’t exactly easy money. It was hard work late into the night, but for those of us who knew what we were doing it was at least simple … Continue reading Working Cattle

In Praise of Ozark Culture: Green Growing Things

On Mother’s Day I planted my grandmother’s tomatoes, along with a couple of pepper plants. Grandma insisted that she didn’t need the help, but she accepted it gladly enough when we refused to give her any choice in the matter. She’s turning 93 this summer, and after much beseeching from her children and grandchildren she … Continue reading In Praise of Ozark Culture: Green Growing Things

A Mathematical Jeremiad

I hated math in elementary school. At least, I thought I hated math. It took years before I discovered that what I really hated was arithmetic, not math. Arithmetic is only barely math at all, yet it’s the entry point to mathematics for all elementary school students. Elementary school arithmetic is a pernicious barrier that … Continue reading A Mathematical Jeremiad

In Praise of Ozark Culture: Old Hillbillies and Sexual Relations

As a proud but realistic Ozarker, I was saddened but not offended to see Ozark culture criticized in the comments of a few threads on reddit. My initial impulse was to reply to those comments with ardent rebuttals of those criticisms, but after decades of online life I’ve learned that it’s okay to let people … Continue reading In Praise of Ozark Culture: Old Hillbillies and Sexual Relations

#$@% Hillbilly Elegy

It’s the anger that’s the hardest for me to communicate. Years of education has disciplined me to avoid expressing anger in my writing. Starting in junior high English class, and continuing on through college courses and beyond, I’ve been taught to write structured essays with restrained arguments free from emotional adornment. Yet thinking about that … Continue reading #$@% Hillbilly Elegy


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