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ISSUE 74: The Refuge of the Classroom Thumbnail

ISSUE 74: The Refuge of the Classroom

My mother taught me to be open to art, not as something separate from life, but as itself alive and dynamic. She taught me that to be a reader was not simply a gateway to good marks but a portal to engaged citizenship in the world. These lessons I took with me through high school and college, but in graduate school I forgot.
Department: Vault
ISSUE 44: Our Own Monsters Thumbnail

ISSUE 44: Our Own Monsters

This gatorphobia is as centrally entrenched as all my basic knowledge: Fire is hot, water is cool; alligators are rapacious beasts sent from Hell to gorge themselves on the innards of innocent boys. It’s primal.
Department: Vault
ISSUE 29: A World of Glass Thumbnail

ISSUE 29: A World of Glass

Not only should people who live in glass houses refrain from throwing stones, but they also would have to keep other people from doing it. The very idea gave me nervous fits.
Department: Vault
ISSUE 41: The Place of Shakespeare in a House of Pain Thumbnail

ISSUE 41: The Place of Shakespeare in a House of Pain

Language itself had turned sharp-edged on us; to negotiate a conversation—that to an outsider might have sounded innocuous but that to us was laden with dangerous secrets—was like picking your way barefoot through a field of broken bottle glass.
Department: Vault
ISSUE 47: Dixie Zen Thumbnail

ISSUE 47: Dixie Zen

In my experience, the most effective antidote to the heat is what I like to consider the unofficial summer sport of the South: tubing. Other parts of the country tube too, of course, but they may as well be knitting. In Oregon or Nebraska, tubing is just an incidentally wet version of a stroll in the woods, the spiritual equivalent of a hundred other outdoor leisure activities. In the South, it represents one of the only possible escapes from a greenhouse climate threatening to replace human life with ferns. Southerners are forced to tube.
Department: Vault
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