Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award

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Crazy stuff from a 4th grade teacher

I stumbled into a conversation with a 4th grade teacher (I’m still not convinced she actually was one…I hope she was lying) who told me that boys and men need to be left alone at school and college so that they’d learn independence. She said girls were easier to teach and therefore should receive more teaching.

I respond to this idea in this week’s True Community. Please read and share.


Photo by Kevin Dooley

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Alone at graduation

This week’s True Community, my weekly column about men and higher education, is about the students with whom I identify most strongly: they come to graduation alone, and they make it through college with barely any support from an elder.

Graduation is usually pitched as a family celebration. For some, it’s a celebration of nerve and resolve, but still an experience of isolation.

I hope you’ll check it out. And do share.



Photo by John Walker.


Should I Hang This on My Office Door?

I’m seriously thinking of hanging this on my office door at the community college:

Frequently Asked Office Hour Questions:

1.) Is there anything I can do to pass this class?

Yes. You can meet the requirements and demonstrate that you’ve gained the necessary skills.

2.) Can I do any extra credit?

I have no idea. All I can tell you is that people who are passing the class never ask this question.

3.) Can you help me? I will lose my financial aid if I fail this class.

I can, yes. You should follow the syllabus, meet the requirements and demonstrate that you’ve gained the necessary skill. Then you’ll pass and get to keep your financial aid.

4.) Is there any way I can make up work I missed?

You’ve been making things up for years. Everything you’ve handed in to me has been a work of outside art.

5.) I don’t have time to do the homework. What should I do?

*confused professor staring into dead space and foaming at the mouth*

6.) Why don’t you teach your class the way everyone else does?

I base all my lessons on Tom Waits songs.

7.) Can I go back and fix all my mistakes?

All of them? Sure.

8.) I don’t like reading books. What should I do?

Read lips.

9.) Can you make a special test for me?

All the tests I write are special.

10.) Am I going to need this when I graduate?

No one has ever needed this. On occasion, I meet people who want it.