Author: chris

40 Lessons in 40 Years: Entry 11

Cool kids mess up, too. One of my classmates was the super cool, down to earth nice guy, good at anything athletic and liked by everyone in the fourth grade. During a thorough and detailed lecture by a substitute teacher filling in for Mr. Dunlap, the cool kid classmate whispered something loudly to someone sitting […]

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40 Lessons in 40 Years: Entry 10

Productivity tools are great for procrastination. I’ve got a bunch of wicked smaht siblings, but I was always “the smart one” because I got good grades at school. At the time, personal computers were becoming more popular, and all the adults were saying things like, “you need to have him do something in computers.“ Grandma […]

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40 Lessons in 40 Years: Entry 9

Sex is sexy. Dad had “the talk” with me by the time I was 8 or 9 years old. Actually, it’s hard to even call it “the talk” because it was more like a series of talks, all mostly centered on how shameful and sinful sex is, except in the rarest of instances in which […]

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40 Lessons in 40 Years: Entry 8

Never pass up an opportunity to use the restroom. Mrs. Goins was one of the tough 1st grade teachers. How is that even a thing? One day, we were taking a math quiz (in the first grade… how is that even a thing?? Okay, I’ll stop…), and I had to pee. I raised my hand […]

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40 Lessons in 40 Years: Entry 7

Sometimes, your ride will be late. The work situation my mom had when I was in kindergarten apparently made my rides to and from school somewhat tricky. The kindergarteners went to school for half a day, while 1st graders (my older sister) and above (my older brother) were in school for a full day. I […]

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40 Lessons in 40 Years: Entry 6

Grandparents smell. Then they die. Before I was 8 years old, 75% of my parents’ parents died. Grandpa Bob (McCabe) and Grandma and Grandpa Corning. Crane accident, stomach cancer, and heart attack, respectively. One of these things is not likely to be congenital… but I’m keeping a healthy distance from hearts, just in case.

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40 Lessons in 40 Years: Entry 5

Education is a right and a responsibility. Before I started kindergarten, my older sister Rose tried helping me learn to read. The thing I remember most about the experience was the feeling of being overwhelmed. How can I get from being someone who doesn’t know how to read to being someone who does? I didn’t […]

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40 Lessons in 40 Years: Entry 4

Marriage isn’t forever. They say that business about “til death do us part” a lot, but it’s not really true. Mom and Dad went their separate ways when I was too young to even understand what was happening. Dad cried when he told me “good-bye” before moving to California, and I cried, too. Not because […]

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40 Lessons in 40 Years: Entry 3

I have to play nice with others. The experience of being a toddler introduces us to something that most of us spend the rest of our lifetimes trying to figure out: We need to navigate the needs and desires of others as we seek to meet our own. What a pain in the butt.

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40 Lessons in 40 Years: Entry 2

I am not my parents. Mid-20th-century French philosophers wrote a lot about the mirror phase of development, or the point at which human babies begin to see themselves as separate from the world around them. (It’s been a decade since I studied all that, but I’m pretty sure Lacan was one of the authors I […]

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