Learning what counts from ex-teachers

By: Bob Levey

It’s a snazzy retirement party that a very good friend is tossing for herself. She has ordered grape leaves, hummus and lots of very good French wine. She deserves all of it. She has been dragging out of bed at 5 a.m. for nearly 20 years as a public school teacher in the Washington suburbs. She says her head hurts, her feet hurt, call her tomorrow and probably something... READ MORE

Mourning the loss of old-time baseball

By: Bob Levey

Three cheers for spring. I’ve been through many of them — some would say too many — and for most of those years, this young man’s fancy didn’t turn only to love. When April arrived, baseball arrived. All together now…“Take me out to the ball game…Take me out with the crowd…” Ah, the crack of the bat. Ah, the umpires who would screech, “Yerrrr out!” Ah, those ... READ MORE

A call to action by all drivers

By: Bob Levey

My friend Ted is a solid citizen and a dutiful sort. He pays his taxes on time. He does the family grocery shopping cheerfully. When his 90-something parents need something, Ted arranges it, even though he and they live 1,500 miles apart. But sometimes your true nature pops out at moments when you don’t have time to think about it. So it went for Ted one recent evening. He was... READ MORE

Up and raring to go at the crack of dawn

By: Bob Levey

It was 8 a.m. on the East Coast. I was poised over my computer keyboard, stuck for an answer to a student’s question. So I picked up the phone and called the guy who would know — a former colleague from ages ago who had become an expert in the appropriate field. He answered on the first ring. “Didn’t wake you, did I?,” I asked. “Are you kidding?,” he replied. ... READ MORE

Oh, the joys of grandparenting! And yet…

By: Bob Levey

Out comes his smartphone. He scrolls, scrolls, scrolls. Finally, he gurgles with pleasure. There she is on the screen — his first grandchild, a continent away in Seattle, but front and center in his life. I gurgle along with him. Yes, she sure is beautiful. Yes, oh, yes, she clearly looks like the grandfather who is holding the phone. But what I’m really noticing is how jealous ... READ MORE

Why tall = small, and other conundrums

By: Bob Levey

Sometimes, dear friends, we are plunged into modern-day situations that are so absurd, so illogical, so incomprehensible, so inexplicable, that all we can do is throw up our hands. So it went with me one recent morning at my neighborhood Starbucks. I had agreed to meet a friend there to give her some career advice. I was early. She wasn’t there yet. So I decided to buy a cup of... READ MORE