bnzoot's Blog

Thoughts from a Cog in the Machine


Fort Worth, Texas, USA
November 12
(Mostly) harmless, bookish, transplanted California girl living in Texas. Reads, writes, works, seeks the best in all situations. Unless the worst is more fun.

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The handshake: such a simple thing, yet one that carries with it any one of a variety of meanings. I know the story of how the handshake was originally used to determine if the other person was armed, but in the modern age it carries different messages: Hello, I’m pleased toRead full post »

MARCH 12, 2014 10:02AM

Rip-Tides and Undercurrents

Until I was 33 years old, I lived no farther from the Pacific ocean than about five miles. As a child, since bio-dad was a beach-loving athlete of a cop, IImage spent every other weekend at the beach, my skin the color of bronze and my hair streaked white from sun and… Read full post »

“Boy am I glad to see you!”

This was an unexpectedly cheerful greeting from Mary, along with a bright smile and a wave of her amethyst-be-ringed hand. Ducking his head under the EXIT sign at the juncture of hallways, Mary’s youngest son smiled too. In the two years I’d beenRead full post »

FEBRUARY 11, 2014 1:15PM

Parenting & the Egg-Salad Sandwich

When Charlotte was a little girl and something exciting or unusual had happened at school, or if she just wanted my attention she’d say, all in a rush, “HeyMomguesswhat?” It might be anything from “We dissected a sheep’s eye in after-school care today….” to,Read full post »

Pssst! Hey, parents who consider that I and anything I have to say is “irrelevant”: I thought you might want to know something about the clerical staff on your student’s campuses – the clerical staff you feel so free to abuse.

Mother of the beautiful, top 10% of her graduating… Read full post »

I lost one of my best friends today, my darling Tasha.

My ex-husband, our daughter, Charlotte, and I adopted her from a Humane Society Adopt-a-Pet in the year 2001. She was just about four to six months old, a gorgeous Rottweiler/Australian Shepherd mix with a smart, eager-to-please personali… Read full post »

My stomach’s been churning over Ann Coulter’s “retard” for a couple of days. I’ve not been able to really articulate why this so offends me, for I’ve no dog in this particular hunt. My daughter is a certifiable genius, part of the Gifted programs from First grade o… Read full post »

OCTOBER 25, 2012 10:34AM

The Special Ed Ball

This was originally posted to another site in April, 2011


Grand Ball Cakes Alone of all the High school campuses in our district, ours puts on quite an elaborate prom-type dinner-dance for our Special Ed students. It's funded entirely through donations - not a penny comes out of the school bu… Read full post »

OCTOBER 13, 2012 12:43PM

I've Seen the Face of Evil: it is Feline

Let me preface the following by saying, I like cats. Love them, in fact. I have been owned by four of them in my life, and my friend’s cats occasionally condescend to borrow me. Anyone who has had a cat in their life in any way knows that we do not own/… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 30, 2012 5:00PM

It's Better to be Kind, than Right

Some lessons, even well-taught, take a long time in the learning. A lifetime, even.

One year. It’s been a year since I watched Jeff take his last breath. Since a person who changed my life, my way of thinking, left this astral plane.

“It’s better to be kind, than right.” Jeff… Read full post »

One of the unwritten duties of anyone working in public education is preventing parents murdering their children. This duty is implicit, if not explicit, in all public education contracts from the Custodians right up through the Principal. Nowhere is this more necessary than on a High school campus.


Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 20, 2012 7:28AM

Culture Shock

Millions of years ago when the dinosaurs were fluffy hatchlings and I was terribly young, my best friend, John, was in the Navy and quite the world traveler. John sailed through Japan, Okinawa (they are not the same thing, or so he says they say), Korea, the Philippines, so many exotic… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 15, 2012 9:48PM

It's More Than Test Scores

Over the last week I have been thinking a lot about the Chicago Teacher's strike; I suppose it's normal for one's ears to prick up at a teacher's strike when one  works in Education. Then today I heard a fascinating report on NPR's This American Life, which will repeat tomorrow an… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 7:30AM

Pending Approval

So.... yeah. I'm pending approval at the Our Salon. I'm not the most frequent blogger, but I've gained so much from the writers here and many of you are leaving. I will follow, because I can no longer stand the endless wait for a page to load only to get Lots of errors… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 12, 2012 1:08PM

9/11: Time to Let Go?

I haven’t known what to do with 9/11 for a couple of years now. Last year, being the 10th anniversary, it made sense that there would be a big…. Remembrance? I guess that’s the word because celebration seems totally wrong; commemoration is perhaps better and yet, what I’m fee/Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 2, 2012 12:32PM

Some Random Thoughts on Loss

Over dinner the other night, Paul and I discussed our mutual incomprehension of roadside memorials. We both grew up elsewhere, I on the West coast in Southern California; he on the East coast in Rhode Island by way of South Boston. These markers of tragedy had not been part of ourRead full post »

AUGUST 12, 2012 10:52AM

A Visit from Holocaust Survivors

     Of all the blessings I’ve received from my time on a High school campus, being in the Auditorium when the Schiffs came to speak is the most profoundly emotional and stirring. But for the miracle of my grandfather’s immigration my own beloved father might haveRead full post »

AUGUST 9, 2012 7:34AM

Teach Your Children Well

I watched the Chick-Fil-Asco with interest, weighing in from time to time, mostly when a friend posted reasoned, informative pieces to his facebook page and gracefully endured the sometimes nasty commentary that followed. No matter how mean-spirited the conversation became, Scott remained stalwart, c… Read full post »

Because we’re both suckers for adorable animal videos, my friend, Maggie, sent me a link of a giraffe giving birth at the Memphis Zoo. You can watch it here: Click here: Giraffe Birth at the Memphis Zoo    

A crowd gathers around the enclosure to watch. Momma giraffe stays tRead full post »

APRIL 11, 2012 12:47PM

Can a Pink Shirt Prevent Bullying?

This morning as I was buttoning up my pretty pink blouse, I reflected on the sad article I read on the suicide of Teddy Molina, a teenager from Corpus Christie, Texas ( After years of relenRead full post »

Teenagers of both genders but most especially teenage boys are, from my observations anyway, perpetually in a state of locked-and-loaded, their health, raging hormones and energy all combining to make them pretty much crazy most of the time.  

They are also in possession of adult-sized bodiRead full post »

MARCH 14, 2012 4:45PM

Welcoming Spring, Missing Jeff

In a matter of two weeks, the creek Tasha and I walk along has sprung back to life, gone from stark and drab to vibrant and lively. Tiny purple clover has popped up amongst the blades of grass; my garden-savvy facebook friends identified redbud for me, abloom amongst the trees andRead full post »

FEBRUARY 10, 2012 12:19PM

Flotsam & Jetsam and High School

The creek behind my apartment complex handles the runoff from our sometimes torrential North Central Texas rains. When the water subsides one sees all kinds of junk washed up on the banks: tattered articles of clothing, the ubiquitous plastic grocery bags, scraps of paper and to my amusement, a PringRead full post »

As happens sometimes an innocent facebook post started a bit of a cyber-kerfuffle this week. A fellow parishioner mentioned it had been a small crowd on Sunday; someone else lamented the loss of our Music Minister and from there things took a bit of a negative turn. I guess when folks are… Read full post »

DECEMBER 27, 2011 2:18PM

Perils of the Online Dating Profile

Because I am divorced, and because I don’t wish to spend my life alone as I am happiest in a loving relationship, I joined an internet dating sight. And my, oh my, what an eye-opening experience it has been. My friend, Ann, told me I might have to kiss a lot… Read full post »