From the Adeilade Literary Award Anthology 2018

I Want to Feel Safe

Published in Anthology by, Adelaide Press. 2018

Published Essay: Finalist

I'm gay and I'm a teacher. Thirty years ago, I wouldn't be able to say these words and still be safe in my job. I teach English to eighth grade students in room 14 in Santa Ana, California. I have over 170 kids each year. Three classes are honor students. Some say I have the stellar job. Perhaps I do. I have earned this position. I have taught over two thousand students thus far. I live for the applause. Teaching is my passion.

On the opening day of school, I told my students my story, I've been teaching for twenty-seven years and twenty-two of them have been in this very classroom. Room 14 has been my second home. I have a life-partner of thirteen years, so yes I am gay. Karen suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm nine years ago. I rushed her to the hospital in our car, which ultimately helped save her life. I don't stay afterschool. I need to go home and be with her.

From the Adeilade Literary Award Anthology 2019


Published in Anthology by, Adelaide Press. 2019

Published Essay: Finalist

Drive-by shootings. Drugs. Gang infested neighborhoods. Suicide teenagers.

This is the hood in Southern California. It's no wonder why Molly is tardy nearly every day. She walks down fairly long and narrow alley lined with trash to get to school. She dodges gangs, and turns down drug, and doesn't even make eye contact. The projects are vile.

Nearly every night there's a drive-by shooting in her neighborhood. Molly sits at her kitchen table alert, and once in a while scrambles to hit the floor as sirens blare along her graffiti lined street. Molly at five foot one, with dark hair, and gregarious green eyes wants to be a lawyer.