All Posts By

Jennifer L. Holberg

Essay

Delicious Autumn

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” –George Eliot Autumn has always been my favorite season: I like the weather. I have…
Essay

Three Cords Not Easily Broken

Last week, Diet Eman—whose incredible time in World War II as a member of the Dutch Resistance included rescuing Jews, gathering intelligence, and surviving stints in concentration camps and as a fugitive herself—died at age 99. My fellow 12er, Jim…
Essay

Let It Snow

This morning I met with a large group of my university’s incoming first year students for an orientation session; tomorrow (as you are reading this), I’ll be meeting with another. They were all bright, eager, respectful—and excited to be starting…
Essay

The prophet at 85

Last week was Wendell Berry's 85th birthday, so it seems like the right moment to feature a couple of poems from his large output. Berry could rightly be called a "prophet" in his commitment to truth-telling, in his critique of…
Essay

Graced with the ordinary

Many of you are doubtlessly familiar with Mary Oliver's "The Summer's Day"--with its moving invitation to attentiveness and to relishing one's "one wild and precious life." But in these long days of "ordinary time," we might just need a reminder…
Essay

The Price of Tomatoes

I may have moved to a condo in recent years, but I still have a wonderful little hanging pot of tomatoes on my back deck. I might have ventured into a few more things (I sometimes get a little carried…
Essay

The Slightest Hint of Green

I had the delight this past semester to teach a “gen ed” global literature class that I nicknamed “Epic Journeys.” That means we read lots of long stuff from the ancient and medieval world characterized by people on the move:…
Essay

The worthiness of the work

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, so I’ve been thinking not only of the many extraordinary teachers I’ve had in my own life but about the very work of teaching itself. I’ve been a classroom teacher now for almost thirty years—and despite…