Musings

the countdown to retirement begins

The first day of the fall semester on August 23 meant the countdown to a major life change had begun. I’ve decided to retire next May after teaching at Indiana University Southeast since 2005. So the start of classes also started the stopwatch hand sweeping across my last academic year teaching full time. I agonized over this decision for probably...

the smell of apples fills the house

Two crock pots simmer away through the night. Since I’m the one who gets up every two or three hours while Sarah lies curled in sweet oblivion, I’m the stirrer. Apple butter in the final stages. Yesterday, a morning taken for apple picking in Kentucky – a natural orchard in a nature preserve, with low, gnarled trees, varieties of all...

no writing this summer: here’s why

I didn’t do any writing this summer, unless you count one handwritten letter sent back home to my family. Instead, I spent my time off in 2021 moving my mother, 87, from her apartment in Amelia Island, Florida, to assisted living in Louisville, close to me. If you’ve never transitioned a parent to assisted living before, be prepared for the...

back in the classroom

On August 23 I returned to face-to-face teaching, with all of us masked up and vaccinated. It’s so good to be in the classroom again. Teaching should be three-dimensional, in a dedicated space. I missed that so much.

why read Jewish poetry?

That’s the title of my “OpEd” piece, which you can read in Louisville’s Community newspaper. The article grew out of a Zoom talk I gave to Louisville’s Temple Shalom. I want to thank Lee Chottiner, editor, for publishing the piece. I also want to thank Rabbi Jacowitz Chottiner of Temple Shalom and Lee Chottiner, for inviting me to give that...

here’s a teaching playlist on Youtube for you

I just put up a new Youtube playlist: “Teaching Podcasts by Michael Jackman, Poet and Teacher.” There, you can watch videos I’ve made about poetry, teaching poetry, and teaching in general. If there’s something you’d like me to talk about, contact me.

road trip: I married the dugans

It was an epic 1,003 mile road trip (with all due diligence, social distancing, masking, gloving, handwashing and other care) Sarah, Theo and I took, to help these two beautiful people, my awesome sister-out-law Maryann Dugan and her equally beloved and awesome life-partner Carly Dugan née Mandeville, become one married couple. And it was a chance to write: the ceremony,...