Author: Kirby

HATE

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Isolated In America

I saw her coming at me from the back of the room. Her red face, furrowed brow, and wrinkled eye brows told me she was angry. I was right. She wasted no time on pleasantries before she unloaded on me with a fury like I had never experienced. The way she saw things, I represented all that was wrong in the world of children with special needs. She made it very clear she hated me […]

America Must Be Kept American

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Anna Olson

“America must be kept American” is indeed a patriotic call for tighter immigration rules. But which president had this as a rallying call for immigration reform?   Southern and eastern Europeans, especially Italians and eastern European Jews were the “undesirables” back in 1924. When Coolidge signed the Immigration Act of 1924 there was a growing concern that the increase in immigration from these areas was much too high. The new law all but eliminated immigration from […]

FEAR

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Isolated In America

On November 9, 2016, I woke up for my usual two am bathroom call and a snack. What was unusual that morning was my curiosity regarding the election results. I recall watching the TV the night before as talking heads and pundits grew pale and nearly speechless as the election results came in. I admit it was fun watching those who like to tell us what to think and believe being confronted with their limitations […]

No inspiration here

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Isolated In America

Once in awhile, a quote stands out that expresses the belief of a whole generation.  On page 14 of his book Humans of New York Stories, Brandan Stanton, author of the wonderful website Humans of New York captured the essence of INCLUSION. On that page you will find the picture of a pretty young lady in a wheelchair. After growing up in an ISOLATED world she explains what INCLUSION means to her. Here is what she said: “I want to make […]

Lest We Forget: From Isolation to Inclusion

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Background / Isolated In America

I’m a relic of sorts. A throwback to the time when words like retarded and disabled were used professionally. In the late 1960’s I was a direct care giver for seriously emotionally disturbed children. Later, I oversaw professional services in a state hospital unit for the mentally retarded. In the late 1970’s I directed two facilities for severely mentally and physically handicapped children. The labels I used above were accepted at the time.  I was […]

Eugenics

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Isolated In America

Eugenics: A combination of the Greek words for well and born. If the word Eugenics is new to you, join the club, most people don’t recognize it. Today it is seldom if ever used. Still, you know what it means, you know what its end game is; you simply don’t pair the results with the word. Eugenics is a pseudo-social science started in the late 19th and wildly popular up through the 1930’s. Its’ foundations were […]

One Can Never….

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Slow Motion Poetry

The inaugural Slow Motion Poem is; One Can Never June One can never read enough good books. One can never hear enough good music. One can never show too much compassion. One can never have enough green in springtime.   July One can never share enough  joy. One can never show too much love to your family. One can never replace the years in a child’s life. One can never measure the true strength of a […]

SLOW MOTION POETRY

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Slow Motion Poetry

I know almost nothing about poetry.  I know it can take any number of forms.  Some are pretty darn interesting.  Take sonnets, haiku, rhyming, prose, and micro poetry for examples, although they may be interesting, their complexity scares me to death.  Yet I still wanted to write poetry.  Given my naiveté in this area, for me to write a poem, I need something simple and easy.  So I think I created another form, one I […]

Update

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Anna Olson

After completing the first draft of the story of Anna Olson in December of 2012, I had a huge document, almost 200,000 words long!  I’m not sure how many pages that translated to but those were a lot of words.  It was cumbersome and wordy and need to be trimmed down.  For one thing, I included un-needed material on Anna’s parents growing up in Norway, how they met, and why they came to the US.  […]

Writing ups and downs

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Anna Olson

It’s been a great adventure, the last three years of writing. Writing was and is sometimes smooth and easy, with the story just pouring out of my head for days and weeks at a time. Sometimes it was a struggle and a few pages a day seemed almost impossible. For example, the entire first chapter in Isolated in America has been very difficult and I am still not sure I have it right. I spent […]