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"What do the social patterns and work habits of bees, the rhythm and poetry of Vermont town meeting, and the  strutting lives of Texas oil barons have in common? More than you would think. With wit and insight, a gentle touch and an observant eye for the weakness and strength of the human condition, Mares delights and provokes us with his wonderful essays, a must-read for those of us trying to find our way in a confusing world."
—Senator Peter Welch  (D-Vermont) 

A few months after retiring from  classroom  teaching, I took up another kind of pedagogy:  I signed up for Vermont Public Radio's distinctive series of short "Commentaries"  in which a cross section of Vermonters were invited to sound off about the human condition. One of the commentators was  Mike Martin,  a French teacher at my high school, suggested that I try it.  OK. 


The process for each commentary would start with an idea that I would send to Betty Smith, the editor  at VPR headquarters.  If she approved, I would send her a series of drafts until she was satisfied.  The scene would then shift to the VPR studio, where engineers Sam Sanders  and Chris Albertine would remind me that the average listener must understand what I say at fifty miles an hour.


I got to talk about almost everything; family, history, hobbies, teaching, travel, literature, but not politics per se. In the current Wild West of social media and blogs, it's quaint to think of those calm VPR Commentaries  moving slowly and peacefully across the audio plains.  

To Purchase this Book:

Click here to find an independent Vermont bookseller near you. Also available at Abe Books and other national online bookstores.

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