Originally posted on db mcneill - Momsomniac:

This previously unpublished short story was a finalist for Glimmertrain’s Short Story Award in November 2007 and was given an Allegory Ezine Honorable Mention.  I wrote it many, many years ago. 


Between the Peas

a short story by
d.b. mcneill

They bought a house.  That’s when it started.  Lilly planted apple trees.  John accused her of wanting corn on the front lawn.  It was true.  Lilly’s hands had not touched land for years and they yearned for it.  Her small new moon fingernails pleaded for the dry dirt.  The wrinkled palms of her broad brown hands cried to be covered in manure.  Her shoulders ached for the heft of a hoe, a small one with the handle cut short so she could break the earth on her own.  She turned the earth by the front door.  She did not plant corn.

Her idea of a compromise was to plant peas.  She…

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Originally posted on Poor as Folk:

READ MORE: http://slate.me/1j6hRyo

In the series “The Secret Life of a Food Stamp,” Marketplace reporter Krissy Clark traces how big-box stores make billions from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps. What’s more, the wages of many workers at these stores are so low that the workers themselves qualify for food stamps—which the employees then often spend at those big-box stores.

This video crunches the numbers on how much Walmart, the single biggest beneficiary of the food stamp economy, might have to raise prices across the board to help a typical worker earn a living wage.

A note on methodology: Eligibility for food stamps varies according to income, number of dependents, and other factors. This estimate of Walmart’s potential cost from raising wages is based on wages for a Walmart employee with one dependent working 30 hours a week, a typical retail worker based on federal data.

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Originally posted on Reluctant Xtian:

I found out this aftern index oon that World Vision reversed their decision to allow people in same-sex monogamous relationships to have the pleasure of being employed by the largest Christian charity in the world.

It’s taken me this long to calm down and write a response…

Look, I’m not that mad at World Vision.  If you, from a charitable perspective, were facing thousands of sponsored children losing their sponsorship (food, education, clothing, shelter, companionship, medical care…you know, basic dignity), you might also have second thoughts about retaining the policy that caused the defection.

From a charitable perspective it makes some business sense.

But one ethical dilemma gives way to another…

World Vision not only reversed their policy decision, but they’ve also “asked for forgiveness.”

And, to me, the group that needs to ask for forgiveness are the bullying bigots who forced World Vision’s reversal.

Less snark in this one.  Snark…

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Originally posted on Education and Class:

Last week, the twittersphere was abuzz over   Lauren Anderson’s    essay on the historical contexts of MacArthur  “genius” Angela Duckworth’s  work on teaching poor children “grit”.  Anderson raised serious questions about Duckworth’s quoting Sir Francis Galton,  a proponent of eugenics, in an introduction to her research.

The next day, Diane Ravitch opened discussion about the Anderson essay on her blog –and got discussion indeed, with 179 comments thus far as I write this.  Among Ravitch’s thoughts about the flaws in the “grit” discourse:

if we could just cultivate the “right” qualities among the “low-achieving” then they would be able to transcend conditions of poverty and other obstacles in their way. With more grit, they could overcome. Couched in the language of innovation, these ideas are among the least innovative in our field. They reflect long legacies of victim-blaming, the tendency (especially among the privileged) to emphasize individualism and personal traits over material conditions and social structures, as the core determinants of academic “success.” And they help…

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I am not sure it translates to the medium, and my style is in transition, but fun anyway. Have a look:  http://www.redbubble.com/people/dbmcneill/portfolio


Level playing field? Hmph.
My moderate level of success professionally gives me hope that this can change. Thoughts?

Originally posted on Education and Class:

It can be difficult to find writing on First Generation College students that doesn’t begin from a deficit standpoint.  First Generation students are presumed to lack “ c ultural capital “, access to basic information ,  family support, or resilience needed to be successful.  These attributes are all, of course, contrasted with the experience, knowledge, social capital, savvy, and ambition of more privileged students who are presumed to arrive at college well-positioned to succeed.

It could be helpful to question more often what we might mean by “succeed”.  According to one recent project, at least some of the academically gifted, wealthy, and culturally savvy students of Harvard University  lack the most basic understanding of people different from themselves, but this racist ignorance has in no way stood in the way of their academic trajectories.

Because, of course, it’s those occupying the social class of these very students who make…

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I am working through the second draft of my early reader book at a snail’s pace.  I am the middle-aged (read: old) working Mom of 3 young kids, and by the end of the day, I’m spent.  I may have to tackle this thing in a way I had not previously envisioned (Take time off?  Hide?).  It deserves to be finished, if only for the sake of my three young muses (my sons).

For now, I redirect you to one of my published short stories “And the Moon Waits” in this issue of Ranfurly Review:


This is a favorite of mine.  I welcome your comments.

Say anything..


follow the link….it’s worth saying


Quite a round-up….

Originally posted on Poor as Folk:

Yuppies Watching Documentaries- The gist of it: these people watched A Place at the Table and were motivated to help so they founded Groceryships, an organization that gets groceries to people who need them.

How a Chicago Mom Liberated a Foreclosed Home and Got Her Four Kids Off the Streets -”Evicted from her childhood home when Cabrini Green public housing was demolished, Martha Biggs was evicted again from rental apartments that were in foreclosure. Over years of homelessness—moving around, staying in shelters, with relatives, and in her van—Biggs raised four children, sent them to school, worked to support them, and struggled to keep her family together.”
It’s a long read but a good one.

Single Mothers Are Not America’s Real Welfare Queens-”The attacks on single mothers are about peddling a paranoid fantasy to conservative audiences in order to keep them from thinking in any depth about the role…

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Social Class Links 01/17/2014.


Follow the link…this sums it up well,

“Do what you love” disguises the fact that being able to choose a career primarily for personal reward is an unmerited privilege, a sign of that person’s socioeconomic class. Even if a self-employed graphic designer had parents who could pay for art school and cosign a lease for a slick Brooklyn apartment, she can self-righteously bestow DWYL as career advice to those covetous of her success.

If we believe that working as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur or a museum publicist or a think-tank acolyte is essential to being true to ourselves — in fact, to loving ourselves — what do we believe about the inner lives and hopes of those who clean hotel rooms and stock shelves at big-box stores? The answer is: nothing.”

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