Foundations for Writing

SCSU Site for English 191

December 2, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

“Homelessness Is Mankato’s Hidden Issue”

The AP picked up an article on homelessness in Mankato that Brian Arola originally wrote for the Mankato Free Press. Here’s the lead:

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — The word “hidden” comes up frequently when you ask experts about homelessness in Mankato.

Homelessness here, say those who work with the people experiencing it, doesn’t fit the stereotype of a disheveled panhandler asking for change on a street corner.

Here, it looks like a man taking refuge in a public library knowing he’s less likely to be shooed away there. Or a family searching for stability in a shelter after losing everything in a house fire. Or a teen crashing on a friend’s couch because home isn’t safe.

The general public might not see examples of it unless they know where to look. Its lack of visibility shouldn’t be mistaken for nonexistence.

The article is a really good snapshot of homelessness in Mankato and the area’s attempts to track and address the issue. The extended example makes the process of how it happens understandable; understandable, too, is the difficulty of “Getting a grasp” on the number of people experiencing homelessness.

October 13, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

An MPR Podcast: “‘I’ve never told anyone’: Stories of life in Indian boarding schools”

A young girl prays at her bedside at a boarding school. A new book
by an Ojibwe author tells the stories life for American Indian children
in boarding schools designed to purge their language and culture.

Here’s the lead for the MPR podcast and article:

Denise Lajimodiere’s interest in the Indian boarding school experience began with the stories of her parents.

“Mama was made to kneel on a broomstick for not speaking English, locked in closets for not speaking English,” she said. “They would pee their pants and then the nuns would take them out [of the closet] and beat them for peeing their pants.”

Lajimodiere is Ojibwe, and a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa in North Dakota. She was an educator for 44 years, working as an elementary school teacher and principal before ending her career recently as as an associate professor of educational leadership at North Dakota State University in Fargo.

Her parents were separated from their families and sent to federal government-run boarding schools as children. Thousands of Native children met the same fate during the boarding school era, which scholars estimate lasted from the late 1800s to well into the middle of the 20th century. (


October 12, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

Neil Gaiman: “Each of us has the right to say #IBelong.”

August 22, 2019
by Judith Kilborn

Closing the 1619 Project magazine with a final tribute

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